We gathered again at Beechwood Hall on the first Wednesday evening of the new year to enjoy again some winter and wassailing songs in readiness for the Slindon and SDFS wassail events later this month. After first catching up on news and plans we warmed our voices with our old favourite Thousands or More before singing Here We Come a-Wassailing and then the Apple and Sugar Wassails. The Gloucestershire Wassail and the Copper’s Christmas Song also had an airing, with slight and temporary adjustments to the verses or words to acknowledge the turn of the year. Wood was our other theme, with the Slindon Wassail bonfire in mind, and we sang The Woodcutters Song and Oak, Ash and Thorn – taking a long view of the winter season in the latter with its cheering references to midsummer morn and conjuring summer in! In a break one of our singers, Brian, shared with us a little of his knowledge about the history and traditions of Wassail, and the evening finished with some more fun trying a couple of Rounds introduced to us by Emily – with agreement to try these again at Slindon in the hope of getting some audience participation from our fellow wassailers!
Footnote on 15th January... thankfully the Slindon Wassail was a clear moon- and star-lit evening, neither frozen nor wet, and good traditional fun as it had been last year. Our singing by the bonfire presented some challenges as well as warmth (especially for Emily and any singers at the front) as the logs were loaded and the sparks flew, but no harm done and our set concluded with the audience joining in for the Round – success!
“Wassail” and “Good Heil” to all and we hope to see you at our SDFSingers social (Wassail) on 21st January.