02 November 2004


Soul day, soul day, Saul
One for Peter, two for Paul,
Three for Him who made us all.
An apple, a pear, a plum or a cherry,
Any good thing that will make us all merry.

Put your hand in your pocket and pull out your keys,
Go down into the cellar, bring up what you please;
A glass of your wine, or a cup of your beer,
And we'll never come souling till this time next year.

We are a pack of merry boys, all in a mind,
We are come a souling for what we can find,
Soul, soul, sole of my shoe,
If you have no apples, money will do;

Up with your kettle and down with your pan,
Give us an answer and let us be gone

From Brand's "Popular Antiquities," (1777), as sung in Cheshire

(This is not to be confused with the Peter, Paul, and Mary abomination known bizarrely as "A'Soalin'," which is apparently a hybrid of "Hey, Ho, Nobody Home," which is a well-known round, with the Cheshire Souling Song and possibly a Wassailing song. The Souling tradition is quite seperate from the Wassailing tradition, though both involve going from house to house requesting food and/or drink from neighbors. All in all a commendable activity, if you trust your neighbors.)

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