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Lyr Req: The Wren in the Furze (Chieftains)

DigiTrad:
THE WREN
THE WREN SONG
THE WREN SONG (2)
WREN BOYS


Related threads:
Lyr Add: Breton Cradle Wren song (8)
Lyr Add: Orkney Cradle Wren Song (4)
Lyr Add: Welsh Wren Song (2)
Lyr Add: Pembrokeshire Wren Song (2)
Lyr Add: County Louth Wren Song (3)
Lyr Add: Cardiff wren song (5)
Lyr Add: Pembrokshire Wren Song (1)
Lyr Add: Found:The Original Wren Song! (s) (2)


wolfgang Hell 12 Nov 97 - 12:14 PM
cleod 14 Nov 97 - 09:05 AM
Wolfgang (Hell) 14 Nov 97 - 09:40 AM
cleod 15 Nov 97 - 04:34 AM
Will 15 Nov 97 - 09:49 PM
cleod 16 Nov 97 - 08:19 AM
Alan of Australia 16 Nov 97 - 09:48 AM
Alice 16 Nov 97 - 10:50 AM
Wolfgang 17 Nov 97 - 04:24 AM
cleod 17 Nov 97 - 05:10 AM
Susan-Marie 22 Nov 98 - 08:38 PM
Liam's Brother 23 Nov 98 - 01:07 PM
cleod 24 Nov 98 - 12:16 PM
Susan-Marie 25 Nov 98 - 07:42 AM
cleod 25 Nov 98 - 01:02 PM
Pete M 25 Nov 98 - 02:38 PM
Ewan McV 25 Nov 98 - 05:35 PM
cleod 29 Nov 98 - 10:55 AM
bigJ 29 Nov 98 - 03:35 PM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 29 Nov 98 - 07:36 PM
Liz the Squeak 09 Nov 99 - 04:37 AM
Liz the Squeak 09 Nov 99 - 05:01 AM
Sandy Paton 13 Nov 99 - 03:43 PM
Sandy Paton 13 Nov 99 - 04:34 PM
w. g. doody, Jr. 13 Nov 99 - 07:51 PM
Sandy Paton 13 Nov 99 - 08:58 PM
w.g.doody, Jr. 14 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM
w.g.doody, Jr. 14 Nov 99 - 12:38 AM
Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin 14 Nov 99 - 06:44 AM
Martin _Ryan 14 Nov 99 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Joy Hildebrand 17 Mar 02 - 08:46 PM
Artful Codger 21 Nov 09 - 09:10 AM
Desert Dancer 21 Nov 09 - 11:21 AM
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Subject: wren in the furze
From: wolfgang Hell
Date: 12 Nov 97 - 12:14 PM

On the Chieftains CD "Bells of Dublin" there's a song "The wren in the furze". The first verse is quite close to "The wren song" in the DT-database. The next three or four verses are extremely different. I do not understand them on the CD. Any help?

Wolfgang


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE WREN IN THE FURZE
From: cleod
Date: 14 Nov 97 - 09:05 AM

Well, I THINK these are the lyrics, I had to listen very hard and I really can't make out some of the words in the 3rd and 4th stanzas -- I hope this helps!

Thanks again for the lyrics to North Americay!

cleod

===============
THE WREN IN THE FURZE

The wren, oh the wren, he's the king of all birds
On St. Stephen'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 us a penny for to bury the wren?

(Lilting -- I can't begin to imagine what he's saying here!)

Well, 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 the chance
And we won't be coming back for another whole year

(Lilting)

We'll play Kerry polkas; they're real hot stuff
We play the May sensation and a pinch of snuff
? jig and the Donegal reel
Music made for the spring in your heel

(Lilting)

If there's a drink in the house, would it make itself known?
Before I sing a song called the Banks of the ? (Loam?)
I drink with lubrinacation in poured
Me poor dry throat and I 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 fistful of goose and a hot cup of tea
And then we'll all be going on our way

(Lilting)

The wren, oh the wren, he's the king of all birds
On St. Stephen'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 us a penny for to bury the wren?

(Lilting)

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 31-May-02.


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Wolfgang (Hell)
Date: 14 Nov 97 - 09:40 AM

Thanks so much, cleod. The fast singing was far beyond my abilities for listening. Meanwhile I have found in a discussion group a transcription of the third verse (but nothing else):

We'll play Kerry polkas; they're real hot stuff,
We'll play "The Mason's apron" and "A Pinch of Snuff".
John Morrone's jig and the Donegal reel,
Music made to put a spring in your heel.

