Sheet Music: Here We Come A-wassailing

TitleHere We Come A-wassailing
Alternate titlesThe Wassail Song
Here We Go A-caroling
ComposerTraditional English
InstrumentationFlute trio
KeyD major
RangeE4–D6
Time signature6/8
Tempo108 BPM
Performance time0:45
Difficulty levelintermediate
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (58 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (354 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (372 kB)
Date added2010-11-28
Last updated2010-11-28
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 6.1 (very popular)
Categories
Christmas carols, Traditional/Folk

Performances

  • Margot — Playing all three parts.

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Sunday 28 November 2010

Tune of the Day: Here We Come A-wassailing

Traditional English Christmas carol, arranged for flute trio

This 17th-century English carol is about “wassailing”, or singing carols door to door. According to Readers Digest, “the Christmas spirit often made the rich a little more generous than usual, and bands of beggars and orphans used to dance their way through the snowy streets of England, offering to sing good cheer and to tell good fortune if the householder would give them a drink from his wassail bowl or a penny or a pork pie or, let them stand for a few minutes beside the warmth of his hearth. The wassail bowl itself was a hearty combination of hot ale or beer and spices and mead, just alcoholic enough to warm tingling toes and fingers of the singers”.

This carol is a bit unusual in that its verses are sung in 6/8 time, while the chorus switches to 2/2, but always keeping the same tempo.

Thanks to Christine for suggesting this tune!