Wassail! Wassail! All over the town!

Wednesday 10 November 2010

Do you like to wassail? Travelling from house to house, demanding food and drink in return for a few verses of whatever carol the singers could remember at the time, is an ancient tradition.

For example, did you know that the word 'wassail' comes from the Old English 'waes hael' meaning 'be healthy'? Or that the expression 'to drink a toast' originates with the custom of wassailing?

Of course, I can't reveal all the secrets of the wassail here - you'll have to order a copy of What is Myrrh Anyway? or Christmas Miscellany to discover the truth behind this and our other best loved Christmas traditions. But, once again, in the meantime you might enjoy listening to the following...

Wassail! Wassail! All over the town! is a traditional Christmas carol but did you know that the Britpop boys Blur recorded and released their own version in 1992? It was released on 16 December 1992 as a 7" Promo. Only 500 were made and the promo was given away at a gig at Hibernian Club in Fulham, London. It's unusual because all four of the boys sing a verse each!


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