This Christmassy episode of the Old Songs Podcast turns the tables slightly, as Nick Hart interviews Jon Wilks about a traditional folk song of wintery note, ‘The Gloucestershire Wassail’ [Roud 209]. The pair chat about the history of the song, where it was collected, where it travelled to, what the lyrics might refer to, the definition of wassailing, and its connection to Britpop (or all things). Everything you ever wanted to know about ‘The Wassailing Song’ is right here in this episode, so strap your ear-goggles on and summon your wassailing bowl.
Post-script: We found out shortly after the publishing of this edition that Gwilym Davies, mentioned in the episode, sadly died this year. We hope our words do justice to the amazing work he did in researching and extending the wassailing tradition.
Click to listen on: Apple | Spotify | Google | Mixcloud
The Old Songs Podcast is supported by the English Folk Dance and Song Society.
‘The Gloucestershire Wassail’ podcast notes
Over the course of the episode, Nick Hart and Jon Wilks mention the following things:
- The English Folk Dance and Song Society
- ‘The Gloucestershire Wassail’ on the Vaughan Williams Memorial Library website
- Nick Hart’s yellow handkerchiefs
- Gwilym Davies online collection
- The Prince Albert Carol Consort, Stroud
- Notes on Blur’s version of ‘The Wassailing Song’
- Nick Hart’s photo in ‘A Christmas Carol’
- ‘The Wassailing Song’, performed by The Grizzly Folk
- ‘The Gloucestershire Wassail’, performed by Magpie Lane
- ‘The Kentucky Wassail’, performed by John Jacob Niles
- ‘The Wassailing Song’, performed by Blur
- ‘Wassail’, arranged by Ralph Vaughan Williams
- ‘The Halsway Carol’, performed by Jackie Oates
- ‘The Gloucestershire Wassail’, performed exclusively by Jon Wilks
For more info on Jon Wilks, head to jonwilks.online.