Isn't "May sensation" a beautiful mondegreen for "Mason's apron"? I don't even dare thinking what I would have made especially out of verses 3 and 4. Thanks once more.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: cleod
Date: 15 Nov 97 - 04:34 AM

You're welcome, Wolfgang!

May sensation..I'llnever live it down! I only hope it's the right words I'm giving you!

cleod

*...may sensation...sheesh!...*


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Will
Date: 15 Nov 97 - 09:49 PM

Actually, cleod, as Wolfgang says, "May sensation" is a wonderful transliteration of "mason's apron". Does anyone anything about the reference to the "mason's apron" in the song? I assume it has something to do with the apron that members of the Freemason's Lodge use as part of their ceremonies (especially their sensatational ceremonies in May, of course).


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: cleod
Date: 16 Nov 97 - 08:19 AM

Argh!

^_^ cleod


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Subject: Tune Add: THE MASON'S APRON
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 16 Nov 97 - 09:48 AM

G'day,
Here's the May Sensation - a 32 bar reel (each half of the tune repeated to make up 32 bars).

Will,
I reckon you're right about the origins of the name, but maybe the tune now has a new name, the origins of which will confound future reseachers.

MIDI file: MASONS.MID

Timebase: 480

Name: Mason's Apron
TimeSig: 4/4 24 8
Key: A
Tempo: 160 (375000 microsec/crotchet)
Start
1440 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0478 0 73 064 0002 1 69 064 0478 0 69 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 66 064 0238 0 66 064 0002 1 64 064 0238 0 64 064 0002 1 66 064 0238 0 66 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 74 064 0478 0 74 064 0002 1 71 064 0478 0 71 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 80 064 0238 0 80 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0478 0 73 064 0002 1 69 064 0478 0 69 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 66 064 0238 0 66 064 0002 1 64 064 0238 0 64 064 0002 1 66 064 0238 0 66 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 81 064 0238 0 81 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 69 063 0478 0 69 063 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 80 064 0238 0 80 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 80 064 0238 0 80 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 69 064 0238 0 69 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 78 064 0238 0 78 064 0002 1 81 064 0238 0 81 064 0002 1 76 064 0238 0 76 064 0002 1 74 064 0238 0 74 064 0002 1 73 064 0238 0 73 064 0002 1 71 064 0238 0 71 064 0002 1 69 064 0478 0 69 064
End

To download the November 10 MIDItext 97 software and get instructions on how to use it click here

ABC format:

X:1
T:Mason's Apron
M:4/4
Q:1/4=160
K:A
ed|c2A2ABAF|EFABdcBA|d2B2BcBA|Bcdegfed|c2A2ABAF|
EFABdcBA|Bcdefefa|edcBA2ed|cAeAfAeA|cAeAfedc|
dBfBgBfB|dBfBgfed|cAeAfAeA|cAeAfedc|dcdefefa|
edcBA2||

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Alice
Date: 16 Nov 97 - 10:50 AM

Will, regarding a mason's apron... I am a fan of Thomas Hardy, and I am now reading "Under the Greenwood Tree, or the Mellstock Quire". Thomas Hardy's father was a stone mason, and besides being a writer, Thomas Hardy himself played the fiddle. In his 1896 preface he wrote about the meaning of the book..."This story of the Mellstock Quire and its old established west-gallery musicians, with some supplementary descriptions of similar officials in "Two on a Tower", "A Few Crusted Characters", and other places, is intended to be a fairly true picture, at first hand, of the personages, ways, and customs which were common among such orchestral bodies in the villages of fifty or sixty years ago."
"One is inclined to regret the diplacement of these ecclesiastical bandsmen by an isolated organist (often at first a barrel organist) or harmonium player; and despite certain advantages in point of control and accomplishment which were, no doubt secured by installing the single artist, the change has tended to stultify the professed aims of the clergy, its direct result being to curtail and extinguish the interest of parishioners in church doings. Under the old plan, from half a dozen to ten full-grown players, in addition to the numerous more or less grown-up singers, were officially occupied with the Sunday routine, and concerned in trying their best to make an artistic outcome of the combined musical taste of the congregation. With a musical executive limited, as it mostly is limited now, to the parson's wife or daughter and the school-children, or to the school-teacher and the children, an important union of interests has disappeared."
In the first chapters he introduces the characters that make up the quire, or band of church musicians, and the members of the group assembled at the house where they have met to practice. The maternal Grandfather of the family is a stone mason, and he describes him..."Being by trade a mason, he wore a long linen apron reaching almost to his toes, corduroy breeches and gaiters, which together with his boots, graduated in tints with whitish-brown by constant friction against lime and stone."
And so Will, to answer your question, the long mason's apron protected the worker's clothes from mortar and lime and rough abrasions from the stones.
Alice in Montana


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Wolfgang
Date: 17 Nov 97 - 04:24 AM

cleod, you did a beautiful job on that fast singing. Even with your transcription in hand it was a difficult listening. But I have one idea for verse 4 (after listening for twenty odd times): They might be singing "banks of the loan" mockingly alluding to the double meaning of the word "bank".

