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Ashen Faggot Wassail

[ Roud 209 ; trad.]

Shirley Collins sang the Ashen Faggot Wassail on her 1974 Topic album, Adieu to Old England. A.L. Lloyd commented in the album's sleeve notes:

Another song learned from the BBC Sound Archives. The singer was Sidney Richards of Curry Rivel, Somerset, who when asked by the collector about the significance of the custom, mumbled, hesitatingly, “Well, I reckon it were just an excuse for a good boozeup!”


Shirley Collins sings Ashen Faggot Wassail

Wassail and wassail, all over the town,
Our cup it is white and the ale it is brown.
The cup it is made of the good old ashen tree,
Yea, and so, the beer of the best holly.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
With your wassail, aye enjoy,
Come to our jolly wassail

Oh maid, oh maid, with your silver-headed pin,
Pray open this door and let us all walk in,
All for to fill our wassail bowl and sail away again.

Oh maid, oh maid, with your glove and your lace,
Pray come unto this door and show us your fine face,
We are truly weary of standing in this place.

Oh master and mistress, if you'd be so well a-pleased,
To set upon your table your white cloth and your cheese,
With your roast beef and your bord'rings and your pies.

Oh master and mistress, if we've done you any harm,
Pray open this door and let us all pass on,
And give us hearty thanks for a-singing of our song.