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WeWishYouaMerryChristmas

The Wiggles wearing crowns

We Wish You a Merry Christmas is a Christmas song from Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas. This song was written by Charlotte Yonge.

History

In 1935, Oxford University Press published an elaborate four-part choral arrangement by Arthur Warrell under the title "A Merry Christmas", describing the piece as a "West Country Traditional Song". Warrell's arrangement is notable for using "I" instead of "we" in the lyrics; the first line is "I wish you a Merry Christmas". It was subsequently republished in the collection Carols for Choirs (1961), and remains widely performed.

The earlier history of the carol is unclear. It is absent from the collections of West-countrymen Davies Gilbert (1822 and 1823) and William Sandys (1833), as well as from the great anthologies of Sylvester (1861) and Husk (1864). It is also missing from The Oxford Book of Carols (1928). In the comprehensive New Oxford Book of Carols (1992), editors Hugh Keyte and Andrew Parrott describe it as "English traditional" and "[t]he remnant of an envoie much used by wassailers and other luck visitors"; no source or date is given.

Origin

The greeting "a merry Christmas and a happy New Year" is recorded from 1740. The English custom of performing inside or outside homes in return for food and drink is illustrated in the short story The Christmas Mummers (1858) by Charlotte Yonge, in which a group of boys run to a farmer's door and sing:

I wish you a merry Christmas
And a happy New Year,
A pantryful of good roast-beef,
And barrels full of beer.

After they are allowed in and perform a Mummers play, the boys are served beer by the farmer's maid.

The origin of this Christmas carol lies in the English tradition wherein wealthy people of the community gave Christmas treats to the carolers on Christmas Eve, such as "figgy pudding" that was very much like modern-day Christmas puddings. A variety of nineteenth-century sources state that, in the West Country of England, "figgy pudding" referred to a raisin or plum pudding, not necessarily one containing figs.

Production

Greg provides the lead vocals and The Wiggles provide the backing vocals. Murray plays the bass and Jeff plays the piano.

Song Credits

Musicians

Album Version

  • Lead Vocals - Greg Page
  • Backing Vocals - The Wiggles
  • Bass - Murray Cook
  • Piano - Jeff Fatt

Video Version

  • Lead Vocals - Greg Page
  • Additional & Backing Vocals - The Wiggles
  • Bass - Murray Cook
  • Piano - Jeff Fatt

Lyrics and Transcript

Greg: We wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Wiggles: Good tidings we bring to you and your king.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Anthony: We've had a Wiggly, Wiggly Christmas.

Murray: And we hope you and your family have a fun Christmas too.

Greg: And have a Happy New Year. From the Wiggles.

Jeff: See you next time.

Wiggles: Bye-bye.

Trivia

  • In the album, only Greg says "Merry Christmas, everybody, from the Wiggles and have a Happy New Year."

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