W3C Three Songs About Hunting Over the Christmas Period   SONGS



Fangs Moss Hunt, December 8th, 1931

Once a fox held his court and provided good sport
In the country around by Low Fell
And he lived royally as they will agree
Upon whom his attentions befell
Folks said that old devil could flee
Said t’laal Melbreak chaps, aye, we’ll see
If our laal pack gits reet on his track
He wont much longer roam free.

We’ll all go a hunting today
All nature seems charming and gay
We’ll join in the throng that goes laughing along
And we’ll all go a hunting today.

Ernest Reed rose at dawn, found his Wyandottes all gone
Fine birds of a very fine strain
for Reynard had been with an appetite keen
And had worried again and again
Said he it’s a right blooming shame
It’s clear that darned fox is to blame
I’ll see it in well maybe out on Low Fell
For t’ Melbreak will soon stop his game.

The sound of the horn was heard early one morn
When hounds met at Waterend
To hunt that old fox that followed Fangs Moss
Lots of keen hunters they did attend
The hunters out on Bramley Slate
They so a good loose so they state
As they viewed him away Tom Cook bade him good day
I’ll ne’er see thee old face again.

Now it was a grand race at a terrible pace
Fra Low Fell to rugged Melbreak
Round Pillar Rake top, they seemed there in a hop
And soon their fox did overtake.
In triumph they bore him away
D own into Kirkstile where they stopped quite a while
Good ale and good songs were in sway.

John Wilkinson fra’et Stile keeps hens any fule
And laughs at his neighbors’ dismay
F or rightly he knew that a fox hunt or two
Would bring lots of custom his way
But Jack’s yan of’t old hunting sort
Says nowt bangs fox hunting for sport
But he hasn’t lang to stop, he’ll often be back our’t top
To join in his favorite sport.

John Norman keeps nowt that a fox cares about
For sawdust is bad to digest
But he’ll throw down his saw and a hunting will go
And foot it with one of the best,
Swinburne’s frae high Nook and Oak bank
In’t varra first class do they rank
They join in the sport and give good support
To keep t’laal Melbreak on its feet.

Now friends gather round, success to each hound
To every foxhunter the same
To foxy also we will sing Tally – Ho
Like all of his breed he was game
Whenever hounds come round your way
Down tools and just join in the fray
And join in the pace at your very best pace
And when you go, go for the day.

* * * * * * *

Melbreck Hounds, December 24th, 1869

Come all ye keen hunters while I relate
Of a fox chase that was run of late
By the Mellbreck hounds with their usual skill
Determined if they find either hole or to kill.

Squire Benson with huntsman, hounds and horn
At early dawn on a frosty morn
To Brackenthwaite fells he did repair
Where Sir Reynard had been taking his Christmas fare.

To the top of Hobcanton they dragged him on high
and into Gaskell crags where bold Reynard did lie
He was aroused from his slumbers by Jack Parsons view hello
Made his coat stand on end as the hounds they did follow.

By Whiteside and Grassmoor he took them several rounds
Closely pursued by those gallant hounds
Over Lanthwaite Green and past Scale View
Where he bid his old native land adieu.

Then up Low bank and towards Buttermere
Men, women and children gave him a loud cheer
As they crossed the dubs at Crummock lake head
The cry was enough for to waken the dead.

Through Buttermere scale to Scale Force
They made bold Reynard for to change his course
He climbed Red Pike above Bleaberry Coombe
Where the echo told him plain that death was his doom.

Over High stile summit and past Brunt Beild
Through Burness Coombe they forced him to yield
With hunters, hounds and fox in view
They did him in gallant style pursue.

Then down in the intacks of Gatesgarth farm
They drove poor Reynard in great alarm
And in Burtness Close by the lakeside
They pulled him down on the plain so wide.

With sixteen hounds and terriers four
They soon made Reynard for to breath no more
And those who had joined the chase in their clogs
Did loudly give praise to those gallant fox dogs.

