Here We Come A-Wassailing

(1 customer review)

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This holiday piece is always a favorite! Was hail! Drink hail!

SKU: AJM18056 Category: Tags: , ,


The word wassail comes from the Anglo-Saxon greeting Wæs þu hæl, meaning “be in good health.” The correct response to the greeting is Drinc hæl. In the middle ages, the wassail was a reciprocal exchange between the feudal lords and their peasants as a form of recipient-initiated charitable giving, to be distinguished from begging. Later, in the twelfth century, Danish-speaking inhabitants of England turned was hail, and the reply drink hail, into a toast, adopted widely in England. From around the early 17th century, the toast became synonymous with Christmas celebrations.

This popular holiday carol has its musical origins in the mid-19th century. This intermediate arrangement is pattern-based with a contemporary classical diatonic parallel chord accompaniment followed by fast scale passages. The shift from compound to simple time is clearly marked and the basic pulse should remain the same.

Key: C major

Mood: happy, festive

Pedagogy: meter changes, fingering

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1 review for Here We Come A-Wassailing

  1. heather.rathnau

    Refreshing arrangement of an old classic! It’s one we don’t want to lose – thank you!

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