Today’s song is “A’ Soalin” by Peter, Paul & Mary. The song comes from the tradition of begging for soul cakes door to door on All Hallows’ Eve and All Saints Day. Each cake eaten represented a soul being freed from Purgatory on or All Souls Day (now observed on Nov. 2). “Soalin” is considered the origin of trick-or-treating. I wish I had known that the more candy I got, the more souls out of Purgatory. I could have used that as a bargaining point with my mom to go longer.
But how come we’re talking about Halloween for a Christmas song? Well, as noted in an unusually astute YouTube comment, “the song has parts of The Wassail Song, Christmas is Coming (The Goose is Getting Fat) and God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen.” Hope you love it!