:: Title :: The Wassail Song
:: Genre :: carol, Christmas song
:: Performers & Instruments ::
Ritchie, Jean [vocal]
:: Setting :: Alan Lomax's apartment, 3rd Street
:: Location :: Greenwich Village, New York City (New York), New York (United States)
:: Language :: English
:: Culture :: Southern U.S., Anglo-American, Appalachian, Kentucky
:: Session :: Jean Ritchie I 3/49
:: Date :: 3/18/1949
:: Reference Information :: T1014.0, Track 24 (00:01:48)
:: Original Format :: Reel to Reel
:: Session Notes ::
1 - Notes on tape box read: "First two stanzas of a group of Kentucky Mt. Primitive Baptist hymns, learned from her mother." [Source: Tape box]
2 - The majority of this session contains religious hymns and carols. A few ballads are to be found as well.
:: Recording Notes ::
0 - The Medieval wassail celebrates the New Year and the season of the turn of the year. "Wassail" is an old English word for a toast and is also the spiced or mulled wine or ale that was copiously drunk. Jean Ritchie describes Christmas dinner this way: "I felt so hungry that I had the idea I could eat up every bit of all that loaded-down table full of vittles and still not want to quit. At last everybody found places, Dad at the head of the long board, Mom at his left-hand side, all the menfolks beside their women and all the children scattered about among their mothers and the other big girls. Then Edna led us in singing grace to God, and looking around that table, I think we sure had a lot to be thankful for. We sang a part of 'The Wassail Song,' changing the words a little to make it suit." -Singing Family of the Cumberlands [Source: Singing Family of the Cumberlands]
0 - It seemed like a hundred years until they finally go the last dish on the table and hollered dinner. The other young uns had managed to get into the kitchen, too, one by one, and we just couldn't understand why the menfollks kept hanging back by the fire, waiting for someone else to start and being so polite. I felt so hungry that I had the idea I could eat up every bit of all that loaded-down table full of vittles and still not want to quit. At last everybody found places, Dad at the head of the long board, Mom at his left-hand side, all the menfolks beside their women and all the children scattered about among their mothers and the other big girls. Then Edna led us in singing grace to God, and looking around that table I think we sure had a lot to be thankful for. We sand a part of "The Wassail Song," changing the words a little to make it suit. (excerpt from Singing Family of the Cumberlands) [Source: Singing Family of the Cumberlands]
:: Collection :: Jean Ritchie 1949 and 1950

 

 

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