Minchinhampton Wassail

According to the booklet “I remember – Social Life in Gloucestershire Villages 1850-1950”, “the wassailers of Minchinhampton carried a large bowl decorated with evergreens, among which were some small dolls.  During the year, the bowl was kep by one man known as the king of the wassailers.  There used to be twenty or so of these wassailers; later they dwindled to three or four and it was looked on as ‘rather low and rough.’”  Their song ran:

 Wassail, wassail all over the town
Our bread it is white, our ale it is brown
Our bowl it is made of an old apple tree
With the wassail bowl I’ll drink to thee.
 Here’s luck to the missis and to her bright eye
May God send our master a jolly good pie
A jolly good pie that we may all see
With the wassail bowl I’ll drink to thee.