Digital Tradition Mirror

Hunting of the Wren

Hunting of the Wren

     Will ze go to the wood? quo' Fozie Mozie;
     Will ze go to the wood? quo' Johnie Rednozie;
     Will ze go to the wood? quo' Foslin 'ene;
     Will ye go to the wood? quo' brither and kin.


     What to do there?

     To slay the Wren.

     What way will ze get her hame?

     We'll hyre carts and horse.

     What way will we get her in?

     We'll drive down the door-cheeks.

     I'll hae a wing, quo' Fozie Mozie:
     I'll hae another, quo' Johnie Rednozie:
     I'll hae a leg, quo' Foslin 'ene:
     And I'll hae anither, quo' brither and kin.

     Herd 1776, II.210; whence Chambers PRS (1870), 37, and
     Montgomerie SNR (1946), 22 (no. 10).  Cf. ODNR 367 (no. 447),
     ref. to Peter Buchan's MS. in British Museum (Adds.
     29408): "Where are ye gain? quoth Hose to Mose/ Johnny
     Rednose/ bretheren three/ To shoot the wren, quo' Wise
     Willie" (3 st.).
     Gosset, Lullabies of Four Nations (1915), 119; [titled
     "The Brethren Three"; begins "`We'll aff tae the wids,'
     says Tosie Mosie." -other names are Johnie Red Hosie,
     Wise Willie, and line 4 ends "say the brethren three".]
     Contributed to Old-Lore Miscellany of the Viking Society
     (Orkney), 1908, by John Frith; he heard it used as a
     lullaby.  The tune was the first strain of The Campbells
     are Coming.  Date, "sixty years ago", i.e. c. 1848.
On the Wren Hunt see, e.g. E.A. Armstrong, The Folklore of
Birds (1958), 148 ff.; Alisoun Gardner-Medwin, "The Wren Hunt
Song", Folk-Lore 81 (1970), 215-8.


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