The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #58033   Message #916826
Posted By: GUEST,Jon Dudley
24-Mar-03 - 02:03 AM
Thread Name: 'Innocent Hare' What does 'relope' mean?
Subject: RE: 'Innocent Hare' What does 'relope' mean?
Well blow me down! We've been singing 'relope' for ever and like many of your contibutors, been puzzled by it's meaning, thinking it to be a hunting cry along the 'Tally-Ho!' lines.

However, we were idly looking through Brasser Copper's (born 1845) songbook the other evening and what should we see? Within 'Sportsmens Arouse', it is clearly written 'alope' - not 'relope'. Now given Brasser's idiosyncratic and charming spelling we have 'elope' , the Chambers definition of which is 'to escape privately' or 'run away', but more fascinatingly we have in the Oxford Dictionary (from memory) 'alope', meaning the same but from the Old French! Not a language with which the old chap was familiar.

We were even asked the question not so long ago after a gig in London and could not give a satisfactory answer. We've deduced that through the oral process, probably in Jim Copper's generation the word got changed to 'Relope' .They couldn't refer back to Brasser's book because they didn't have it - it being written for a Mrs. Corrie daughter of the local farmer and a precious copy of it not passing to Bob Copper's generation until much later.

Problem solved I reckon.