Thursday, December 6, 2018

A Soalin'


The poor in Victorian England.

Peter, Paul and Mary - A Soalin' (live in France, 1965) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQE0qoVUwqE 

A Soalin'

 Hey ho, nobody home, meat nor drink nor money have I none
Yet shall we be merry, Hey ho, nobody home.
Hey ho, nobody home, Meat nor drink nor money have I none
Yet shall we be merry, Hey ho, nobody home.
Hey Ho, nobody home.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

God bless the master of this house, and the mistress also
And all the little children that round your table grow.
The cattle in your stable and the dog by your front door
And all that dwell within your gates
we wish you ten times more.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

Go down into the cellar and see what you can find
If the barrels are not empty we hope you will be kind
We hope you will be kind with your apple and PEAR'
For we'll come no more a 'soalin' till this time next year.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

The streets are very dirty, my shoes are very thin.
I have a little pocket to put a penny in.
If you haven't got a penny, aN ha' penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha' penny then God bless you.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace..
This holy tide of Christmas of beauty and of grace,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy.

Institutionalized poverty has been in place for millenium. This song is a combinaton of the ancient practice of begging in England at Christmastime from the homes of barons and other nobles during the middle ages, and, at the very end of the music, a hint of Victorian England--God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen--where institutionalized poverty was challenged, if not eradicated, by groups with a conscience inspired by Charles Dickens and his literature. 'A Christmas Carol' anyone?

As we go about our holiday business and hear the little bell of the Salvation Army--a group born out of the Victorian conscience transplanted to America--maybe we can hear the voices of the poor going a soalin.'

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