The Lincolnshire Poacher

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Melody - The original tune is that of a Lancashire air, "The Manchester Angel" but this midi is from a modern tune; Seq. by Barry Taylor
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from York, ca. 1776

When I was bound apprentice,
In famous Lincolnsheer,
Full well I served my master
For more than seven year,
Till I took up with poaching,
As you shall quickly hear:
Oh! 'tis my delight of a shiny night,
In the season of the year.

2. As me and my comrades
Were setting of a snare,
'Twas then we seed the gamekeeper
For him we did not care,
For we can wrestle and fight, my boys,
And jump o'er everywhere:
Oh! 'tis my delight of a shiny night,
In the season of the year.

3. As me and my comrades
Were setting four or five,
And taking on him up again,
We caught the hare alive;
We caught the hare alive, my boys,
And through the woods did steer:
Oh! 'tis my delight of a shiny night,
In the season of the year.

4. Bad luck to every magistrate
That lives in Lincolnsheer;
Success to every poacher
That wants to sell a hare;
Bad luck to every gamekeeper
That will not sell his deer:
Oh! 'tis my delight of a shiny night,
In the season of the year.


This very old ditty has been transformed into the dialects of Somersetshire, Northamptonshire, and Leicestershire; but it properly belongs to Lincolnshire. Nor is this the only liberty that his been taken with it. It was a favourite ditty with George IV., and it is said that he often had it sung for his amusement by a band of Berkshire ploughmen. He also commanded it to be sung at his harvest-homes, but it was always on such occasions sung to the 'playhouse tune,' and not to the genuine music.

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