The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #56879 Message #893107
Posted By: GUEST,Richard in Penrith
18-Feb-03 - 06:29 PM
Thread Name: Origins: The Horn of the Hunter
Subject: RE: Origins: The Horn of the Hunter
According to my copy of "Songs of the Fell Packs" (long out of print)
The Horn of the Hunter or John Peel's Echo was was written by Jackson Gillbanks of Whitefield, presumably as a lament on Peel's death in 1854. Gillbanks would have been Peel's close neighbour, Peel living most of his life at Ruthwaite, south of Ireby in the Northern Fells.
The Gillbanks Family residence, Whitefield (House) is mentioned in the song, but is now the Overwater Hall Hotel. The small Lake (tarn)
Overwater near which it stands is the source of the River Ellen which figures prominently in the chorus.
Although not native Cumbrians my wife & I have a strong affinity with these places. In 1977 we were married in Caldbeck church, where John Peel himself was married-officially- in 1797 (having previously eloped to Gretna Green) & in which churchyard he is buried. We had our wedding reception at Overwater Hall and went on to a wedding ceilidh at Ireby Globe Hall. Last year we celebrated 25 years with another ceilidh at Caldbeck Village Hall.
The hunting song tradition still continues in these parts. Two
hunt sing-songs were advertised in this week's Cumberland & Westmorland Herald, though ironically, the same legislators aiming to ban fox hunting might also succeed in stopping people singing about it if this P.E.L nonsense enters the statute books.