The "Wren Boys" of this parish (Kilshannig, Barony Duhallow, Co. Cork) over fifty years ago, when I was a boy, had a different method of collecting money on Saint Stephen's Day from what the boys of the present day have.
Early in the morning, the boys who had hunted the wren the previous day met at an appointed place. One of them, usually the biggest, carried a holly bush on which the wren was tied.
They went from house to house and sang "The Wren Song" at each door. They wore no disguise as boys do now and were very seldom sent away from any house without getting a sum varying from three or four pence to a half crown.
One of the boys was appointed to act as treasure, but some of his companions generally kept an account of the money he received. They scarcely ever went outside their own district and the boys of the next village scarcely ever came into theirs.
In the evening the money was counted and evenly divided. As the company
- T. Coleman