It was Christmas Eve in the year 69
So we did repair to the Fish Inn and dine
With the spirits we did make them fly in their pace
In chorus with this glorious race.

So fill up a bumper and we’ll al have a horn
And drink success to the next hunting morn
For all the sports that ever I did see
Chasing the fox is the one for me.

Edward Nelson of Gatesgarth 1846 – 1934

* * * * * * *

It was common, at the cessation of the day's hunting, for huntsmen and followers to adjourn to a nearby public house or hotel where a hot meal (no doubt ordered in advance) would be provided. This was always followed by singing and storytelling until late in the evening.

Muncaster Fell, Boxing Day, 1921

To the King George in Eskdale on last Boxing Day
Willie Porter with whippie their visit did pay.
With thirty two hounds of the varra best blood
But the night had been stormy and all was a flood

Tally-ho, Tally-ho, Tally-ho
Hark forward good hounds, Tally-ho

Over Moor Head hill away we did go
The road being sloppy t’was all heel and toe
Then down Ratty line and across Mouldy Moss
With nivver a chump for no fox we did cross.

Over Muncaster Head pasture and to the fell end
Up Silver Knott brest the hounds did ascend
Hark Ransome, Hark Ransome, the huntsman did shout
Ti’s plain to be seen that Reynard’s about.

The hounds pack together like bee’s in a hive
To work out Reynard’s track they all did contrive
When “Tomlinson” shouted git away Tally-ho
O’er Muncaster fell top these hounds they did go.

By Gotherabarrow Cragg they ran him on high
Then to the low lands he thought he would try
Down Birks Coppy woods, then through the Black Moss
But the Esk being in flood he could not well cross.

He took up the bottoms with hounds in full cry
Then back to the fell he thought he would try
To one of his coverts he meant for to go
but he was baulked by the hunters with wild Tally-ho.

Over Muncaster Head farm and round by the moss
To try once again the Esk for to cross
But the water was dashing and splashing so high
Up Holling How fields away he did hie.

As he pass’t by “King George” he look’t varra sly
Mrs. Watson says Reynard this day thou must die
For Champion and Barmaid were leading the chase
Says “Gainford” by God it’s a – good race.

Nica Studdart he is a keen hunter you know
T’was the fastest fox chase that ever he saw
And he said it was a most terrible girt fox
I’ll bet it had worried a lot of game cocks.

He crossed the river up Milkinstead Wood
And tried all the dodges that ever he could
In Dry Ghyll he hoped a shelter to find
The hounds being only one minute behind.

Over Dalegarth Hal fell he numbly passed
And Birker high-way he came to at last
With hounds swearing death at the top of their voice
Says “Fletcher” old lad thou has only one choice.

Away over Foss Ghyll to try Ulpha beild
Rally knowing the country she forced him to yield
They ran him in’t wind with out ever a check
By Kettle Cragg top and across by Cove beck.

By the top of Coup Park and away to Black Crag
Where Reynard’s old legs were beginning to fag
Down Hard-Knott fell brest red rover did hie
Like a trail came the hounds all in full cry.

He oft through the plantation past Brotherilkeld Farm
Where he thought a cold bath would do him no harm
But these hounds bowled him over and he gave his last sigh
On the wild plains of Scawfell bold Reynard did die.

Now Hutton and Wilson had a race for his brush
In to’l beck Wilson went up to’I – wid a rush
Come back, come back, the hunters did shout
And they ran with girt Kiskin for to drag him out.

He was picked up by Hutton that hunter so keen
As fine a fell fox as was ever seen
And these hunters all said as they joined in the fray
Before these swift hounds no fox can long stay.

Now these jolly hunters went to the Woolpack
To get Porter some gin for he had a bad back
It being Christmas all were merry and free
They had a song, recitation and sometimes a glee

Success to all hunters that follow the hounds
May health never fail when the hunting horn sounds
If you want a days sport then come right away
To the King George in Eskdale on next Boxing Day.

John Newby of Foxfield

WAFWebsite manager

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