School: Caonach (roll number 14923)

Keenagh Beg, Co. Mayo
Bean Mhic Eachmharcaigh
The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0151, Page 261

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The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0151, Page 261

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  1. XML School: Caonach
  2. XML Page 261
  3. XML “Festival Customs”

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  1. On St. Stephen's night a crowd of school-children and some grown-up boys and girls go about from house to house collecting money to bury the wren. They dress in disguise and cover their faces or paint them; they appoint a leader who carries the wren and a money-box and other members of the band carry musical instruments, as melodeons, mouth organs, and perhaps a drum.
    When they arrive at each house they say the wren-song:-
    "The wren, the wren, the king of all birds
    St Stephen's Day was caught in the furze.
    Up with the kettle and down with the pan
    Give us our answer and let us be gone."
    Sometimes three or four members of the band come in and dance some steps of an Irish dance, reel or hornpipe, or if there are girls in the house they take them out and dance an Irish set or lancers.
    (continues on next page)
    Transcribed by a member of our volunteer transcription project.
    1. events
      1. events (by time of year) (~11,476)
    M. Nic Eachmharcaigh