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A Soalin' by Peter, Paul and Mary


Please good mistress a soal cake

"A Soalin" has become a Christmas favorite. Released in 1963, it has stood the test of time and is as popular today as it was way back then. Peter, Paul and Mary's music spans decades and it still touching new listener's today. Being one of the fortunate one to have seen them in concert, they never disappointed. It is my music and they are my favorite group. I bought their first album in 1962 and still play it on the phonograph.

"A Soalin" is always part of our Christmas.

A Soalin' - by Peter, Paul and Mary

Recorded in the early 60's, Peter. Paul and Mary are the masters at this song.

A Soalin' Lyrics

A'soalin by Paul Stookey, Tracy Batteast, Elena Mezzetti

Hey ho, nobody home, meat nor drink nor money have I none

Yet shall we be merry, Hey ho, nobody home.

Hey ho, nobody home, Meat nor drink nor money have I none

Yet shall we be merry, Hey ho, nobody home.

Hey Ho, nobody home.


Soal, a soal, a soal cake, please good missus a soal cake.

An apple, a pear, a plum, a cherry,

Any good thing to make us all merry,

One for Peter, two for Paul, three for Him who made us all.

God bless the master of this house, and the mistress also

And all the little children who round your table grow.

The cattle in your stable and the dog by your front door

And all that dwell within this house we wish you ten times more.


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Go down into the cellar and see what you can find

If the barrels are not empty we hope you will be kind

We hope you will be kind with your apple and strawber'

For we'll come no more a 'soalin' till this time next year.


The streets are very dirty, my shoes are very thin.

I have a little pocket to put a penny in.

If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do.

If you haven't got a ha' penny well God bless you.


A Soalin' released on this album in 1963

A little history and the sheet music to "A Soalin'"

Soal Cakes were for All-Hallows Eve and meant for the departed. In "A-Soalin" different traditions are combined to create this piece.

  • History and sheet music
    Ever wonder how songs are created? Here is a little history of the creation of A Soalin' and the sheet music for it. This is apparently not the easiest song to play on the guitar.
  • Soal Cake Recipe
    Soul Cakes are an echo of the sacrificial foods of the Celtic festival of Samhain held in early autumn. These little cakes were traditionally set out with glasses of wine on All Hallows Eve (31st October) for the souls of the dead. On All Saints Day

Read the full story in the link above


Holiday Celebration - by Peter, Paul and Mary

This is a great collection of holiday music by Peter, Paul and Mary. It is not just a Christmas album, it includes secular music like "We Wish You A Merry Christmas". Religious music is represented by "O Come, O Come Emmanuel", There is the Jewish Song "Hayo, Haya", Children enjoy the "The Friendly Beasts" and "Twas the Night Before Christmas" is set to music. Of course it also included "A Soalin'".

Light one Candle - Peter, Paul and Mary

Peter Paul and Mary favorites - Never get tired of this one.

If I had my way

A tribute to Mary Travers - November 9, 1936 - September 16, 2009

We lost Mary Travers in September 2010, when she lost her long bout with leukemia. She was 72 years old.

For those of us who found Peter, Paul and Mary in the early 60's it has been a lifelong love affair with the group and their music. A Soalin' is a Christmas favorite and a fitting tribute to Mary Travers.

Peter, Paul and Mary's reach spanned 50 years.

Comments welcomed

anonymous on December 02, 2012:

I was dad and uncles played guitars and sang all the time,,,,,we lived in boston....I was learning it all....our family would sing every august in front of the bon fires on the beach in front of our summer beach house....I have twenty seven first cousins just on my dad's can imagine the sing-a-longs!!....I learned harmony from this song and many other peter paul and mary hear them again ?....suddenly I am ten yeas old....and I can hear my mom's part ....and just like mary she would sing beautifully....thanks for the memories and the music....I sing harmony to everything I listen to now and hear ALL PARTS because of you!

anonymous on November 08, 2012:

I learned this song as my first song ( A'Soulin') on a guitar some 30 years ago. I didn't have any music, just was passed to me by playing it. Today I just found out what the name and who did this song! WOW, I taught my sons this song also, the same way I learned, by ear.

PaigSr from State of Confusion on September 07, 2012:

Thanks for music. I remember most of these songs.

Char Milbrett from Minnesota on December 28, 2011:

My sister, who was 9 years older than me, had a lot of Peter, Paul and Mary albums. My sister has also passed away and I still remember listening to her albums with her. I love Peter, Paul and Mary for the memories!

Gayle from McLaughlin on June 25, 2011:

Peter, Paul and Mary are my favorite group from my college years. I hadn't heard of this Christmas song, but just a line from one of their songs takes me back.

KonaGirl from New York on December 24, 2010:

This is at the top of my list for my many favorite PP&M songs! This is quite appropo for Christmas eve! Mary is so missed since her passing; thank you for the keeping the memories alive.

Dianne Loomos on December 07, 2010:

LOVE this song! My husband has a lot of Peter Paul and Mary music and plays it often, including this song.

boutiqueshops on November 23, 2010:

Sooo cool! Thanks so much for this sweet memory ~ I love it!

Virginia Allain from Central Florida on November 20, 2010:

I always liked this song, but didn't know the name of it. Thanks.

That reminds me that I keep meaning to make a lens about Roger Whittaker's music.

Sheilamarie from British Columbia on November 18, 2010:

I always loved them, too!

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