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Celtic myth had it that the robin that was suppose to represent the New Year killed the wren which represented the Old Year during this time. Originally, groups of small boys would hunt for a wren, and then chase the bird until they either have caught it or it has died from exhaustion. The dead bird was tied to the top of a pole or holly bush, which was decorated with ribbons or colored paper.

Early in the morning of St. The wren, the wren, the king of all birds, St. As I was going to Killenaule, I met a wren upon the wall. Up with me wattle and knocked him down, And brought him in to Carrick Town.

Tis in the bush that I love best In the tree, the holly tree, Where all the boys do follow me. Up with the kettle and down with the pan, And give us a penny to bury the wren. I followed the wren three miles or more, Three miles or more three miles or more.

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I have a little box under me arm, Under me arm under me arm. I have a little box under me arm, A penny or tuppence would do it no harm. Where exactly this whole wren murdering business came from is somewhat unclear, but there are a few stories :. One is that St.

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Stephen, hiding from his enemies in a bush, was betrayed by a chattering wren. The wren, like St. Stephen, should be hunted down and stoned to death. A wren began to eat breadcrumbs left on the head of a drum, and the rat-a-tat-tat of its beak woke the drummer, who sounded the alarm and woke the camp, leading to the defeat of the Irish soldiers and the continuing persecution of the wren. Today, no wrens are harmed in the name of Wren Day. In fact, the holiday is barely celebrated in a lot of places in Ireland. The town of Dingle has a whole parade though:. Be warned. Events Podcasts Apps.

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The Robin Stephen Moss. Wild Kingdom Stephen Moss. Wild Hares and Hummingbirds Stephen Moss. About the Author. Stephen Moss Stephen Moss is a naturalist, author and broadcaster. We enjoy the historic architecture, walking the neighborhood, the waterfront park, local coffee shops, and the small town feel! Response time: within an hour.

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