Jeannie Hutchison                       SA1972.101.22

Sung in Whalsay as a dandling song, the second verse – here recited by Jeannie – 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.  For a sung version used as a dandling song see Warm dee weel sung by William Hutchison of Creadieknowe.
See also Roud index no. 236.

What do we do with Dozie Mozie
What will we do with General Hosie
What will we do with Brethren Three
We’ll lock em up… a byre, says Wild Willie
                   “Is it Wild Willie?”

PC  “That all you learned?”
“That’s the only thing that I know.”
PC  “Was there any tune to it?”
“No tune.”