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: cleod
Date: 17 Nov 97 - 05:10 AM

Thanks Wolfgang! As for Banks of the Loam? Loan? it's anyone's guess what the last letter is! Unless there's a river or stream in Ireland that fits the sound of it?

However, I'm not sure about the 4th stanza myself...is it really 'lubrinacation'?

Slan leat! cleod


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 22 Nov 98 - 08:38 PM

I'd like to have a band I sometimes sing with learn this for a Christmas party. Does anyone know if the tune the Chieftains use is a commonly-know one, or could someone put it in a midi for me?? Many, many thanks!!


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 23 Nov 98 - 01:07 PM

Hi!

The Mason's Apron is a great Irish reel. Many years ago, the fiddler, Sean Maguire, played this so masterfully as to set the performance standard for the tune.

"Going out on the wren" is a mumming tradition in the Southwest of Ireland. Originally, a wren was caught and killed and then the neighborhood boys and girls went from door-to-door with entertainment taking up a collection for the wren's funeral. Because this is a real folk song, there is no one exact set of words.

My mother and siblings have told me they were avid wren boys and girls in Co. Kerry. There is now a "Wren Boys Festival" every year in Listowel, Co. Kerry. It took place about a week ago. I spent last Wednesday night with the accordion player from the champion team. That has, of course, brought things to a commercial point but it is by far preferable to having the custom die out.

All the best, Dan Milner


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: cleod
Date: 24 Nov 98 - 12:16 PM

Bit of trivia -- Matt Molloy, the Chieftains' flautist, really does play The Mason's Apron in their cd, "An Irish Evening". I wonder if they play any of the other songs mentioned in The Wren in the Furze?

Sorry Susan, I haven't been able to find any pages that have midi files of the wren, but I'll keep looking!

cleod


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Susan-Marie
Date: 25 Nov 98 - 07:42 AM

Thanks cleod, I appreciate it. One of the band members says he knows a few wren songs, but none of them are what the Chieftains use for this song.


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: cleod
Date: 25 Nov 98 - 01:02 PM

G'day y'all!

Susan: I searched the DigiTrad Database itself for a midi of The Wren, but the link I followed was broken and I'm not so sure that was the right tune - the words seemed a bit off kilter too...you could take a looksee for yourself if you search for 'wren in the furze' or 'wren song'.

Sla/n cleod


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Pete M
Date: 25 Nov 98 - 02:38 PM

The tradition of hunting the wren is widespread in the British Isles, and appears to be related to the sacrifices to clebrate / appease the sun at midwinter. It is recorded as occuring in Pembrokeshire late in the nineteenth century. I would strongly suspect that verses three and four given above are creations of the Chieftans. Ceratinly no one involved in a wren hunt real or putative, would be likely to be playing jigs, reels etc.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Ewan McV
Date: 25 Nov 98 - 05:35 PM

A likely song to be sung would be The Banks of the Bann, a great favourite I think in the North of Ireland.

'On the banks of the Bann, it was where I first met her She appeared like some angel, or Egypt's fair queen'


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: cleod
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 10:55 AM

I'm not sure about "the Banks of the Bann" -- Kevin Conneff pronounces the first letter as 'L'.

cleod


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: bigJ
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 03:35 PM

For a splendid description of the Kerry Wren Boys in Ireland, look at the book The Bodhran Makers by John B. Keane, himself from Kerry. It also came out as a triple-cassette produced by RTE Radio.


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 07:36 PM

Hunting the Wren on St Stephen's Day is a tradition of the Isle of Man as well. The version as sung by Steeleye Span on their Live At Last album is, in fact, the Isle of Man set of words (or at least some of them) for the wren hunting. As you probably know, it's only the morning of St Stephen's Day that you should hunt the wren. Even into the late 19th century, there are reports of bands of lads going out and actually killing a wren on St Stephen's Day. These days, we have to admit to using either accidentals picked up and kept in deep freeze or something entirely bogus (shame, shame). But anyway, it's good sport going round, singing and dancing to the puddled, befuddled wrecks of folk coming round after the modern excesses of Christmas Day.

