Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Lyr Req: Wren in the Furze (from The Chieftains)

Related threads:
Obit: Derek Bell (1935-2002) (74)
Lyr Req: Salt (The Chieftains) (20)
Lyr/Chords Req: two gaelic song by Chieftains (22)
Lyr Req: Guadalupe (from The Chieftains) (16)
Obit: Martin Fay of the Chieftains RIP Nov 2012 (8)
Chieftains' new album disappointing (25)
Derek Bell - did he leave papers? (4)
Chieftains on NPRadio Irish/C&W music (4)
Help: the 'lost' Chieftains album (12)
Lyr Add: I Know My Love (from The Chieftains) (8)
Lyr Req: Changing Your Demeanour (The Chieftains) (21)
Tune Req: The Fiddling Ladies (Chieftains) (11)
Happy! - Oct 21 (Derek Bell) (2)
Lyr Req: An Saighdiúir Treigthe / Deserted Soldier (8)
New Chieftains CD & A New Book (3)
Chieftains on Emeril Live (7)
Derek Bell radio remembrance interview (2)
Help: The Chieftains collaboration album (3)
Chieftains in Seattle Saturday (4)
N. MacMaster and Chieftains tonight! (5)
Chieftains on cable (34)
Chieftains Article (6)
Chieftains in Bakersfield (2)
Lyr Req: Bells of Dublin (Chieftains) (10)
Lyr Req: Cunla (from The Chieftains) (13)
Lyr Req: songs from 'Tears of Stone' (Chieftains) (2)
Marie's Wedding - Van Morr/Chieftains version (1)
Chieftains and Bodhran (17)


Howard.Skeffington@eds.com 08 Nov 99 - 05:00 PM
08 Nov 99 - 06:01 PM
Liz the Squeak 08 Nov 99 - 06:50 PM
Alice 08 Nov 99 - 08:11 PM
Alice 08 Nov 99 - 08:17 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Nov 99 - 03:57 AM
Liz the Squeak 09 Nov 99 - 04:44 AM
mettes@concordia-ny.edu 09 Nov 99 - 07:30 PM
M 10 Nov 99 - 01:42 PM
William Doody 13 Nov 99 - 07:37 PM
Wolfgang 14 Nov 99 - 07:51 AM
Bruce O. 15 Nov 99 - 12:51 PM
Bruce O. 15 Nov 99 - 02:05 PM
15 Nov 99 - 02:15 PM
Bruce O. 15 Nov 99 - 02:23 PM
Howard 22 Nov 99 - 05:54 PM
Liz the Squeak 23 Nov 99 - 04:28 AM
Desert Dancer 21 Nov 09 - 11:22 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: Lyr Req: The Wren (from The Chieftains
From: Howard.Skeffington@eds.com
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 05:00 PM

Has anyone worked out the lyrics to the Chieftain's version of The Wren (The Bells of Dublin CD)? It varies from other verions I have, but I can't make out all the words.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From:
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 06:01 PM

DT only has traditional versions of this traditional song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 06:50 PM

I know some of it goes skiddly iddly idle didle skiddly idley do, but I'm buggered if I can work out the rest of it!!

You might find something if you look under 'The King of all Birds'.

Some silly people may think that the eagle is the king of birds, but this is not so. The birds had a competition to see who would be king, so they all flew as high as they could. Soon, many of the birds had fallen, exhausted to the ground, not so the hawk, the owl and the eagle. After many hundreds of feet, only the owl and the eagle were left. The owl decided to give up whilst he still had strength to make a safe landing. The eagle soared higher and higher, shouting all the time, 'I'm king, I'm king!!'. But unknown to the eagle, the wren had been sitting on his back, and as the eagle got as high as he could go, the little wren took off. He flew even higher than the eagle, proving that although he was not stronger, he was cleverer, and so was made king. This is why the eagle is always trying to go that little bit further, and why the wren has to hide in the hedgerows, to keep away from the eagle's anger.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Alice
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 08:11 PM

We had a thread on this about Christmas time (I think last year). I'll check and see if I traced it or if I can search the forum and find it. -alice


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Alice
Date: 08 Nov 99 - 08:17 PM

Here is a link to the Chieftain version of the wren song, as well as a thread creep into Mason's Apron and more. The lilting is whatever you want to create yourself. click here

alice flynn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 03:57 AM

And why are wrens hunted on Boxing day, also known as St Stephens' day?

Well, it was because of its habit of hiding in bushes to escape the gaze of the eagle. A wren was hiding in a bush,when it was startled by a young man, who also wanted to hide there. The wren flew up, screaming and alerted the hunters to the presence of the young man, who was then dragged out and stoned to death. Watching in the crowd, and holding the cloaks of the assailants, was a zealot called Saul, and the name of the young man being stoned was Stephen, the first martyr to the Christian faith. Because the wren had betrayed Stephen to the zealots, it was considered an unlucky bird, and so was hunted, in some areas, almost to extinction.

This is only one version of the story and a prime example of Christians taking a Pagan tale and filing the serial numbers off because it was around long before the introduction of Christianity, and the Roman occupation of Britain.

The wren has also been seen as one of the forms the Goddess can take, another reason she was hunted and 'converted' by the Christians.

Oh, about the lyrics - the tape machine has just eaten my copy, so I will have to go and buy the CD now... sorry.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 04:44 AM

OK, so I haven't got the hang of this infernal machine yet....

For the words of the song, go see the thread 'the wren in the furze' and the "lilting" chorus is the skiddly idly diddly idle bit previously referred to.

