William Hutchison (Creadieknowe) SA1971.217.8
Sung in Whalsay as a dandling song, the second verse of this fascinating fragment has connections with the old tradition known as The Hunting of the Wren. This ritual took place annually in some Celtic regions of Europe, mostly on St Stephen’s day in the British Isles. The earliest Scottish version of the wren song was published in David Herd’s Scots Songs (Vol. 2, 1776, p. 210) where it begins “Will ye go to the wood? quo’ Fozie Mozie” . A version of the Wren Song, collected by Orcadian John Firth is published as a lullaby in Adelaide Gosset’s Lullabies of the Four Nations (London, 1915, p. 119) and there the brethren three are called Tosie Mosie, Johnie Red Hosie and Wise Willie.
Roud no. 236.
Warm dee well come paddicatoo
Naebody in but I and du.
When th’auld man comes hame fae the pyoch
Du’ll be warm’d de weel enyoch.
Warm dee well come Tozie-Mozie,
Warm dee well come General Ozie,
Warm dee well come Bretheren Three,
Warm dee well come Wild Wullie.
Jeannie Hutchison recites part of a second verse which is more like some of the Wren songs known elsewhere once in the British Isles (see “What do we do with Dozie Mozie”).
Pyoch is a term for either a plough or a fishing net – perhaps someone in Whalsay can suggest which is correct in this context.
Jean irvine SA1971.217.2
Here Jean gives her version of this chant which she said was used for exercising a baby’s legs while on the lap.