W3c A Random Collection of Songs   SONGS

 

 

These songs are not really “fell pack” songs but I have added them for reasons which will be explained before each song.

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It was not uncommon for a shepherd working his collie dog on the fell to find it “distracted” from its work by the scent or presence of a fox. On occasions these dogs forgot the job they were there for and had a fox hunt of their own. This is the story of one of them. I think it’s a cracking song!

Borrowdale Collie

Some sing of Blencathra, a pack of great fame,
Likewise unto Melbreak, frae Loweswater they came
But through Langstreth in Borrowdale there lately has been
A chase by a Collie the like’s never seen.

Chorus
Tally-Ho, Tally-Ho, Tally-Ho!
Hark forward old dog, Tally–Ho!

It was in the hard winter, the year eighty five
John Thompson a shepherd he thus did contrive
To gather some sheep that had strayed from the plain
And what followed after I’ll quickly explain.

He found them all healthy which filled him with joy
He said to his dog, now Jim my old boy
Let’s away to Rosthwaite, you are tired I see
I could not have found them had it not been for thee.

Jim rolled on the grass and agreed with him again
But he hadn’t gone far when he told Johnny plain
There’s varmint been here, lets give him a try
Be it fox, be it a foulmart, this day it must die.

Old Jim soon quested the craggs all around
Til at last in a stoneheap bold Reynard was found
For to look on his foe, he popped out his face
And laughingly said it’s a very slight case.

Now Reynard broke cover and smiled on his foe
For little he dream’t what he’d to undergo
For old Jim proved nimble and gave Reynard a chase
And Johnny was greatly surprised at his pace.

Then up Wylie Cank bold Reynard did steer
With Jim the old dog running close to his rear,
The shepherd turned huntsman and joined in the fray
For he ran as he shouted “Jim, hoo git away".

Then to Eagle Crag Reynard went straight away
But the famous old dog gave him no time to stay
Jim picked up his bristles and to Reynard did say,
I’ve a bone to pick with thee so will pick it today.

Now Reynard soon found his calculations were wrong
As the famous old dog was still running him strong
D own oe’r Langstreth stream he went straight away
Saying, now my old friend I will bid you good day.

Then away to’t Wolfe Stone bold Reynard did rush
And the wily old dog was still close to his brush
Then he passed the strong bield but he couldn’t stay there
For he found that he had not one second to spare.

Now Reynard still hoping to baffle his foe
Once more across Langstreth stream he did go.
I have baffled Blencathra and Melbreak likewise
But this silly old cur took me by surprise.

Then to Sergant Crag with the speed of despair
But fortune frowned on him he couldn’t land there
T’was here where the shepherd gave him Tally–Ho
Jim stepped upto Reynard and gave him his death blow.

To Rosthwaite in Borrowdale he bore him away
The neighbours all joined in the sport of the day
They hallooed and shouted til their throats were all sore
They drank old Jim’s health a dozen times o’er.

Tall–Ho, Tally-Ho, Tally–Ho. Hark forrard old dog, Tally-Ho

Anon 1885

* * * * * * *

The “Unicorn Hunt” Ambleside

The Unicorn is a pub in North Road, Ambleside. For most of my time it was owned by a man called Tom Dixon and his wife Mary. Tom liked a quiet life, and catered for a quiet and regular drinker - a lot of hunting was done in that pub. Tom didn’t like tourists and banned most of the local youth.

This “hunt” takes in several of the other public houses in Ambleside and visits several local sites. I don’t know the date it was written but I remember some of the people named in it.

Come all you young sport men and listen to me
I will sing you a song that will fill you with glee
It’s about some foxhounds, they are gaining great fame,
They belong to the North and “The Coniston’s” the name

Chorus
Tally–Ho, Tally–Ho, Tally–Ho!
Hark for’ard good hounds, tally–ho.

The meet was at Greenbank, arranged for at nine
Walt Mackereth and Fred were there at that time,
Then up came Mr. Logan to Chapman did say
“We’ll try for a fox in Red Screes for today.”

They lowsed down at Tomfold then up to the Green
Then up to Wamp Nest where Basso was seen,
Across Chapel Hill and down to Aots farm
Who Ginger unkennelled in Bill Jackson’s barn.

Along by Blake Sykes and through’t Ginny Nook
It was there an old hound nearly brought him to book.
Johnny Lister came out and he gave a loud shout,
“They’re the Unicorn Harriers, you can tell by their mouth”

Along Seathwaite Lane without e’er a check
Across Carn Holmes, and then Stout Beck,
Down by that “Stock Ghyll" and by “Sally Tap”
Maggie North and Dick Creighton they gave a loud clap.

