“We won’t go until we get some”

From the carol “we wish you a merry Christmas”. According to a really strict (Puritan) way of putting it, it was a license to basically rob the rich at Christmas time. One history of the practice in Elizabethan times has it the poor would jack the rich up. OK so that was two sentences which mirrored each other. But it has a lot in common with the Halloween tradition of “trick or treat”.

The wassail from whence cometh the title says, look, we know you have the goodies, “figgy pudding”, we can smell it, we want it, we won’t go until we get some. They also would clean out the owner’s liquor stash.

According to the Puritan history if you didn’t give in to the mob they were likely to break down the door of your fortress and take EVERYTHING. The term “thuggish” hadn’t gotten into the English language yet because the English hadn’t taken over the management of India yet and the Thugs, a religious sect, hadn’t yet impressed the Brits with their very efficient way of killing. If the term had been in use in that era, it most certainly would have been applied to Carolers. Not to worry, Renaissance English has a few unpleasant names for persons they consider not-very-gentlemanly. Rowdy and Hooligan were Irish terms, so they weren’t in use yet.

I rather like the notion that for one day of the year, at least, the Poor weren’t forced by law to assume the role of Helpless Victims. One day of the year when the Rich had to give back a little.

By this time next year, if the commercialization trend continues, and the professional whiners with their “war on Christmas” drivel win out, the Poor will be forced to buy Christmas…

Kind of like the way we’re forced to support the Rich every other day of the year.

And the One Day of The Year when it was exactly opposite, will be lost to the sands of History.

Brother Jonah

About Brother Jonah

Recovering Texan. Christian while and at the same time Anarchist. (like Tolstoy only without the beard, for now) Constantly on the lookout for things which have relevance to things I already know. Autistic. Proud to be Ex- air force. Out of the killing machine for 27 years 4 months and 5 days woohoo!
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