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Peter Paul and Mary A Soalin

Peter Paul and Mary A' Soalin'

Some very beautiful Sixties Christmas music comes from traditional folk tunes, and Peter Paul and Mary do a beautiful job of combining several in “A Soalin’.” In 1963 Peter, Paul and Mary recorded their version of the song titled “A’ Soalin.” Their arrangement included all the original verses to the folk song “A’ Soalin'” as well as the traditional Christmas tunes “Hey, Ho, Nobody Home” and “God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen.”

A soul-cake is a small round spice cake made for Halloween, All Saints Day, All Souls Day, and Christmas. The cakes were given out to British “soulers,” generally the very poor, who went from door to door begging for the cakes. The practice was called “souling” and the cakes were given in exchange for the beggar’s promise to pray for the souls of the giver’s departed loved ones. Souling began in England during the middle ages and continued there until the 1930s.

Peter, Paul and Mary were folk songwriter Peter Yarrow, (Noel) Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers. Manager Albert Grossman created the group in 1961 through an open-call audition. They recorded their debut album Peter Paul and Mary the following year. The album was listed in the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 for 10 months, including seven weeks in the # 1 position. It eventually sold more than two million copies, earning double platinum status.

Here are the lyrics to “A Soalin'” by Peter Paul and Mary:

“Hey ho, nobody home, meat nor drink nor money have I none
Yet shall we be merry, Hey ho, nobody home.
Hey ho, nobody home, Meat nor drink nor money have I none
Yet shall we be merry, Hey ho, nobody home.
Hey Ho, nobody home.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

God bless the master of this house, and the mistress also
And all the little children that round your table grow.
The cattle in your stable and the dog by your front door
And all that dwell within your gates
We wish you ten times more.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

Go down into the cellar and see what you can find
If the barrels are not empty we hope you will be kind
We hope you will be kind with your apple and strawber’
For we’ll come no more a ‘soalin’ till this time next year.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

The streets are very dirty, my shoes are very thin.
I have a little pocket to put a penny in.
If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’ penny will do.
If you haven’t got a ha’ penny then God bless you.

Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soul cake.
An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,
Any good thing to make us all merry,
One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace..
This holy tide of Christmas of beauty and of grace,
Oh tidings of comfort and joy.”

If you are interested in reading about and listening to another song by Peter Paul and Mary, please click here for “Leaving on Jet Plane.”

Check Out The Groove Pad for More 1960s Music

The Pass the Paisley Groove Pad is a resting stop, a place to chill out and listen to the featured song on the stereo. If the mood strikes you, click on the juke box to access and listen to the 50+ free online songs there. The TV has several channels, with selections updated twice a week. Every now and then, Pass the Paisley hosts an all-request of 1960s and 1970s songs for a Be-In at the juke box in the Groove Pad. Keep on truckin’. Hope you enjoyed “A’ Soalin'” by Peter, Paul and Mary.

 

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