A Traditional Apple Wassail Rhyme for the New Year

Wassail_-_geograph.org.uk_-_305996

The traditional winter wassail is still performed in England today.

The apple wassail was a poem to apple trees performed by groups of men at this time of year in the south of England. On the twelfth night of Christmas men would go into apple orchards with their wassail bowl full of cider and they would recite the rhyme to wake the trees and to implore them to produce a bumper crop in the coming year. Sometimes they would beat the tree trunks with sticks and they would hang pieces of bread in the trees’ branches.

The Henry Brothers would like to share an example of the apple wassail today to wish you all a fruitful 2013 and to encourage you to go into the new year singing songs of your own….

Happy New Year from Paul and John!!!!

Wassail to the Apple and the Pear, from Cornworthy, Devon, England, 1805

Huzza, Huzza, in our good town
The bread shall be white and the liquor be brown.
So here my old fellow I drink to thee
And the health of each other tree.
Well may ye blow, well may ye bear
Blossom and fruit both apple and pear
So that every bough and every twig
May bend with a burden both fair and big.
May ye bear us and yield us fruit such as stores
That the bags and chambers and house run o’er.

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About The Henry Brothers

We are English teachers involved in ELT publishing in Turkey, and also touring the country giving workshops and presentations to English teachers, mainly on the use of poetry, storytelling and other lively activities in the classroom. We can be contacted by e-mail to istanbuljohnm@hotmail.co.uk.
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One Response to A Traditional Apple Wassail Rhyme for the New Year

  1. Pingback: ‘Wes Hal!’ The final four days of Christmas to ‘Twelfth Night’ and ‘Epiphany’ (Jan 5th/6th) « hungarywolf

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