(Collected by Rev. John Broadwood in Sussex in 1840s)

A wassail, a wassail, a wassail we begin,
With sugar plums and cinnamon and all the spices in.

With a wassail, a wassail a jolly wassail,
And may joy come to you and to our wassail.

Good master and good misteress if you will so incline,
Come send us out your roast beef likewise your Christmas chime.


If you’ve any maids within your house as I suppose you’ve none,
They’d not let us stand a wassailing so long on this cold stone.


For we wassailed all this day long and nothing could we find,
But an owl in an ivy bush and her we left behind.


We’ll cut a toast all round the loaf and set it by the fire,
We’ll wassail bees and apple trees unto your heart’s desire.


Our purses they are empty our purses they are thin
They lack a little silver to line ‘em well within


Hang out your silver tankard upon your golden spear,
We’ll come no more a wassailing until another year.

Chorus x 2

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