A Wassail to Keep Out the Cold (Oliver Barton)

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Editor: Oliver Barton (submitted 2006-01-26).   Score information: A4, 30 pages, 1 MB   Copyright: Personal
Edition notes: This is the full score. Chorus and instrumental parts on request.

General Information

Title: A Wassail to Keep Out the Cold
Composer: Oliver Barton

Number of voices: 4vv   Voicing: SATB
Genre: SecularCarol

Language: English
Instruments: Piano
, optionally Recorder, 2 B flat Clarinets
Published: 1997

Description: A continuous medley of traditional English and Irish tunes and words that concentrates on eating and drinking, such prominent activities at Christmas!

External websites:

Original text and translations

English.png English text

All hail to the days
That merit more praise
Than all the rest of the year!
And welcome the nights
That double delights
As well for the poor as the peer!
Good fortune attend
Each merry man’s friend
That doth but the best that he may,
Forgetting old wrongs
With carols and songs
To drive the cold winter away.
Now Sisley and Nanny,
More jocund than any,
As blithe as the month of June,
Like birds, like birds.
La la la la la la la.
Do carol and sing,
(No nightingale sweeter in tune)
To bring in content,
When summer is spent,
In pleasant delight and play,
With mirth and good cheer,
To end the old year,
And drive the cold winter away.
To mask and to mum
Kind neighbours will come
With wassels of nutbrown ale,
To drink and carouse
To all in the house,
As merry as bucks in the pale;
Where cakes, bread and cheese
Is brought for your fees
To make you the longer stay,
As the fire to warm
Will do you no harm
To drive the cold winter away.
When Christmastide
Comes in like a bride,
With holly and ivy clad,
Twelve days in the year
Much mirth and good cheer
In every household is had;
The country guise
Is then to devise
Some gambol of Christmas play,
Whereas the young men
Do best what they can
To drive the cold winter away.

There was a star in David’s land,
So bright it did appear
Into King Heriod’s chamber
And brightly it shined there.
The Wise Men soon espied it,
And told to the king on high,
That a princely baby was born that night
No king could e’er destroy.
Ah, King Heriod said, Ah shall crow full fences three,
one, two, three,
The cock soon thrustened and feathered well
By the work of God’s own hand.
And he did crow full fences three
In the dish where he did stand.
The cock then thrusted and feathered well,
By the work of God’s good hand.
And he did crow full fences three
In the dish where he did stand

Bring us in good ale,
For our blessed Lady’s sake.
Bring us in no brown bread
For that is made of bran,
Nor bring us in no white bread
For therein lies no gain,
Bring us in no mutton
For that is passing lean,
Nor bring us in no trips,
For they be seldom clean,
But bring us in good ale…
Bring us in no eggs
For here are many shells,
But bring us in good ale…
Bring us in no butter
For therein are many hairs,
Not bring us in no pigg’s flesh
For that will make us boars,
But bring us in good ale….
Bring us in no capon’s flesh
that is often dear,
Nor bring us in no duck’s flesh
For they slobber I’ the mere
But bring us in good ale…

Nowell, nowell!
This is the salutation
Of the angel Gabriel.
Tidings true there be come new
Sent from the Trinity,
By Gabriel to Nazareth,
City of Galilee.
A clean maiden and pure virgin,
Through her humility
Hath conceiv'd the person
Second in deity.
Nowell, nowell!
This is the salutation,
Of the angel Gabriel.

The first nowell the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields were they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Nowell! Nowell!
Born is the King of Israel!
They look’d in the sky and saw a bright star
Shining there in the east beyond them so far;
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.
Nowell! Nowell!
This star drew nigh over to the northwest:
Till at last over Bethlehem town it took rest;
And there it did both stop and stay,
Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Nowell! Nowell!
Born is the King of Israel!
Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises high our heav’nly Lord!
Lord that heav’n and earth did make of nought,
Through his blood, mankind bought.
Nowell! Nowell!
Born is the King of Israel!