W3C The Songs of Bill Crisp   SONGS



I never knew Bill Crisp, might have stood in a group of followers on a windy hill top with him or leaned against a roadside wall chatting while watching the hunt high on the fell above, but I did not know who he was. I do know of his songs however and four of my favourites are to be found below.

The Car Hunters
(Tune: I Love To Go A'Wandering)

Our hounds they come from Patterdale,
Among the lakes and fells,
We think a lot about our hounds
And a lot about ourselves.

Repeat last two lines

Our huntsman wears no coat of red,
No horse has he to ride,
Just hob nailed boots and a shepherd's crook
And Terriers by his side.


Off he sets up the mountain track,
With followers close behind,
Some they can keep up with him,
But most get left behind.


Car hunters down upon the road,
Their joy it knows no bounds,
The fox is going to cross the road,
How can he beat the hounds.


Silverstone and Oulton Park,
Have nothing on the rush,
Of hunters in their motor cars,
When they’re racing for the brush.


With Tally Ho and Hoo Git Away,
Didn’t they have fun,
Men who hadn’t walked for years
Found that they could run.


Two hikers who were passing by,
Stopped and looked, then ran,
Save theesel to his wife he cried,
I’ll turn them if I can.


Fox and hounds then down the road,
With hunters close behind,
And by the Lakeside met his death,
Like many of his kind.


A toast now to these gentlemen,
And other hunters too,
May no road be ever closed,
To gentlemen like you.


~ ~ ~

Early Morning Hunt With Carol

The Ullswater’s not a mounted pack,
But we are most obliging.
When our huntsman went to Kentmere,
Then his wife came out of hiding.
Off then came that mini skirt,
And on the blue jeans went,
Twelve hounds and her went to Braesteads farm
To catch that marauding gent.

A hunting we will go me lads,
A hunting we will go.
We catch Johnny Fox up on the docks
And never let him go

The fox he soon got going,
He looked back once or twice.
He nearly tumbled off Striding Edge,
When he saw it was Hunty’s wife.


Then over that Glenridding side,
O’er moor and crag he sped.
When Carol and those dozen hounds,
Turned him at Douthwaite Head.


Hard pressed he turned down Linkindale,
Down that dale so rugged
Carol gave a holler out,
“By God”. I think he’s buggered.
Her guess was right, he went to ground,
She gave a girlish shout,
“The hounds and I have run him in,
Can somebody get him out?”


Then in answer to that girlish cry,
Three hunters they did tally,
There was Alan Crisp and Eddie Poole,
Then came girt Pat O’Malley .


So the fox they bore to Grassthwaite Howe,
To show it was no fib,
Joe Wear was standing in the yard.
Said “Well I never did.
I’ve heard about these females
Years since and what they did
Now I suppose that’s what
They call this Woman’s Lib,”


When they went to bed that night,
Dennis said “What a do,
Thoo caught thee fox, and I caught mine,
Together that makes two.”
Carol said “Thoo’s reet lad,
It’s been a hard, lang day,
So turn around and gan to sleep,
There’s no more hunt today.


~ ~ ~

Any Hunt

The morn was fine, the air like wine,
And bright blue was the sky,
The hounds were fit to do their bit,
And so were you and I,
We tried the wood,
The scent seemed good,
We’ll try the fell, the huntsman said
And see if he lies there.

A hound then spoke a whimper here,
A whimper here and there,
Then music like a chime of bells,
Rang through the frosty air,
Every hound then giving mouth,
Everyone determined they,
To be first for his brush.

Young hounds now were too the fore,
The scent it lay breast high,
He’ll need his god with all his luck,
If he is not to die,
Landing still he tops the hill,
Then drops down to the scree,
The hunt slows down to walking pace,
Old hounds take the lead,
Experience begins to tell,
For they know all his wiles,
He’s fading fast, he cannot last,
Too many weary miles.

A fresh fox rises from the rocks,
As he slips down below,
Hounds fly by, scent is strong,
At last he’s safe below,
He’ll live to run another day,
So drink a toast with me,
To every fox that gives good sport,
We’ll toast him three times three.

~ ~ ~

Ghost Hounds

Old age thinks back of days gone by,
Of the pack he knew and gives a sigh,
Glory, Truman and Towler’s cry,
As he hears Ghost Hounds in the sky.

Long years have passed since he left the dale,
Old friends long gone and memories fail,
Still loud and clear in the moonlit sky
He hears again the Ghost Hounds cry.

Huntsmen long gone speed oe’r the tops,
Hounds in full cry on a hunted fox,
Startled sheep from the hounds do fly,
As they hear the Ghost Hounds in the sky.

Gone, gone away! Says the ghostly cry,
Away, away a fox must die,
Ghostly music the valleys fill,
Fade away and all is still.

Moonlight shines on the glistening snow,
Lights go out in the valley below
A sound far away then nears still,
The Ghost Hounds cry, “We must kill, kill. kill.”

The old greyhound fox from the mists of time,
With flagging brush still holds his line,
The moon shines down as he pays the price,
To the Ghostly Hounds who took his life.

Come home, come home, calls the winding horn,
Another brush for another wall,
Home before the rising sun,
Blood on the snow shows their work is done,

The pale grey light of another day,
With the dawn the Ghost hounds slip away,
Like the years long gone we know not where,
Gone like the fox to his ghostly lair.

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