"Here We Come A-Caroling" (or "Here We Come A-Wassailing") is an English traditional Christmas carol and New Year's song. It refers to "wassailing", or singing carols door-to-door. An old English wassail song, or song to wish good health, which is what "wassail" means. According to Readers Digest, "the Christmas spirit often made the rich a little more generous than usual, and bands of beggars and orphans used to dance their way through the snowy streets of England, offering to sing good cheer and to tell good fortune if the householder would give them a drink from his wassail bowl or a penny or a pork pie or, let them stand for a few minutes beside the warmth of his hearth. The wassail bowl itself was a hearty combination of hot ale or beer and spices and mead, just alcoholic enough to warm tingling toes and fingers of the singers".
Appearances in Christmas specials
- A Muppet Family Christmas - It is sung by the puppet cast of Sesame Street as the first half of their caroling medley as they arrive at Emily Bear's farmhouse.
- Back to the Future (Animated TV Series): "Dickens of a Christmas"
- Wee Sing: Wee Sing The Best Christmas Ever!
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Alpha's Magical Christmas
- "The Magic School Bus Holiday Special"
- Shrek the Halls
- Christmas with the Chipmunks, Vol. 2 (1963)
- Disney's Christmas Collection (1995)
- Arthur's Perfect Christmas (2000)
- 25 Favorite Christmas Songs! (2008)
Versions with alternate lyrics
Here we come a-caroling,
among the leaves so green
Here we come a-wand'ring,
so fair to be seen
Love and joy come to you
And to you glad Christmas too
And God bless you and
send you a happy New Year
And God send you a happy New Year
We are not daily beggars,
that beg from door to door
But we are neighbor's children,
whom you have seen before
God bless the master of this house,
likewise the mistress too
And all the little children,
that round the table go