As I Was Walking Through the Wud
DESCRIPTION: The singer builds a church in a wood, helped by all the animals: one with a horn dug stones, another brought them home, a hare rang the morning bell, a lark sang. "Hymen was the high priest, An' Choral was the clerk"
EARLIEST DATE: 1908 (GreigDuncan8)
KEYWORDS: religious animal bird
FOUND IN: Britain(Scotland(Aber))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Greig #22, p. 2, ("As I was walking through the wud") (1 text)
GreigDuncan8 1637, "As I Was Walking Through the Wud" (1 text)
NOTES: Hymen came to be known as the god of marriage, symbolized by torch and veil. He was a late addition to the Greek pantheon, his name coming from the chant of a wedding song. He was a very minor god; the mention here might be derived from Shakespeare rather than Greek myth. The reference to "Choral" is not to a Greek or Roman God; perhaps it refers to a Greek chorus.
There are several stories of animals by one means or another locating a church (for examples see Jacqueline Simpson and Steve Roud, A Dictionary of English Folklore, Oxford, 2000, p. 68), and any number of tales of animals helping with a task, but I can't recall one of them building a church. - RBW
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