Happy New Year! With – er – mouldy cheese?

Everyone knows that the staff at Chetham’s Library are fun-loving, happy people, which is why most of the pictures on this blog are, like the staff, generally a bit beige and sickly looking. But rather than spend this [bright and sunny | bracing and snowy | wet and dismal {strike out words that do not apply}] New Year’s Day asleep or watching a mighty Hollywood Biblical Epic on the television, we were up bright and early for some calisthenics and cold porage in order to bring you this, perhaps the beigest and sickliest post of 2016 so far.

It comes from a kind gift, a music manuscript book packed with powerful shanties such as this, the Staffordshire Wassail Song, contributed to a May Song book for Ratcliffe-on-Wreake by Mrs Orton in 1954:

That lyric again:

I have a little purse made of stretched leather and skin
I have a little pocket, to put a penny in.
God bless you happy
God bless you happy
God bless you happy
And prosperous New Year
Bring us out the table and spread it with a cloth
Bring us out the mouldy cheese and some of the Christmas lot
God bless you happy, etc.

Well quite. Etc. indeed. A Happy New Year to all our esteemed readers and visitors, and as Tiny Tim never ceases to observe around this time of year, ‘God Bless us every one’. May our cheese be mouldy and our Christmas lot ever to hand.


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *