This is a common Manx dance tune on the Isle of Man. It is probably better known as Hunt the Wren, which is a common tradition in many countries, and is associated with St. Stephen’s Day (26th December).
On the Island one story is that a witch on the Island was luring men to their death in the sea, and she turned herself into the shape of a wren in order to escape the wrath of the Manx people. Her punishment was that she had to remain as a wren and be hunted and killed every year on the 26th December.
Obviously no wrens are killed anymore, but an effigy of the wren is placed upon a decorated pole, which the dancers dance around (shaking their fists at it during parts of the dance!).
Re: Shelg Yn Dreean
Here’s my take on Hunting the Wren: A medley of tunes relating to one of our smallest & most fascinating little birds, the Wren, played on Nyckelharpa, Hammered Dulcimer, English Concertina, Mandolin, Whistles & Bowed Psaltery & accompanied by around 40 photographs of the Wren, taken mostly in my north Antrim garden.
Hunting the Wren: Wales, We’ll Hunt the Wren: Ireland, Wren An Dro: Brittany, Hunt the Wren: Isle of Man, Death of the Wren: Scotland & The Wren’s Nest: Ireland