The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

The wren, the wren, the king of the birds.
On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze
Up with the kettle and up with the pan
Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Discuss.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

I seem to remember lines 3 & 4 as:

Although he was little his honour was great
Jump up, me lads, and give us a treat.

with this bit elsewhere and slightly different (in caps):

Up with the kettle and DOWN with the pan
AND A PENNY OR TUPPENCE to bury the wren…

(Amusing that great and treat (ends lines 1 & 2) are spelled similarly but only rhyme if you pronounce treat as trate!)

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

I can’t rhyme ‘wren’ and ‘pan’ without affecting a phony accent!

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

I can’t rhyme "wren" and "pan" even WITH a phony accent.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Well, according to that Wiki article I gave the link to yesterday in the Music for Christmas thread, it IS sometimes pronounced WRAN. Artistic licence if you like: there is a lot of humour/slapstick/comedy/gross over-acting in Mummers’ plays, and that includes bad rhymes!
I used to be in an all-female Mummers group in Edinburgh, doing our own version of the Galoshins play, and that did include some very "creative"/dubious rhymes to raise a laugh. We were more likely to be performing in summer or at Hallowe’en (Samhuinn) than midwinter, tho’ a line in the play says "it once marked Hogmanay".
Good luck on your wren hunts!

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

It would be a Cactus Wren where I live…

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Friday last week I saw this performed by Eileen Ivers and her band as

"Up with the kettle and down with the pan,
And give us a penny to bury the wren."

"Us" I would guess because it’s a story of a group of children.

…no attempt to rhyme "pan" with "wren"

"Up" with the kettle because kettles are heavy and would be stored low. "Down" with the pan because it can be stored on a high shelf or hung from the wall - and the apposition between the up-down phrases (bumpadee-bum-bum, bumpadee-bum) distracts from the lacking rhyme between "pan" and "wren."

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

And then there are all those songs that rhyme find, mind and wind.

And do we assume a Scottish accent to get away with the rhymes in Blake’s poem?

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,
In the forests of the night;
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

It’s not a Scottish accent in English you’re talking about but a move into Scots: e’e instead of eye. (Although I don’t usually agree with the use of " ’ " to represent missing letters because there is none missing. Think de’il for devil)

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Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

"I can’t rhyme ‘wren’ and ‘pan’ without affecting a phony accent!"

Spell it ‘wran’ and pronounce it as ritten. Problem solved.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Last year I found, on post-Christmas clearance at a supermarket, a statue of a crowned bird. It was very stiff, so it was surely dead. Later that week I found a little birdcage at a thrift shop. I adorned it with “ribbons so rare”, inserted the Wren King, and took it to a 12th night feast. Folks stuffed money (play money from games) into the cage while those who knew it sang:

Old Christmas is past, Twefth Night is the last,
So we bid you adieu, Great joy in the new.

Great joy in the new year to you all!

Re: The wren, the wren…

Ah ! well a-day ! what evil looks
Had I from old and young!
Instead of St. Stephen, the Wren
About my neck was hung.

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Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

We say that Blake is using an eye rhyme but it’s possible that Blake spoke like that. Pronunciation in Georgian times wasn’t the same as it is now. The Great Vowel Shift was still at work. I wonder if he used ‘Y’ for ‘Tiger’ because his ‘I’ was pronounced ‘ee’?

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

"I can’t rhyme ‘wren’ and ‘pan’ without affecting a phony accent!"

Try an Irish accent, it rhymes perfectly..

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Eye as ‘ee’ rhymes with symmetry in a lot of northern English accents and symmetry as ‘symmetreye’ rhymes with eye in parts of the English midlands. So either way it may not have been a big deal in Blake’s time. And so with wren and pan now.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Dick Gaughan said sing any song in your normal talking accent.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

‘Eye as ‘ee’ rhymes with symmetry in a lot of northern English accents and symmetry as ‘symmetreye’ rhymes with eye in parts of the English midlands. "

Not strictly true.

Some words with ‘-ight’ rhyme with ‘meet’ in some Northern English varieties; in others, they rhyme with ‘mate’. ‘Mite’ would never be proounced the same as ‘meet’. Words with ‘gh’ in the spelling ioriginally contained a uvular fricative (something like German/Dcots ‘ch’) - no longer part of English phonology - which explains why these words are treated differently in some regional varieties (they still contain the uvular fricative in Scots).

‘Symmetry’ does not rhyme with ‘eye’ in any English accent I am aware of. In some West Midlands varieties, the vowel in the final syllable might overlap phonetically with the ‘eye’ vowel in some other regional variety (although not in RP), but the ‘eye’ vowel in the same West Midlands accent would be different in quality (more like RP ‘oi’).

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

‘A kipper tie in Didd-leye’: a cup of tea in Dudley.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Oh, just enjoy it! Stop getting hung up on what makes a perfect rhyme, or if you have to have one, just change the pronunciation to make it rhyme (and gain an extra titter from your audience!) Also reminded of a French friend of ours who freaked out because not all lines in a certain song contained the same number of syllables! He had reckoned without the usual elisions we put in to make rhymes scan.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

I’d sooner a song so it didn’t rhyme rather than having to do it with a put on accent.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

Anyway, enjoy the Wassailing season folks!

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

‘Wran’ rhymes with ‘pan’ (just as ‘any’ and ‘many’ rhyme with ‘Danny’ for many Irish English speakers)

I don’t like to see regional accents misrepresented.

Other than that, season’s greetings to one and all.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

@CMO. I disagree, from first hand central Pennines experience, over ‘ee’ and symmetry. The difficulty would be in mixing the English of the playground or workplace with that of, say, the classroom where a phrase like ‘frame thy fearful symmetry’ would be more likely. A broad enough accent to pull off the rhyme might come over as caricature. But it may not have done 200 years ago.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

There are lots of words that need altering when singing Mountin will always sound better than Mountain.

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

@The Pie Eyed Piper: I would not consider that an alteration - that is how I, and most other native English speakers, I think, would pronounce that word in any context. The only instances I can imagine anyone pronouncing the second syllable to rhyme with ‘Jane’ (rather than ‘gin’) are i. in certain formal styles of singing (e.g. classical or hymn singing); ii. in poetic recitation, perhaps for the purposes of rhyming or for emphasis; iii. in affectedly formal speech. In some N. American and British accents, it would be pronounced more like "mount’n" (i.e. /ˈmaʊnʔn/, with a glottal stop and syllabic ‘n’, if you want to get phonetic).

Re: The wren, the wren, the king of the birds. On St Stephen’s it got caught in the furze Up with the kettle and up with the pan Who’ll give me a penny to bury the wren?

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