And if you're in the Isle of Man this Christmas, we'll be out on St Stephen's Day morning starting at the Woodbourne in Douglas about 10.00 am, finishing at noon, then out to St John's for the Christmas cammag match.

For those not into blood sports (which cammag - a Manx version of camogie/shinty/hurling sometimes becomes) there'll be a music/singing session in an adjacent hostelry.

Ta failt mooar erriu ooilley.

Bobby Bob


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 04:37 AM

Bobby Bob - you mean there is acutally a folk scene on the island? My husband and I spent a week there in June/July 1995 looking for music, and found nothing, not even in the pub that had it advertised outside!!! We got so bored, that our daughter was .... 'started' there!! We were very worried that she was going to have three legs and glow in the dark, because it was during one of the worst thunderstorms you'd had for decades - it started at about 9.00pm and was still rumbling around at 5.30 the next morniong!! The attendant at Peel Castle said he'd not had rain like it since he left Malaysia in 1946!

For other stories connected with the wren and the hunt have a look at the Lyr req. thread for 'The Chieftains, The Wren' which I saw first and submitted to.

LTS


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 09 Nov 99 - 05:01 AM

The lilting bit is scatting, written phonetically as:

Skiddly idly diddly idle, etc,

and the unknown river is probably the 'Banks of the Lough' (pronounced lock, with a soft k), which could be a tune, although not one I'm familiar with.

And Pete M -the playing the jigs and reels came after at the party, because there is no way on earth you can get an Irish person to keep quiet at a party!! It probably started as one person or minstrel singing about what a good day they'd had and what a wonderful thing they had done (just like a man, to blow his own trumpet....) and as more joined in, they probably went and got instruments and joined in. There are incidents of several religious and not so religious processions using drums and rattles to scare the evil demons and spirits out of the woods before they went in.

If anyone wants a more comical look at the hunting of wrens, I'd recommend a parodic poem/song by Les Barker, sung by Martin Carthy, album unknown, but probably Oranges and Lemmings, called Milder and Molder. Tongue firmly in cheek for that.....

LTS


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 03:43 PM

Refreshing this one as well, for a friend who expressed a particular interest in wren hunting songs and stories.


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 04:34 PM

If this posting shows up twice, it's because I'm still a cyber-klutz. Lost it the first time!

Bert Lloyd used to sing the "Milder to Maulder" (spelling??) version when we knew him in London in 1958. Lomax also collected a variant called "Billy Barlow" in Texas, in which the target of the hunt is a rat, not a wren. Sort of a "Derby Ram" spin off. Alan Lomax himself recorded it once, on his Texas Folksongs LP, I think. That's a fun record, by the way; find it, if you can.

Sandy (still learning)


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: w. g. doody, Jr.
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 07:51 PM

Hi Folks,

I pass on to you an alternate take from the mouth of one of my correspondents in Ireland. I am looking for the text of any wren carols or traditions that you may know of. I have" The King; Several versions of The Wren in the Furze; Hunting The Wren and The Cutty Wren. Any other tunes, lyrics or information on the tradition would be much appreciated. I am researching a book/article/possible CD.

I know very little about wrenning although I have been familiar with the tradition since early childhood. I have memories of people 'doing the wren' from door to door in Tipperary, where my parents come from and I am only twenty-one. In fact, my cousins and I used to do the wren when we were young children, although it was traditionally done by adult males, especially young men. Friends of mine who live in the midlands (and, indeed, several members of their extended family) still do the wren every year. This family, however, never sings songs which are intended specifically for Stephen's day. Instead, they play their traditional instruments and sing and dance. People here never talk about 'wrenning', rather they say 'doing the wren' and pronounce 'wren' as though it were spelled with an 'a' (wran).

My maternal grandmother, who is almost 77 years old, sings this version, which you may already know. I suspect that the second part of the first stanza may have been misremembered or learned incorrectly. Perhaps the word was 'great' rather than grey. 'Familiar' is almost certainly wrong since my grandmother has the most extraordinary way of saying the word! 'Treat', in this context, would be pronounced like 'trait', and 'yellow' would be pronounced 'yalla'. The word 'ayaddy' probably derives from the Irish expression 'a dhaidi', which would be a way of addressing 'Daddy', or, presumably, any older man. In Irish 'a' is put before a personal name and an 'h' is added to indicate that that individual is being addressed ('Maire' becomes 'a Mhaire'). The name of any town can replace 'Tipperary':

The wran, the wran the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's day got caught in the firs.
Although he was little and familiar grey,
Rise up ayaddy and give us a treat.

