School: Saints Peter & Paul, Balbriggan

Location:
Balbriggan, Co. Dublin
Teacher:
Bean Uí Chorcoráin

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Festival Customs

Archival Reference

The Schools’ Collection, Volume 0783, Page 449

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449
Festival custom's 4:6:38

Maura Mc Keown, Hampston St., Balbriggan
Those facts were told to me by my mother Mrs. Mc Known, Hampton St. Balbriggan
Feasts are celebrated in a certain way each year in this district. On St Stephen's day the boys of this district gather in crowds. Every street has a certain crowd. Each crowd of boys go round with the wren. On the morning of St Stephen's Day the boys go out in the fields and catch a wren. If they cannot catch it, they get a little box and cover it with feathers. During the twelve days of Christmas each group of boys go from house to house collecting pennies. These are the words they sing:-
"The wren, the wren, the King of all Birds,
On St Stephens Day she was caught in the forge.
Though she was small her family was great.
Get up boys and give us a treat.
Up with he kettle and down with the pan,
A penny or two pence to bury the wren.
If you don't believe what I say,
Enter in John Butcher and we'll clear the way"
The next boy steps in and continues:-
"In steps me John Butcher with my knife and stick,
I cut a big cow from head to heel,

(continues on next page)
Collector
Maura Mc Keown
Gender
female
Address
Hampton Street, Co. Dublin
Informant
Mrs Mc Keown
Relation
parent
Gender
female
Address
Hampton Street, Co. Dublin
Language
English