Folk .Wales

Gower Souling Song



Souly, Souly, Christendom,

Every good lady give me some.

Give me some or give me none,

Give me an answer and I'll be gone.

If tha' hasn't got a penny,

A ha'penny will do;

If tha' hasn't got a ha'penny

God bless you.



Eric Gibbs, Horatio Tucker and George Tucker all agree on the words of this rhyme (except that Eric has 'neighbour' instead of 'lady' in the second line). George Tucker, from Horton, pronounced the initial 'S' like a 'Z'. All agree, too, that it was performed on the Old All Souls Day, November 12 (the date which would have been November 1 before the alteration of the calendar in 1752, an event which did not find favour in many parts of Wales). Housewives baked Souly Cakes for the visitors while farmers prepared small bags of wheat for them. The custom lingered in Porteynon until World War I, by which time the gifts had long been replaced by money.


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