W3C The Lunesdale Songs SONGS

Book cover


LUNDESDALE & OXENHOLME
STAGHOUNDS
A HISTORY
by Ron Black

Using material written at the time,
this book tells the story of the
Lunesdale and Oxenholme Staghounds.

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From Autumn Through Til Spring

The song is sung to the tune of “Brimmer Head” i.e How the Dalesman loves to hear, those merry hounds draw near.

When trees are standing bare, and scent is in the air,
Huntsman, hounds and Whipper-in, are surely to be there.
A flash of scarlet, sounding horn, as fox comes into view,
Now hark mi lads, that Lunesdale pack, are off as good as new.

When the winters chill sets in, and frost lies on the ground,
It’s good to see the warming smiles, of good friends all around.
We’ll blaze a trail through snow and ice, chase Reynard’s frosty brush,
And raise a cheer for baying hounds, sounding through the hush.

When snowdrops break through icy ground, and birds are singing clear,
We’ll still be there and giving chase, through forest, field and mere.
Over fells and rocky crags, and down the mountain sides,
The hound’s stand around, he’s gone to ground, our gallant huntsman cries!

Through the spring we’ll hunt and sing, and watch the days fly by,
Take pleasure in the fresh new green, the clearness of the sky,
Good hounds ever eager, to hasten to their foe,
The quick brown fox is up again, he knows it’s time to go.

Summer’s on its way again, its time to hang our coats,
Time to let our gallant hounds rest their weary throats.
And lake around in sunshine, dreaming of the fall,
When they’ll shake the summer from their coats, and harken to the call.

I’ve friends who’ve been around the world, and tell of things they’ve seen,
From dusty plains to pyramids, and lands of luscious green.
But they’ll never make me envious or want to step away,
From Lakeland on a cool clear morn of another hunting day.

Words by Darren Richmond, Kendal, 1988
Thanks to Lyn Harber

~ ~ ~

John Nic And His Lunesdale Pack

John Nic and his hound pack, they will be meeting today,
And Dalesmen in numbers will be going his way.
For he meets at 9.30, with his pack of foxhounds,
And the sound of his old horn, it echoes around.

So let’s go hunting over moorland and fell,
To the ling and the heather where Reynard do dwell.
Where the crags and the mountains meet the heavens above,
In the dales and the valley, and the places we love.

For John and young Thomas, they will soon be away,
As bold Reynard breaks cover, at the dawn of the day.
And he’s run up the fellside, for his old brush to keep,
Whilst down in the bracken, those la’al beauties leap.

They’ll chase him through bracken, and heather and rush,
For Reynard will run hard to save his old brush.
Down Dentdale and Gaisdale, and Cautley as well,
And if they just have to, they’ll chase him to hell.

There’s Piper and Plunder, and Bellman as well,
And oh how they sing out, bold Reynard’s death knell.
There’s Grappler that great hound, just see how he goes’
For Grappler can work out every trick Reynard knows.

So when they have caught up with him, at the end of the day,
John’ll gather up his hound pack, and he’ll be on his way.
And so to the pub then, for a glass of strong ale,
And I will sing of some foxhounds, the famous Lunesdale.

~ ~ ~

The Seburgh Hunt

Twas the eight day of December in nineteen fifty three
When the Lunesdale met in Sedbergh Square, oh it was a hunting scene,
Scores of folk were gathered there wid smiling fyaces met.
Perc Woods was takking photographs for t’ Westmorland gazette.

So we’ll drink successes to the Lunesdale Hounds wherever they may be
And to all their followers throughout the country.

Now folks were passing through the town, they couldn’t help but stop
There was Ella Greenwood, Alice Cragg and May Sedgwick fra’ the shop
The boys were there fra’ Sedbergh School, oh how they did stare
Oh young and old were gathered theer, you’d a thowt it was Dent Fair.

Moore Sedgwick he looked at his watch and at half past nine said, "Well
I think it now is time my lads to be setting oot for’t fell."
We stepped up the street with glee, our joy it knew no bounds
There was Walt Parkin and John Nicholson and thirty gallant hounds.

Then up Joss Lane past British School, past Mason’s farm at t’ hill
And then we crossed ower Winder End and lowsed in Castlehow Ghyll
Those hounds they drew the front of brook, t’was there they struck a drag
It took them ower Sickers Fell and roused in Hobdale Crag.

O’er Grimes Fell Head bold Reynard took and through by t’ Windy Wyke
And then he dropped in’t Howgill Side, which made a pretty sight.
He next went round Bramrigg End, which was not all that far
But he kept on gaan through Castlehow Knott and binked in Fell Head Scar.

They drove him out across the Calf, Black Force was his intent,
But that gallant pack they brought him back right through by t’ wire fence.
They drove him in by Cautley Spout and through the screes he flew,
Here a lady shouted “Tally-Ho”, twas Jack Dixon’s wife fraat view.

They brought him back by Cautley Crag for Lattra he did try
Tot Harper said to Moore Sedgwick, god those hounds they nearly fly.
He next went in by Cautley Beck but he had no time to sup
And when he went through Handleys Farmyard Bob was just gittin up.

When he went on by Steps End Farm he nobbut yance looked back
And said by gox I’d best be gaan for it is the Lunesdale Pack
He then sneaked on by Fawcett Bank and down the field did rush
For Bellman, also Careless, they were closing on his brush.

Now hunters were squandered wide and they all rushed in of t’ tops
And everyone did all agree he was a handsome fox
And headed up Killmyre Fell, his sanctuary not far off.

But hounds by now had viewed him, and their music did resound,
As Reynard went for Bank’s Fell, and slightly higher ground.
For Artley Garths drain in Ardendale, was Reynard’s only hope,
But hounds they fell upon him, and caught him ont fell slope.

Now fert third fox, back to Ashfell we went,
For yan old lad ha said to Nic, it was another I did see.
But summat lads said nay! Daft old sod’s seeing double, it’s oft to t’ pub for we,
And of t’ pub they went.

So Nic gathered all about him, and off he set once more,
And lo and behold, on’t Wetherhill side, off yon Reynard tore.
Now this fox played it canny, she knew she could not rest,
For on this day this Lunesdale pack, were hunting at their best,
Two comrades she’d lost that day, to them she bid adieu,
And she were fairly flying as she came into view.

As hounds came round Wetherhill side, they were a sight to see,
Tightly packed, all sounding off, as their quarry she did flee.

She dived into Ashfell borrans, a fortress badger built.
And there she took care to hide herself, so her blood it wasn’t spilt.

But it soon became apparent, for them that stopped to see,
That Reynard in Brock’s borran had scorned the right to flee.
From huntsman, hounds and terriers,
This vixen won reprieve.

For it is too that vixen’s credit, she’d done as mother taught.
To run from hounds and go to ground and therefore not get caught.
Now hounds and finally gathered in, and kennelled for the day,
And lads all spoke in Black Swan Inn of two foxes caught,
And one that got away!

Chris “Docker” Green, Kendal

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