Down by the White Lion and back o’t Oak
On to St Mary’s Lane where he thought he would walk,
He passed that old smithy and darted by old Dukes
It was just opening time, he was lacing his boots.

Harry Strong and old Sparkes now joined in the fray
And around Queens corner they made him to fly,
He went up by North Road and up Fisher’s steps,
Along by Bob Vities and through by Ginnettes

Now Reynard was weary, his brush it hung low,
So down by the chip shop he thought he would go.
Walt Davies came out in a hell of a rush
Collared Rob Jackson’s beard for he thowt it was’t brush.

He had no other way only down Peggy Hill
Across Stock Bridge and through Rattle Ghyll
He met old Tom Cat who’d been up to some lark
He darted by him, and went through Tom Clarke’s.

Now up t’ Rule Hill it was his last route,
Those hounds were determined to tear his old coat.
He turned down North Road, and in’t Unicorn bar,
Jack Pearce and Jack Whitfield they killed him in there.

Chipper Pierce

* * * * * * *

When I was a lad the Windermere harriers were kennelled at the New Dungeon Ghyll hotel in Great Langdale. I went with them a couple of times but it wasn’t for me. In those days if memory serves they hunted hare.

We did quite a bit of climbing on Pavey Ark and Tarn Crag which required an early start and we would “give a halloo” as we passed the kennel. This did not endear us to the hotel guests, as the subsequent hound music was deafening!

The Windermere Harriers

The morning is charming all nature looks gay
Come forth all you hunters and let us away
Mr. Logan is coming with his gallant hounds
A truer born sportsman never crossed English grounds.

Chorus
Tally–Ho, Tally–Ho, Tally-Ho!
Hark For’ard good hounds Tally–Ho.

It was “Hark, Hark to Clasher”, who never did fail
There’s Towler and Merriman they’ve challenged the game
And Countess and Rocket and Baffler likewise
These hounds are such warriors as ever did rise.

It was near Wansfell Pike where they picked up a drag.
These larl spotted beauties their tails they did wag
When out of the heather bold Reynard did spring
And the cry of the hounds made the whole valley ring.

“Get away”. “Hark together” I heard Anthony cry
They will soon overtake him if he does not fly
Our hounds are good, and they go like the wind
They are second to none in old England you’ll find.

By Wok How and Black Bush they went with a will
The hounds swearing death, being determined to kill
He crossed the Stock Valley and onto the highway
The echo then told him he’d no time to stay.

Next up to Garnett How the sly foxey went
To baffle the hounds it was his intent
He ran the wall tops, but‘t was all in vain
Over Snow Cove and moss end they ran him amain.

Through Scandale, down Caiston, around by Dod Beild,
These game little hounds were not thinking to yield,
Then around Kirkstone Cove, across House Rigging beck
The hounds still upon him without even a check.

Willie Woodend said unto Reynard as he passed by
“Thy time is short unless thou canst fly”,
“They are not a pack of foxhounds,” he then told him plain
“They are Windermere Harriers though true to fox game.”

He then climbed Rough Sides, Caudle moor also,
And then to Broad How, he thought he would go,
But they turned him back, which made him look sly,
Down by Raven Crag they chased him on high.

Next down Bracken Slack that was his next route,
When that noted old Towler here doubled his mouth,
Countess, Rachel and Royal were singing out death
And others joined chorus in case he took earth.

Then over Loft Thwaite they made him to hie,
For the dale end he thought he would try,
But they turned him again and forced him to yield
When he wished in his heart he was at fox beild.

They turned out at Hartsop like bees in the spring
When these gallant hounds made that sweet valley ring
Both women and men here joined in the race
As true English folk do, when they see a fox chase.

“Go on you young fellows” Mrs. Grisedale did shout
“They are Windermere Harriers, I know by their mouth
Go on then I pray you and join in the chase
For no fox alive can stand such a pace”.

By Myers Head and Wath Bridge they gave him loud cheer,
And up by the Calf Gates away he did steer,
But his steam being gone they caught sight of his brush,
Down into Low Hartsop they went with a rush.

He hung out his tongue and his brush it lay low
Both tired and weary down Calf Close did go,
He put on a last spurt through the meadows did hie
In the presence of Willie Martindale Reynard did die.

He had no time allowed to make his last will
For since he is dead he will do no more ill,
His estates must fall to his surviving heir
With a right to his widow, but she’ll claim her share.

Success to all hunters and long be their lives,
May they never be crossed by their sweethearts or wives,
May they rule their own passions, likewise their own homes,
And be happy at last when they see no more hounds.

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