Twyning Wassail Rhyme

Twyning – groups used to go around the houses on New Year’s Day reciting a rhyme which included the words:

Whistle wassail round the town,
The cups are white, the ale is brown,
Whistle me finger, whistle me toe,
Give me a penny and let me go

The information was recorded by Nick and Mally Dow from Ron Pate in July 1985.  The interview can be heard on the British Library Sound Archive website at the following links:
(British Library Sound Archive)

 A similar New Year custom took place at Charlton Kings, Cheltenham until about 1960 (Gwilym Davies collection).