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People

Name
King William IV
Introduction
This is a Wassail song sung at the King William IV pub in Curry Rivel. On 17th January (old Twelfth Night) villagers gather together to bless the crops for next year. People sing songs and drink warm cider from a special three-handled mug. Crowds gather around the cider orchards and a shotgun is fired to warn off evil spirits, the villagers then eat a special supper.
Wassailing in Curry Rivel in the 1950s. Wassailing in Curry Rivel in the 1950s.
Sound File
Listen to wassailing - 662KB Duration 1:24 min.
Transcript

Wassail, wassail, all over the town,
The cup it is white and the ale it is brown,
The cup it is made from the good old ashen tree,
And so’s the beer from our best barley.
To you our wassail. Aye and joy come to our jolly wassail.
All here we held this [strong] ale, and pass by the ring,
Oh Master and Missus will let us all walk in,
And for to fill our wassail bowl and sail away again,
To you our wassail, aye and joy come to our jolly wassail.

Oh master and missus, we done you any harm,
Pray hold fast this door, and let us pass along,
And give us hearty thanks for the singing of our song,
To you a wassail, aye and joy come to our jolly wassail.

 

One voice speaks:

 

God bless Master and Missus and all the family, hoping they’ve had a Merry Christmas and wish them a Happy New Year and many. Thank you.

 

Missus thank you very much.  [Applause] Thank you very much.

Copyright Information
Copyright. This recording was made by Philippa Legg in 1984. Photograph ©SRLM. For access to full interview please contact the Somerset Records Office.