Thursday, December 31, 2020


Wassail, wassail, to our town,
The cup is white, the ale is brown;
The cup is made of the ashen tree,
And so is your ale of the good barley.
Little maid, little maid, turn the pin,
Open the door and let us come in.
God be here, God be there,
I wish you all a happy New Year.
Note The Wassail Cup was a wooden cup (one rhyme says "made of the rosemary tree") of spiced ale, apples and sugar, which they drank at the New Year. The word Wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon Waes hal! be whole! — that is to say, good health to you! Children carried round a bunch of evergreens hung with apples, oranges and ribbons, called a Wessel-bob. "Turn the pin" means "unfasten the latch".

Cicely Mary Barker, The Children's Book of Rhymes

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