Extortion, house fires and the original lyrics to a Christmas classic

With all the controversy surrounding Baby, It’s Cold Outside, it’s easy to forget that it wasn’t the first song targeted by those wishing to make the world a better place by erasing a past they refused to acknowledge.

Written in 1935, We Wish You a Merry Christmas celebrated the tradition of Christmas Mummers who would carol for the wealthy with the hopes of receiving a figgy pudding in exchange. This sounds disgusting but it was really much like the modern Christmas Pudding, so it really was disgusting.

While the original lyrics were much truer to the actual mummer tradition, the world moved on and people began to claim they actually felt threatened when groups sang the original tune at their door. They took it upon themselves to write new lyrics for the song.

The mummers were naturally hurt by this and sought help from the Ministry of Raisins, Prunes and Other Dried Shit to help stem the controversy. They fought the proposed changes for years but finally capitulated in order to retain their way of life. The compromised lyrics are what we know today with good tidings and all. Below is the song as it was originally written.

We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas,

We wish you a merry Christmas

And a happy New Year.

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,

And bring it right here.

We won’t go till we get some,

We won’t go till we get some,

We won’t go till we get some,

So bring it right here.

I don’t think we’re getting through here,

I don’t think we’re getting through here,

I don’t think we’re getting through here,

So let us be clear.

We’ll burn the bloody house down,

Oh, we’ll burn the bloody house down,

We’ll burn the bloody house down,

With your family inside.

It’s no use to call the bobbies,

It’s no use to call the bobbies,

It’s no use to call the bobbies,

We’ve cut all the lines.

Now make with the figgy pudding

Oh, make with the figgy pudding,

Make with the bloody pudding,

And you’ll get out alive.

Author. Father. Dog owner. I stare at the wall a lot. More about me here: benjaminwallacebooks.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store