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We Wish You a Merry Christmas
"We Wish You a Merry Christmas" is an English carol from the West Country of England. The Bristol-based composer, conductor and organist Arthur Warrellis responsible for the popularity of the carol. Warrell arranged the tune for his own University of Bristol Madrigal Singers, and performed it with them in concert on December 6, 1935. That same year, his elaborate four-part arrangement was published by Oxford University Press, under the title "A Merry Christmas: West Country traditional song". The earlier history of the carol is unclear.
Warrell's arrangement is notable for using "I" instead of "we" in the words; the first line is "I wish you a Merry Christmas". It was subsequently republished in the collection Carols for Choirs (1961), and remains widely performed.
It was sung by "mummers" – i.e. children who would go about singing from door to door to request gifts. An example is given in the short story The Christmas Mummers (1858) by Charlotte Yonge:
When at last they were all ready, off they marched, with all the little boys and girls running behind them; and went straight to Farmer Buller’s door, where they knew they should ﬁnd a welcome. They all stood in a row, and began to sing as loud as they were able:
I wish you a merry Christmas
After they are allowed in and perform a Mummers play, the boys are served beer by the farmer's maid.
Medieval cooking commonly employed figs, in both sweet and savory dishes. One such dish is fygey, in the 14th century cookbook The Forme of Cury, which in Modern English is "figgy", this dish being known as figgy pudding or fig pudding.