W3C Terrier Songs SONGS



The Story of Badger and Butcher

'Twas early spring in '48 and hounds were running strong,
The rugged hills o’er Kirkstone Pass
Re-echoed with their song.
Well Reynard knew the fate instore
In vain he doubled back.
No trick he knew could avail
'Gainst that famed Ullswater pack.

But fate that guards o’er man and beast
Came to succour him.
A cleft stood open in the rocks and Reynard dashed within.
But once again did fortune frown.
Death followed in his wake.
For badger and Butcher they were there
To put his life at stake.

What happened then is only guess.
No man will ever know
But the sun went down and darkness fell
With the terriers still below.
For fourteen days and fourteen nights.
The Dalesman fought the fell
With dynamite and crowbar and words unprintable.

Mid snow and ice with frost and gale,
They worked, they sweat, they swore.
They turned the inside from that fell
A thousand tons or more
And when it seemed all hope had gone
And fourteen days had passed
There seemed no life in that prison grim
And it seemed no life could last.

With crumbling rocks on either side
A final effort made
And Butcher crawled into the light
Alive and undismayed
But Badger paid the price in full
A price all brave hearts scorn.
So here’s a toast from Dalesmen all,
“Good hunting where he’s gone”

Mr and Mrs W. Curry

* * * * * * *

Terrier Song

There’s many a song about hunting, huntsmen are honoured by name,
But there’s never a song about terriers, that in Lakeland have gained lasting fame,
No pedigrees have these brave warriors, their colours no rules can define,
They’re bred for pluck and spirit, with a heart as big as a lion.

So always remember your terriers, protect them from wet and from cold,
For the love of a tyke for it’s master, can never be measured in gold.

Whether he’s rough or smooth coated, he’ll tackle badger, otter or fox,
Run a drain or creep into a soil hole, or squeeze through a grike in the rocks,
Whether it’s Trixie or Nellie, Rock, Jock or Turk it’s the same,
One quality you’ll find amongst them and dalesfolk call it “dead game”.

He’ll yield not one inch though they maul him, he’ll fight to the death on his own.
Though sometimes he’ll be imprisoned by a rushing of soil or of stone,
Then the brave lad’s of the vallies, to save him will toil day and night,
And join in a halloa of gladness as he blinks back to god’s blessed light.

At Crufts famous show down in London, they’ve terriers there not worth their name,
If you show them a fox or an otter, they’ll fly for their lives without shame,
They’re not built to creep or do battle, but to sit on a chair in a house,
And they do say that one recent champion was chased down the road by a mouse.

So here’s to our gallant la’al workers, not beauties perhaps but they’ll do,
For with gameness and also affection they’ll make you a pal good and true,
And when your terrier in old age is dying, and things around you seem sad,
Just a lick on the hand will console you for a better friend man never had.

D P Todd

The Other Terrier Song

(Sung to the tune of “Why Paddy’s not at work today”)

Well here I am, a terrier dog, just living in my pen
I’m dreaming of how grand it’d be to live my life again,
I’m dreaming of those hunting days and summers on the fell,
And I’m hoping another year will pass me by as well.

Now at the age of twelve-month-old, when I was just a pup,
He’d take me out I’d lake around, he’d never tie me up,
He’d let me look and listen in, so I could learn my trade,
And for those early learning days, I dearly sure have paid.

By the age of two years old, I’d made a handy dog,
My chest it held a lion’s heart, I could do most any job,
I’d hold em’ and I’d bay at them; I’d make them want to go,
And if they stayed below with me, why, they’d wish they’d gone before.

Now three and four were my best years, when I was in my prime,
I’d hold a brock, or bolt a fox, in a matter of no time,
I didn’t care how long it took to do the job for him,
When days are short and nights are long, you’ve just to get dug in.

Now five and six were much the same I had a lot of work,
And my teeth were getting fewer from the days I wouldn’t shirk,
But it didn’t bother me so much; I’d always do my job,
Aye, whether it meant staying for a night out in the fog.

Now seven was a bad year, for he used me less and less,
All my pups were coming on, and they were working best,
But he always took me with him, in case they couldn’t find,
Aye in them big rock borrans, where an old dog fairly shines.

Eight and nine were much the same; my work was getting thin,
All the other dogs were there, and I weren’t getting in,
But I’d sit there on my coupling, content as I could be,
Shivering from head to toe, just shivering full of glee.

And then there came that weekend, when my jaw got broke in two,
My body beaten savagely, there was no more I could do,
But I clung on tightly to my foe, ‘til the daylight it broke through,
And then he pulled me from that hell, aye that hell I’d just been through.

So now my working life is done, I’ll no more roam the fells,
I’ll never taste the mountain air that filled my lungs so well,
But there’s one thing I’d do for him, I’d do it one more time,
I’d do the job he bred me for, aye I’d do it one last time.

So now think on you hunting folk, who love to watch the hounds,
Aye, running in full view, and that fox he shows no bounds,
And then the fell, it hides his frame, and you’d never get him out,
If it wasn’t for that faithful friend, that the dales folk talk about.

P. Doey

WAFWebsite manager

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