The Martyrdom of Nicholas,
by Francisco de Goya and Thomas Christensen
Top Ten Seasonal Songs That Don’t Mention Christmas
As a public service to those who will be entertaining Muslims, Buddhists, Wiccans, Jews, and the like this holiday season, I offer this list:
1. Deck the Halls
2. Frosty the Snowman
3. Gloucestershire Wassail
4. Happy Holidays
5. Jinglebell Rock
6. Jingle Bells
7. Let It Snow
8. Pretty Paper
9. Sleigh Ride
10. Winter Wonderland
The list is alphabetical. If ranked for best lyrics, the award would go to “Gloucestershire Wassail,” for these stirring sentiments:
Wassail, wassail all over the town!
Our bread it is white and our ale it is brown,
Our bowl, it is made of the good maple tree;
From the wassailing bowl we’ll drink unto thee.
Come, butler, and fill us a bowl of your best,
And we hope your soul in Heaven may rest;
But if you do bring us a bowl of the small,
Then down shall go butler and bowl and all.
Come here, sweet maid, in the frilly white smock,
Come trip to the door and trip back the lock!
Come trip to the door and pull back the pin,
And let us jolly wassailers in.
Wassail, by the way, is a spice punch drink. The name comes from the Old English/Norse “to be in good health.” I’ll drink to that.