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Whistling jacket, catch me a hare

Steve Howlett 20 Jun 17 - 06:52 AM
DaveRo 20 Jun 17 - 08:07 AM
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Subject: Whistling jacket, catch me a hare
From: Steve Howlett
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 06:52 AM

I was listening to a programme on Radio 4 about hares. I remembered hearing a song with the lines:

Whistling jacket, catch me a hare
And I'll sell it [next Tuesday?] at [Tum-ti-tum] Fair.

The premis of the song was an old Gypsy tradition that if you threw this particular jacket on the ground and whistled, a hare would come and sit on it. You could then grab the creature as it would be hypnotised. I think Nic Jones sang it, but I could be wrong. (You read it here first!)

Does anyone have any information about the song, or about the tradition of hare-catching in this way. There is a famous painting by Stubbs of a horse called Whistlejacket, who was apparently named after a cough remedy containing gin and treacle (!) so the expression, or something like it, was known in the 18th C.

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Subject: RE: Whistling jacket, catch me a hare
From: DaveRo
Date: 20 Jun 17 - 08:07 AM

I found a reference to the song 'Whistling Jacket' on a CD by John Timpany.
Taken from Fred Rookes legends that a Romany can hunt hares without traps, snares or a gun.

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