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Old Twelvey Night

Posted by ealdwita , 17 January 2013 · 638 views

Our Anglo-Saxon forebears used to greet each other with the words wæs þu hæl (good health, or “be you healthy”). This salutation has evolved down the years to become ‘wassailing’ and gives us Traditionalists an excuse to wander around town and village, banging on doors and singing in tortuous harmonies in order to extort money from beleaguered householders to aid certain charities. A word of clarification may be necessary here...The main difference between wassailers  and carol singers is that the former are usually all above the age of puberty and know more than the first two lines of the song!
An example of Modern Carol Singing........
♪ ♫ “We free kings of Orient are,
One on a scooter, one in a car.. ♪♫♫....Er....Wot’s next?...No I dunno either!...Wot’s that uvver one? ♫♪ ♪ Once in Royal wossname’s city....Oh bugrit...Giss us some money, mister.”

Tonight being ‘Old Twelvey Night’ – (12th.night by the pre-Gregorian calendar), a mob of us, consisting of members of the pub’s ‘Flog ‘em and Hang ‘em Committee’ (tenors, baritones and basses) and the ladies of the Villagewomen’s Guild (contraltos, sopranos and Mrs.Ealdwita) terrorised most of the village into parting with what may be just a little short of £200 which will be passed on to the local children’s hospice in due course. Thank you, merry peasants!

The evening was nicely rounded off with what I suspect was the true purpose of the exercise – copious amounts of mulled, spiced wine and great chunks of game pie in front of a roaring log fire in the pub! (Plus a couple of enormous beef bones for the dogs!)
I’m back in front of my own fire now, with some nice-smelling applewood logs crackling away and a hot rum toddy clutched in my frost-bitten paws.

Trendies and modernists can keep their shiny, plastic world, this is where I’m at, and where I intend to remain!




We had carolers this year. Knock at the door. Open door. Don't see anyone until I glance down. Then they start singing. They weren't dressed in either green nor red, oh no. They had gold chains, some type of athletic outfit one of them had a tin of veg sticking out of their pocket.
I wasn't sure as to what to do. I thought and thought and then I had a clue!

'I know!' I said to myself, 'If I give them something they'll go away. It has been --three days- after Christmas ... after all!'
So, I get a pound coin. I gave it to one of them. I know that I should have given them all three a coin. For some reason, at the time, I just thought that they could share it. I know. There isn't many ways one can split a pound coin, maybe I had too much eggnog that night.

Anyway. About one hour later another knock.
Same process.
This time, there were five of them. (two of them had already sung)
I let them sing. (They weren't very good and certainly had no heart into it.)
When they were finished singing, they just stared at me.
And I am aware that in some layer of space and time, someone/some-being may have not of approved when I told them:
'I'm sorry. You already took my last coin.'

I thought this might be the only time I'd ever be able to share that story about carolers. So thank you Ealdwita for this opportunity :)
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brent76bowman
Apr 20 2013 02:47 PM
I am new to this forum as of 5 minutes ago and I found my favorite blogger already, I am quite sure! Love it! Are you a fan of the film or band Witchfinder General? Cheers!
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