Carol for Twelfth Day

Bob Lewis: On Autumn Harvest ah09: Bob Lewis: Drive Sorrows Away. Recorded at the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2009.

A wassailing song from Cornwall. Bob put this song together from various sources, but the only person he ever heard sing it was his father who remembered it being sung by the wassailers in his youth as they travelled from door to door near his home in Cornwall (Roud 3312).

1: Sweet master of this habitation with our mistress be so kind,
As to grant an invitation that we may this favour find;
To be now invited in, then with mirth we will begin,
Happy, sweet and pleasant songs which unto this time belongs.
Let every loyal, honest soul,
Contribute to the wassail bowl.

2: So may you still enjoy the blessing of a loving, virtuous wife,
Riches, honour still possessing and a long and happy life;
Living in prosperity then let generosity,
Always be maintained I pray, don’t forget the good old way.
Let every loyal, honest soul,
Contribute to the wassail bowl.

3: So now before the season is departed in your presence we appear,
Therefore then be noble-hearted and afford some dainty cheer;
Freely let us have it now what the season doth allow,
What the house may now afford should be placed upon the board.
Whether it be roast beef or fowl ,
And liquor well the wassail bowl.

4: For it is a time of leisure then to those that kindness show,
May they have wealth, peace and pleasure and the spring of bounty flow,
To enrich them while they live that they may afford to give,
To maintain the good old way, many a long and happy day.
Let every loyal, honest soul,
Contribute to the wassail bowl.

5: You worthy are to be commended if in this you will not fail,
Now our song is almost ended fill our bowl with nappy ale;
Then we’ll drink a full carouse to the master of this house,
Aye and to our mistress dear, wishing both a happy year.
In peace and love without control,
Who brought joy to our wassail bowl.

c p 2010 Autumn Harvest :