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We wish you a

Merry
Christmas
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The History of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”

 "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" is a traditional English


Christmas carol of unknown origin that is believed to date
the 16th century. It was sung by children in Victorian times
as they went about performing carols door to door on
Christmas Eve, hoping for sweet rewards. It's a tune which
recognizes the dynamic between rich and poor, calling for
figgy pudding and refusing to leave the wealthy person's
doorstep until some is delivered "right here."
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Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
Now bring us some figgy pudding
And bring it right here.
We won't go until we get some
We won’t go until we get some
We won’t go until we get some
So bring it right here…

(Lyrics for "We Wish You a Merry


Christmas")
z …And a Happy New Year
…And a Happy New Year
As old English Christmas carols go,
there are very few which mention
 As old English Christmas carols thego,
new year
there are coming a week after
very few which
mention the new year comingChristmas. This is interesting
a week after Christmas. This is
mostly1 wasn’t
interesting mostly because January because January
considered the1 wasn’t
new year in the Western world until the 1700s.
considered theSo,
newin light
yearof in
thatthe
history, it could be that the “and a happy new year” line was not
Western world until the 1700s. So,
added until later.
in light of that history, it could be
that the “and a happy new year”
line was not added until later.
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Who has recorded “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”?

 Perhaps the most folk-friendly version on record of “We Wish


You A Merry Christmas” came from the collaborative album
John Denver made with the Muppets. However, a number of
other artists have recorded the song through the years, from
Japanese outfit Shonen Knife to indie pop band Weezer. The
song’s most popular mode of performance, however, remains
that of the nameless, fameless Christmas caroler, who
continues to go door to door each and every holiday season.
The song’s oral history survived centuries of passing down
from caroler to caroler before it was ever recorded.
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Modern equivalent of “figgy pudding”

 Nowadays, however, instead of preparing figgy pudding,


there are a number of alternate traditional Christmas
desserts. In the United States, the equivalent may be a
holiday fruit cake. Perhaps contemporary Americans
looking to update the song via the folk tradition could
change those verses to “bring us a chocolate pie now.” Or,
you can simply sing the old version the way merry souls
spread it around now more than 400 years ago, demanding
figgy pudding with the determination of a street protester.
Thank you for
waching!
Marry
Christmas!
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