“Hey ho, nobody home . . . ?”
His sing-song question fell on no ears but hers,
deaf all others to its celebratory tones
the night of All Hallow’s Eve.
Tenor voice attuned to hearth,
lights in hands they enter
to find soul cakes laid on barrels,
beer and apples.
None heard him but her,
would never leave her
till her heart stopped, like his:
a toast before departing,
as midnight strikes.
“I will come and sing no more
’til this time next year.”
Soul cakes? A-souling? Unfamiliar with these terms are you, like I was? According to wikipedia, soul cakes are spicy shortbread-like biscuits given out to “soulers” who come round during the days of Allhallowtide singing and saying prayers, a’souling, in fact.
One traditional song, “A-Souling,” was made familiar to us by Peter, Paul, and Mary who sung it as a Christmas song, which for most parts of England it has become. The group Lothlorien sings it in the traditional mood of Allhallowtide.
Click here for the lyrics.