W3C The Coniston Thread SONGS



Every New Year's Day the Coniston Hunt met for a good number of years at The Drunken Duck public house at Outgate, nr Hawkshead. Usually the hunt was followed by a "tatie pot" and a sing song. Here is one of the many songs sung ...

The Duck Hunt

The New Year's hunt is out today, away, away,
Come up to t' Duck and join the fray, away my lads away,
There's Ernie all in scarlet dress
There's Anthony there in his red vest,
There's Mr Bruce - one of the best, away my lads away.

There's Robin there and there's Johnny too, away, away,
They're out on top a fox to view, away, my lads away,
There's Braithwaite, Hawkrigg, Totten, Bell, Raggie Dixon, Jim Breakwell,
And game old Fred from Cartmel Fell, away my lads, away.

There's Tommy Preston up from t'south, away away,
He thowt he heard a hound give mouth, away my lads, away,
So up he jumped straight out of bed,
And left his missus stock to feed,
And straight for t'Duck he turned his head, away my lads, away.

So come ye all and ladies fair, away, away,
I'll take you to bold Reynard's lair, away my lads, away,
At Iron Keld we'll start the day
If Reynard's there he dare not stay
He'll bolt and give us all fair play, away, my lads, away.

Then down through Yewdales bonny dell, away, away,
And up Tom heights and on Holme fell, away, my lads away,
He'll have to fly his brush to hold,
For Barmaid's with that pack I'm told
She matches Ruby's speed of old, away, my lads away.

Now here's to Peel and Bowman true, away, away,
Jim Dalton and old Tommy too, away, my lads away,
And when George Chapman's had his turn,
We'll drink to Porter, Wear and Ern,
And here's success to each in turn, away, my lads away.


* * * * * * *

In the same area -

Pull Scar Hunt

We loused at Pull Scar one fine hunting morn,
When George and his hounds were all out in good form,
He tried all around, and through t'Iron Keld
But he'd never a chump til he came to Holme Fell.

Now Reynard was snoozing about half asleep,
When old Chanter gave mouth he jumped to his feet
He said "I've been feeding on poultry, I all but can flee
So you'll have to come on if you want to catch me!"

Then down off t'Holme fell on his favourite track.
But li'le did he dream he would never come back,
Down Craghouse pasture and through Yewdale beck
Went those hounds in full cry and they had never a check.

When they clam Yewdale Fell it was just like a trail,
They pushed away for'ard every hound in full sail,
And the sound of their music told Reynard plain,
For today he would pay for those hens he had slain.

Then out Steel Edge through Grika brest
Twas which of these hounds had to be first
But that grand bitch White Proxy was leading that day
Right over Wetherlam she led them away.

Then on Greenburn arridge and through t'Swirral Hows,
Around't top o't Carrs, now it was a grand course,
When he crossed t'top of Wrynose he was still going strong
He clam up Long Scar then came in by Red Tarn.

Then by Blisco and Blakerigg and planting at Blea Tarn
Old Wear gave himt'view hallo when he passed echo stone,
Reynard says, "I'll try Lingmoor, it's now my last chance
And then if I's bet I can only die yance".

When they turned him on Lingmoor he knew he was done,
There were t'hounds in full view, and the chase nearly won.
As they closed in around him to dodge them he tried,
But he was run to a kill at Blea Tarn by't ghyll side.

Now old Wear's a sportsman, aye a foxhunter keen,
Sec a race to the finish he had seldom seen,
When he picked up that fox it weighed ower nineteen pounds,
He said, "Foxes like this one are not often found!"

So here's a health to George Chapman, that hunter of old.
And likewise to the hounds for the skill they have shown,
How they hashed that old hen thief which led them sec a dance,
And they'll hash any other if you'll give them a chance.


* * * * * * *

My father taught me this next song. I have always liked it especially the detail of the chase, which must have been pretty closely observed by the author. The Ship public house features again in the history of the Coniston foxhounds as if memory serves it was the first meet post ban, under the “new law”.

The Old Manged Fox

On the third of December three hounds they did come,
To try to catch that old fox they couldn’t get with a gun,
They lowsed up on’t Grassings for that was his track,
He’d been seen going through there with hens on his back.

Chorus :
Tally Ho! Tally Ho! Tally Ho!
Hard forrard good hounds Tally Ho!

Now Dixon and t’ lads they stayed just aboon,
Dixon said we’ll corner him this afternoon,
But he sneaked away and jumped over the wall,
And one of t’ lads said, “He’s going right for Spoon Hall”.

He came down our yard and just looked aside,
He’d seen t’ old woman there and two or three more by her side,
She ran on’t Bridge and said, “W,hatever is to do?”
And old Zack Knipe said “It's hounds coming through”

Down by t’ Hagg and back by t’Hall field
And down through Coniston Hall coppice these hounds ran him well,
He took to t’ lake and down for nappin tree,
He’d been feeding on poultry and all but could flee.

He turned up through t’ Broom and got onto t’ line
Where he met Troughton coming and thought it was time,
To slip through by t’ crossings aside of t’ New Field
And away up the Strip they were running him well.

Blaithwaite Coppice he next thought he’d try,
Old father Inman was standing close by,
Into the wood he was dodging about,
When those hounds landed therethey soon laited him out.

  He come down Smart field and was very near done,
His tongue it hung out and his brush trailed on’t ground,
Twas a sure sign he wasn’t going far
He bid farewell to those hens up in Hagglescar.

He crossed over t’ line and down t’ Hoghouse Park,
The day was going on it was very near dark,
When he heard t’ wire railing rattle it was t’ hounds coming through,
Then he thought to himself “My time has come too”.

He jumped onto t’ wall to go into t’ Hall field,
Victor and Prudence were close on his heels,
He got a surprise when they touched him on’t back,
But he turned around and got in the first smack.

Now Reynard is dead and they’ve drawn out his teeth,
Joe Armstrong said he would have his back feet,
They cut off his brush and threw it on’t wall,
Cos old Buttons said it was no good at all.

It was an old manged fox you must understand,
One that had come down out of t’ Old Man,
It’s been worrying poultry round about here,
So now away to the Ship for a harvel and drink some good beer.

Author J.P Dixon

WAFWebsite manager

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