Music: trad. arr. Sheena Phillips. Words: Traditional
SATB, handbells or other tuned (or untuned) percussion
performance time approx 1m 30s
Range (all voices): c – d' or c' – d''
Complexity: **

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This piece is the first in the set Three Christmas choral stocking fillers
The next piece is Star
Wassail! is sold only in the set Three Christmas choral stocking fillers, and is not available for sale as an individual piece.
Wassail! is a collage of fragments of English wassail songs and makes a great processional for a Christmas concert. Ideally, the singers should be accompanied by tuned percussion such as handbells in the background, but non-tuned percussion such as shakers, drums and tambourines could also be effective. The main idea is to create a cheerful ‘sound cloud’ of the wassail fragments, culminating in a burst of bell-ringing or other percussion.

Wassailing was a midwinter tradition of visiting houses and singing and sharing drink from a wassail cup or bowl in exchange for food, money or other gifts - and the word ‘wassail’ itself derives from an old English expression meaning ‘be of good health’.


We’ve been a while a-wandering among the leaves so green.
For it’s your wassail!
Wassail, O wassail all over the town!
Here we come a-wassailing among the leaves so green!
And it’s our wassail!
For it’s Christmastime, when we travel far and near...
Wassail, wassail!
But now we come a-wassailing so plainly to be seen.


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