Down Ratcliffe Highway
Harvey, Henry [Wassail]
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'This old piece I also obtained of the late Wassail Harvey of Cricklade. He died recently in his ninetieth year. I was a long time securing any of his songs; he appeared to have forgotten them and was very infirm. Happening to look in upon him in his tiny cottage one wet night in mid winter, I found him possessed of a very severe cold, and gasping for breath. Thereupon I went to the inn, fetched a little rum and insisted upon his taking a glass hot immediately. The result was magical. After expressing gratitude he commenced to sing in a wonderfully deep tone of voice, that surprised me and quite startled his wife: she said he had not sung like it for fifty years. After that I saw the old man frequently till the time of his death, and we had many musical afternoons and evenings together. He was also possessed of much quaint lore and useful knowledge.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.