We followed this wran all day, all day,
Through mud, through mire, and yellow clay,
We up with our sticks and we knocked him down
And we brought him back to Tipperary Town.

This is the wran that you may see,
There's a scarlet scarf around his knee,
Up with the kettle and down with the pan
And give us a penny for singing the wran.

And if you're sick or if you're sore,
We'll bring the doctor to your door.
Knock at the knocker and ring at the bell
And give us a penny for singing so well.

The tune of the above carol is as follows: s. d. d. d. m. s'. m. d. / d. r.
r. r. d. t. l. s. / s. d. d. d. m. s'. m. d. / d. r. r. r. s. l. t. d.

My grandmother thought she could remember other verses, especially one which involved asking for cake (barm brack) if they could not have money, but she could not remember it exactly. Apparently it was the custom for the owners of stores to give away a free 'barm brack' (a traditional Irish fruity cake often associated with Halloween) with the Christmas shopping. My paternal grandmother hails from Co. Kilkenny and she only remembered that the wran boys used to sing the following:

The wran, the wran, the king of all birds,
On St. Stephen's day got caught in the firs,
Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
Give us your answer and let us be gone.


A friend of mine is convinced that the correct words for the end of this stanza are 'Give us a penny to bury the wren'!

wdoody@internetcds.com


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Sandy Paton
Date: 13 Nov 99 - 08:58 PM

Good show, Bill! Welcome to the Mudcat. Bill has a great bookshop in Grants Pass, Oregon, folks. You can look through his immense inventory at the ABE used book site. Just click on "stores" and go to "Yellow Pages Books." But please don't order anything until I get Bill's response to my latest order! I don't want him to come back saying, "Sorry, sold that one to another Mudcatter this evening!"

Sandy


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: w.g.doody, Jr.
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 12:02 AM

The Clancy Brothers & etc. mention the Billy Barlow Version in thier songbook which contains a version of the Mender to Melder tune.


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: w.g.doody, Jr.
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 12:38 AM

About the mason's Apron.

If you are sheet music readers... the link below takes you to a site with music for a number of traditional tunes and some other nice music links as well... the sheet music, and ABA forms are there along with a mediaplayer playable midi file.

http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/Info/RRTuneBk/RRtunes3/00/00000083.html

Cheers WGD


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Bobby Bob, Ellan Vannin
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 06:44 AM

The reference by W G Doody Jr to burying the wren fits in with the former tradition in the Isle of Man. After going round with the wren, it was then taken, amidst much mock lamentation and psalm singing and the like, and was at one time buried, with great ceremony, in the church yard.

Another former custom in the south of the Isle of Man is not dissimilar, but comes on 6 December. This involved 'Catherine's Hen', which was carried round in funereal style, and finally buried with all due ceremony.

It was an occasion for drink, and someone who got the worse for wear was said to have plucked the hen's feather. There was a brief song as well:

Kiark Catreeney marroo, kiark Catreeney marroo!
Gow uss y chione, as goyms ny cassyn,
As vermayd ee fo'n thalloo!

Catherine's hen is dead x 2
You take the head, and I'll take the feet,
And we'll put her under the ground.

Shoh slaynt,

Bobby Bob


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 14 Nov 99 - 08:01 AM

Getting back to an earlier mention in this thread: the "Laune" ("au" pronounced roughly as "ow" in "how"!) is a river in Kerry. May be the explanation - though I don't know of a song of that name.

Regards


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: GUEST,Joy Hildebrand
Date: 17 Mar 02 - 08:46 PM

Re connections between The Cutty Wren and Billy Barlow [ie.Texas rat-hunting Billy] Comic song writer, Sam Cowell[1840s] performed in America as the character Billy Barlow, He specialized in parodies of older songs and legends. One of his most famous songs was The Rat Catcher's Daughter. Any comments?? Joy


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Artful Codger
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 09:10 AM

Not sure whether this information applies equally well to Kevin Conneff's version, but...

From liner notes for An Irish Christmas: Songs and Music from West Cork:

13. The Wren in the Furze
Another song, perhaps the most known, for "going on the wren", Don sings the song with the tune version, "The Bird in the Bush" interspersed with the lyrics. We're not sure which came first, the reel or the song, but they are at least named for the same phenomenon!


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Subject: RE: wren in the furze
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 21 Nov 09 - 11:21 AM

The other thread on this song that Liz the Squeak referred to back in Nov. 1999: click


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