You could also try the 'Boys of the Lough', whose version is even more unintelligible than the Chieftains, although the CD 'The Day Dawn' is equal in quality, excellent selection and a better Christmas muzak CD that those blasted Kings College Cambridge carols, that get up my nose every sodding year... rant rant rant!!!

Sorry, I have spent 26 years in a church choir, and get very bored with the 'First Noel' in 3 keys and at 6 services over Christmas. And now the shops are full of those f***ing singing Christmas trees and tree lights, all out of tune, all out of synch and all driving me batty!!!

Going for a lie down now...

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: WREN IN THE FURZE (from The Chieftains)
From: mettes@concordia-ny.edu
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 07:30 PM

THE WREN IN THE FURZE

The wren, oh, the wren, he's the king of all birds.
On St Steven's Day, he got caught in the furze,
So it's up with the kettle and it's down with the pan.
Won't you give me a penny for to bury the wren?
(Lilting)
Oh, it's Christmas time; that's why we're here.
Please be good enough to give us an ear,
For we'll sing and we'll dance if you give us a chance,
And we won't be comin' back for another whole year.
(Lilting)
We'll play Kerry polkas; they're real hot stuff.
We'll play The Mason's Apron and The Pinch of Snuff,
Jon Maroney's Jig and The Donegal Reel,
Music made to put a spring in your heel.
(Lilting)
If there's a drink in the house, may it make itself known,
Before I sing a song called The Banks of the Lowne,
And I'll drink with you with occasion in it,
For my poor dry throat and I'll sing like a linnet.
(Lilting)
Oh, please give us something for the little bird's wake,
A big lump of pudding or some Christmas cake,
A fist full o' goose and a hot cup o' tay (tea)
And then we'll soon be going on our way.
(Lilting)
(Repeat first verse and then lilt verse twice.)

^^
Feel free to email me with any other Chieftains questions. I'm a friend of theirs and play their music extensively as well as sing their songs. They'll be happy to hear some lyric questions.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: M
Date: 10 Nov 99 - 01:42 PM

mettes--thanks so much! Though I wasn't the original post, I had determined to learn this song for a local session 'round Christmas, deeming it easier to sing than "Foggy Dew." I was going to sit down and dutifully listen (over and over and over) to the tape to get the words, but you have spared me! Thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: William Doody
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 07:37 PM

The new mudcatting friend Sandy Referred to.

I am collecting information, traditions associated with and lyrics or music on wrenning.

Will trade freely. Cheers! Bill Doody


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Wolfgang
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 07:51 AM

You're at the right place, Bill, welcome.

Wolfgang


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Bruce O.
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 12:51 PM

The Chieftan's version is probably taken from Horncastle's 'Music of Ireland', p. 90, 1843, but I have not seen the text there. By far the earliest version is that in David Herd's MSS, c 1776, reprinted in Hecht's 'Songs from David Herd's MSS.' The next known version is also from Scotland, in Peter Buchan's MSS, c 1828, in BL. Next comes Horncastle's version (the first with a tune), and, finally, an English version was published in Mason's 'Nursery Rhymes and Country Songs (the term 'folk song' hadn't been invented yet), 1876. Next was a version in the Journal of the Welsh Folk Song Society, followed by three versions in JFSS in 1914. There are more versions in JFSS, through 1926. But it does not appear that any connection with St. Stephen's Day had been made by that date.

Where is any evidence that it was connected to St. Stephen's Day, or is this another instance of someone's bright idea getting passed around until it became yet another myth accepted as fact?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Bruce O.
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 02:05 PM

References to other early copys of the song are given in the Opie's ODNR, with note that many folklorists have connected the 'chant' to Christmas morning, and later to St. Stephen's Day. They note that Frazer in The Golden Bough suggested that it might be considered akin to a number of European comic songs about hunting a ridiculously small animal (like taylor and louse/ mouse). At any rate the connection to St. Stephens' Day appears to be rather late one. [In some of the European comic songs the bird is rather like a flying version of the Derby Ram, but this analogy should perhaps be made the other way around.]

In a medly of old song lines and parodies of old song lines in 'The Interlude of the Four Elements', 1519, we find the lines: "And cut him down a hollen club, He stroke the wren between the horns."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From:
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 02:15 PM

Extremely mischievious, this is a folk song and trasmitted by oral tradition, the version sung by the Chieftans came from there Bruce, not some book! The mischief of the overlords of Colonial Britain is your source of misinformation.

Finding a rhyme in some obscure Chinese book does not make the Rhyme Chinese.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Bruce O.
Date: 15 Nov 99 - 02:23 PM

I haven't the foggiest notion of what you're talking about as far as overlords goes. And what traditional singer did the Chieftain's version come from? You have not cited a single reference.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Howard
Date: 22 Nov 99 - 05:54 PM

Thanks, all, for the responses, especially "mettes@concordia-ny.edu". My son will be singing "The Wren" at a school Christmas concert in a couple weeks, and wanted to do it exactly like the Chieftains, complete with hummmms & bodhran (the rest of the family supplies the latter). Anyway, thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Chieftains version of The Wren
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 23 Nov 99 - 04:28 AM

For more on the history of wren hunting and how it became associated with St Stephen's day, try refreshing the thread 'the wren in the furze', where I posted some history stuff (origins obscure and too many to mention, although some of it was from the sleeve notes of the 'Boys of the Lough' cd, ' The Day Dawn'), pertaining to the tradition of St Stephen's day hunting in general and why the wren is the king of all birds.

LTS


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Wren in the Furze (from The Chieftains)
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 11:22 AM

Another thread that was up at the same time about the same song: click


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 16 August 2:57 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.