The Story of We Wish You a Merry Christmas

The Story Of We Wish You a Merry Christmas 

Our version of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' is one of the most viewed Christmas songs on YouTube with nearly 80 million views. Christmas Songs and Carols – Love to Sing’s version is the most popular!

The original composer of 'We Wish You a Merry Christmas' is unknown but it is believed that the origins of the Christmas song date back to the 16th century where the song would have been performed by carolers who entertained the wealthy throughout America and Europe. Some of the lyrics refer to the carolers singing for payment!

"Oh bring us some figgy pudding and bring it right here and we won’t go until we get some".

What is Figgy Pudding?

Sounds delicious but what is figgy pudding? Figgy pudding was the name for any kind of dried fruit available and originated in the 14th century in Britain as a way to preserve food. In the 16th century, fruit became more abundant and figgy or plum pudding went from being savoury to sweet. Today the figgy or plum pudding is known as Christmas pudding and is generally served after a big Christmas dinner - although who said you can't have dessert first?! To make the pudding really grand, brandy is poured over it and set aflame. Fun fact - it is traditional for every member of the household to stir the pudding while making a wish!

One of the Original We Wish You a Merry Christmas Verse's

The greeting We wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy New Year is recorded from the early 18th century. Here is a related verse popular in the that time:

We wish you a merry Christmas

And a happy new year;

A pocket full of money,

And a cellar full of beer.

Arthur Warrell, a composer, conductor and organist arranged the tune for his University of Bristol Madrigal Singers and performed his version in a concert on December 6th in 1935. His version was published under the title “A Merry Christmas: West Country Traditional Song” by Oxford University Press.

Here are the song lyrics for We Wish You a Merry Christmas as we sing them today:

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
Oh, bring us some figgy pudding
And bring it right here

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year 

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

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year

We all like our figgy pudding
We all like our figgy pudding
We all like our figgy pudding
With all its good cheers

Good tidings we bring to you and your kin
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year

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Check out the story of Jingle Bells