The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51287   Message #780487
Posted By: Malcolm Douglas
10-Sep-02 - 11:58 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
Roud Folk Song Index no.363. The song as given in Marrowbones (EFDS Publications, 1965), where it appeared as Gamekeepers lie Sleeping, includes the following source information.
Gardiner H.651/H.1134. Chas. Bull, Marchwood, Southampton. June 1907 and Jas. Ray (a 21 year old gipsy) Petersfield, Hants. August 1908.
No indication is given as to which bits are from whom, but guessing from Purslow's standard practice in that book, I'd expect that Bull's text was amplified from Ray's.

The tune with the DT file has what appear to be some rather eccentric note-durations, but these may be the result of making the midi with Noteworthy, which doesn't appear to conform to normal standards; or of an unusually meticulous transcription by ear from a record. Whatever the case, if these are regularised and the tune re-barred, it's identical to that in Marrowbones. That being so, I'll add the comment from that book.

This time-signature is very approximate. The song should be sung very freely, and the accompaniment should be non-rhythmic.
For some reason, Brown has altered the text. Verses 5 and 6 as collected used the historic present:

I picks her up and I smooth her down,
And I puts her in my keeping,
I says to my dog, It's time to be going,
Whilst the gamekeepers are still sleeping.

Away me and my dog did go,
Back into the town,
I takes this hare to a labouring man,
And I sells her for a crown.

Mellow in the final verse is a conjectural substitution for the original singer's merry.