Tag Archive Songs

ByKaren

That Christmas Song Says What?

As you all know, Christmas songs were mostly written way before our time.  Many of them are full of words and phrases that make you go, “hmmm”.
In the song, “Here we come a-wassailing“, what in the world does ‘wassailing’ mean? “Here we come A-wassailing among the leaves so green…”  so of course, I had to look it up.  These were the definitions of wassailing:

1. intransitive verb drink in celebration: to celebrate by drinking alcohol
2. intransitive verb U.K. regional sing Christmas songs: to go from house to house at Christmas, singing carols and greeting people
3. transitive verb toast somebody: to drink to somebody’s health
[ 12th century. < Old Norse ves heill “be healthy,” heill < Germanic ]
Therefore, after knowing the meaning, the song makes more sense.
The Little Drummer Boy

“Come, they told me pa rum pum pum pum…”   Ok, how many times have you heard a drum that sounded like, “pa rum pum pum pum”?  Better than “rat a tat tat”, I guess… lol

The Christmas Song
“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…”  Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I hardly hear anything about chestnuts except for this Christmas song every year.  Chestnut – edible nut: an edible nut that grows inside a prickly husk and has a glossy brown skin. I don’t think that I’ve ever even seen a chestnut.  AND, at the end of the song, it says, “To kids from one to ninety-two”,  Who says that you have to stop being a kid at 92?… go figure…

Hark, the Herald Angels Sing
Hark – listen: to listen to somebody or something ( archaic )
Herald –

1. bringer of news: somebody who brings or announces important news

2. sign of what will happen: somebody or something that is a forerunner of something or gives an indication of something that is going to happen ( literary )

“The robin is the herald of spring.”
3. history official messenger: an official messenger and representative of a king or leader in former times
So in other words, it’s saying, “Listen to the important message from the Angels”?  Makes sense.
The First Noel
Ok, Noel means carol: a Christmas carol ( archaic or literary ) , therefore we are actually singing “The First Christmas Carol, the Angels did say”…
Interesting, very interesting.  Whelp, hope this helps you to understand some of the orgins from our most favorite Christmas songs.  Now go herald, and hope that people hark, about the first noel.  Be careful not to wassail to much and don’t burn the chestnuts.