The Wren

'The wren boys come the day after Christmas day and they play music and sing songs. And they have a wren in a box and if you don’t give them some pennies to bury the wren, they say they’ll bury the wren outside, and you’re supposed to have not any luck till St. Stephen’s day again.’

The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
St Stephen’s day was caught in the furze
Saying, up with the kettle and down with the pan
And give us some money to bury the wren.


Notes from Hugh Shields

Margaret Reilly, Cavan, 1965. Pan rhymes with wren (“wran” ).. See Opie and Opie’s The lore and language of schoolchildren (1967:288–289). Roud 19109.