Photo credit from wikipedia.org.
Soul cakes are small, round cakes that are made for All Saints Day (Nov. 1st also known as Hallowmas) or All Souls’ Day (Nov. 2nd). These little cakes were given out to ‘Soulers’ or people, typically children and beggers, who would go from door to door on Hallowmas singing and saying prayers for the dead. Each soul cake eaten represented a soul released from purgatory.
This practice is seen as a predecessor of the modern day trick-or-treating, and the cakes were filled with allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon, and other spices while adding raisins or currants in before the baking. Also placed on the top of these cakes were the symbol of the cross.
Songs sung by children/beggers were similar to the song ‘A Soalin’ that was written and preformed by Peter, Paul, and Mary in 1963. In more recent years, rock musician Sting created his own adaptation of the original 1963 version for his album “If On a Winter’s Night.”
The song lyrics:
Lyrics copyright belongs to Sting and any of his associates. No money is made off this post.
Soul, Soul, a soul cake!I pray thee, good missus, a soul cake!One for Peter, two for Paul,three for Him what made us all!Soul Cake, soul cake, please good missus, a soul cake.An apple, a pear, a plum, or a cherry, any good thing to make us all merry.One for Peter, two for Paul, & three for Him who made us all.