John Peel

Melody - Seq. by Barry Taylor

William Woodcock Graves; Left: Cumbrian dialect, taken from original manuscript

Did ye ken John Peel wid his cwote sae grey?
Did ye ken John Peel at the breck o' day?
Did ye ken John peel gayin' far, far away -
Wie his hoons and his horn in a mwornin'?
For the sound o' the horn caw'd me fra my bed.
As the crt o' the hoons he often led,
For Peels view holla wad waken the dead,
Or a fox frae his lair in a mwornin.'

2. Yes I kenn'd them aw an' morny things mair,
An' could tell sec teayles as to meayke yen stare,
How we ran down foxes and of'ns hare,
Erte the hoar left the hills in a mwornin.'

3. An we follot John Peel beath oft an' far,
Ower rasper fence and yett an' bar,
Frea low Dentonholm up to Scratchmere Scaur,
When we vied for the brush in the mwornin.'

4. An I knowe'd John Peel and his Ruby too,
Ranter an' Royal an' Belman as true,
Frae the drag to the chase frae then to the view,
Frae the view to the death in the mwornin'.

5. Here's tae John Peel wie a hert an' soul,
Let's freely brim into him another bowl,
We'll follow John Peel thro' fair an thro' foul,
Wheyle were wak't wid his horn in a mwornin'.

Do ye ken John Peel with his coat so grey?*
Do ye ken John Peel at the break of day?
Do ye ken John Peel when he's far, far away
With his hounds and his horn in the morning.
Twas the sound of his horn brought me from my bed
And the cry of his hounds has me oftimes led
For Peel's view holloa would wake the dead
Or a fox from his lair in the morning

2. Do ye ken that hound whose voice is death?
Do ye ken her sons of peerless faith
Do ye ken that a fox with his last breath
Cursed them all as he died in the morning?

3. Yes, I ken John Peel and auld Ruby, too
Ranter and Royal and Bellman so true
From the drag to the chase, from the chase to the view
From the view to the death in the morning

4. And I've followed John Peel both often and far
O'er the rasper fence and the gate and the bar
From Low Denton Holme to the Scratchmere Scar
When we vied for the brush in the morning.

5. Then here's to John Peel with my heart and soul
Come fill, fill to him a brimming bowl
For we'll follow John Peel thro fair or thro foul
While we're waked by his horn in the morning.

* This is a reference to his long coat made from the salved fleeces of the local Herdwick sheep that were spun into a cloth called hoddengrey. If you vist Cumbria in winter then you will hear many traditonal folk and hunting songs sung as they were meant to be with out musical accompaniment. Many sing songs after uniting in a pub or barn ,with a chairman keeping order and singers naming the next person as they go. - With thanks to Tim Stubbs for this information.

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