Mudcat Café message #3461163 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137170   Message #3461163
Posted By: GUEST
04-Jan-13 - 06:36 AM
Thread Name: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
Subject: RE: A Liverpool Folk Song a Week
Hi Richard and Matthew. Yeahh. Good session.

The bit below should have been added to the blog, but as I'm having signing in problems, this is probably the next best place. I've got Green Blade interested in learning the song by the way.

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Thanks Matthew. As you say there's precious little chance of finding out where it originated. We have no tradition of wassailing on the Wirrral that I ever came across. In fact there's damn all in the way of apple trees in this part of the world.

Therefore, I presumed at first that the two ladies must have moved here from some other part of the country and brought it with them.

Evidently not, although how it came into the hands of "child waits" is a bit of a mystery.

However, and bear in mind that I'm no expert on wassailing, but there are other apple treeless parts of the country where wassailing songs have been collected. EG South Yorkshire. There, I suspect the songs would have formed part of house visiting customs.

Could it be that Birkenhead saw an influx of people from such a place, and did they bring their wassailing/house visiting custom with them? If so it must have happened very early on in the town's history. In fact, Birkenhead, as an industrial town instead of a collection of hamlets, only dates from 1815 and industrial development would have been later still. As the sisters didn't hear it until about 1880/1890, that doesn't leave much time for the custom to have arrived, become established and then presumably to have passed from being an adult custom to one performed by children.

BTW., I haven't had much chance to get my head round the text yet. But am I hearing interesting parallels with the Cheshire Souling Song?
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