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A huge event that this year drew people. Quiet at least for a while , time to reflect, intimate, and local. There was one at Slindon run on National Trust land that was organised by another Sussex Morris side, Mythago, and it was lovely. Exactly what I needed. But once more the curse of size and popularity reared its head, and the locals of Slindon complained so much about the incoming cars that the event was stopped. In truth I lost track of what Mythago did next, until this year I heard that they had been running a Wassail at the Community Orchard in Steyning.
Brilliant, thought I. Steyning is 15 minutes away from me, so this year we went there.http://andre.pictures/modules/2019-03-09/842.php
"Our Miss Pemberton" Wassail! Wassail! (TV Episode ) - Full Cast & Crew - IMDb
The Sun had set so me, Cerri, and a few friends, made our way to the Steyning Cricket Club, the meet up place for the Wassail. There was Harveys Ale always a bonus and Mythago started the evening with a few of their dances. There are a lot of traditional Morris dances and Mythago of course do those, but they also create new dances based on the myths and legends of Albion.
Their dances tell stories, and I find this such a wonderful fusion of arts. As they told and danced their tales so more people turned up. I would say there was about people there when the Mythago leader invited everyone to follow the torches and drums across the field to the Orchard. It was a lovely night, crisp and icy, just a little muddy underfoot. Exactly right for a Wassail. As we walked across the field the orchard came into view, and I could see that one of the apple trees, quite a large, old tree, had been hung with bunting, and it stood lit up by the flames of lit torches.
English Folk-Carols/Wassail Song
A circle was formed around the tree, and quiet fell. Together we spoke the words of the Wassail Chant above, then everyone was invited to take a piece of toast, dip it in the Wassail cup, and hang it on the tree, offering a blessing for the year ahead.
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Those are moments that make me very emotional. In my life as a Pagan I organise, and am involved with, lots of rituals.
Traditional:Wassail, Wassail Lyrics
In my personal life I make ritual alone to mark the seasons, and in reverence to my Gods. To me this is a normal part of life. But then you have moments like this, when people who would not identify as Pagan, or even any spiritual path, are moved to make a blessing such as this. Call it what you like but there is sympathetic magic at work here, and an honouring of a tree, a being with whom we share this planet, and whose fruits help us live, and brings us such pleasure. I saw burly bare-headed men lift their children up so they could hang their blessed toast. Irish antiquarian Charles Vallancey proposed that the name "lambswool" was a corruption of the name of a pagan Irish festival, "Lamas Ubhal", during which a similar drink was had.
This drink would be roughly equivalent to beer or wine in many contemporary Western cultures. People drank it at social gatherings.
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- WASSAIL, WASSAIL, ALL OVER THE TOWN.
Here's to thee, old apple tree, That blooms well, bears well. Hats full, caps full, Three bushel bags full, An' all under one tree. Bushel, bushel sacks-full! And my pockets full, too! In the cider-producing counties in the South West of England primarily Cornwall,  Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire or South East England Kent, Sussex, Essex and Suffolk as well as Jersey, Channel Islands; wassailing refers to a traditional ceremony that involves singing and drinking to the health of trees on Twelfth Night in the hopes that they might better thrive.
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The purpose of wassailing is to awaken the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn. In some counties the youngest boy or "Tom Tit" will stand in for the Queen and hang the cider soaked toast in the tree. Then an incantation is usually recited.
A folktale from Somerset reflecting this custom tells of the Apple Tree Man , the spirit of the oldest apple tree in an orchard, and in whom the fertility of the orchard is thought to reside.
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In the tale a man offers his last mug of mulled cider to the trees in his orchard and is rewarded by the Apple Tree Man who reveals to him the location of buried gold. Reservoir Butler Rides Again" with an extended, minor-key version of "Gower Wassail," Tim Hart singing the traditional verses and the others joining the chorus.
The British rock band Blur released a cover of the song, with each member taking a verse.
The release was limited to 7-inch pressings, which were given out at a concert in The version of 'The Wassailing Song' performed by Blur was later adapted in a recording by The Grizzly Folk, who have stated that the arrangement bears a close resemblance to the 'Gloucestershire Wassail'.
With its references to the Israeli transsexual Eurovision contestant Dana International , the Sealed Knot English Civil War re-enactment society, and also to the skier Vreni Schneider , the meaning of the songs title in this context is a little obscure. In Folk Rock musician Wojtek Godzisz formerly of the band Symposium created an arrangement of the traditional Gloucestershire Wassail words with original music for the Pentacle Drummers first Annual Wassail festival , simply called 'Wassail'.
The Pentacle Drummers encourage their headline acts to write a song centered around wassailing, a way to keep the tradition alive. It was mentioned in the television show Mystery Science Theater Crow T. Robot and Tom Servo ask Mike Nelson to provide some, and when asked to further explain what exactly wassail was, they admitted to having no idea, though they offer a guess that it might be an "anti-inflammatory".
Upon actually getting some, they describe it as "skunky", discovering it to be a year-old batch. Then I hope that your soul in heaven may rest; But if you do draw us a bowl of the small, Then down fall butler, bowl and all! We'll drink to thee, drink to thee. Where is the maid with the lily white smock, That do trip to the door and draw back the lock? The first six stanzas in the text are those that Mr. Bayliss gave me; they are printed without any alteration. The last three stanzas are from a variant sung to me by Mr.
Isaac Bennett of Little Sodbury Gloucestershire. The words are very similar to, but not identical with, those of " The Gloucestershire Wassailer's Song " quoted by Bell Ballads and Songs of the Peasantry of England , p. The Gloucestershire Wassail song, of which Mr. Bayliss's version is I think a typical example, materially differs from that of Somerset and, I believe, from that of other counties as well.
This work was published before January 1, , and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least years ago.
This particular example was collected in the early part of the 20th century in Buckland, Gloucestershire from a Mr. William Bayliss.