Líon iontrálacha sa taifead staire: 1
ball sinsearach (stair)
On St Stephen's Day all, or nearly all the boys and some of the men, aye, and some of the girls, too, go round with the Wren. But, nowadays, it's very few of them have a wren at all. Most of them have musical instruments such as, mouth-organs, melodeons, fiddles and accordions. They play all the latest songs and dance all the new steps, at the house-doors. Sometimes, they go inside altogether and have a real good carouse on the clay floor often dragging out the old man and woman of the house and forcing them to dance. Some people make them welcome and invite them to have tea but many a crusty old dame often hid behind the door with a pail of dirty suds and gave it to them in the faces as soon as they appeared at the door or the gate. People don't always have money to spare to give to them and of course they always expect something. Long ago, a penny or two-pence would have pleased them immensly but now they think nothing of such a trifle. Of course beer, tobacco, and cigarettes have gone up in price and one cannot buy much for a fewe coppers.
Their costumes are very amusing. Men wear women's apparel and the girls wear men's and some fo them blacken their faces with soot and wear whiskers. Last year one fellow came dressed up like the Devil. He had a most terrifying pair of horns and a tail and on a card stuck on his back was painted "Old Nick". Others make themselves appear like Red Indians and wear a head-dress of feathers.
One seldom hears the old "Wren-song" sung nowadays; some of the latest snatches from Hollywood are far more popular.