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Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)

JenEllen 09 Aug 01 - 09:47 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Aug 01 - 11:35 PM
Sorcha 09 Aug 01 - 11:47 PM
Malcolm Douglas 09 Aug 01 - 11:53 PM
masato sakurai 10 Aug 01 - 12:15 AM
pavane 10 Aug 01 - 03:08 AM
GUEST,sigurd 10 Aug 01 - 06:00 AM
Garry Gillard 11 Aug 01 - 04:58 AM
George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 11 Aug 01 - 12:08 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 01 - 03:42 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 01 - 03:45 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 01 - 03:48 PM
SINSULL 11 Aug 01 - 08:50 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Aug 01 - 10:18 PM
GUEST,sigurd 12 Aug 01 - 06:23 AM
okthen 12 Aug 01 - 07:20 AM
GUEST,willow 12 Apr 06 - 03:57 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Apr 06 - 11:47 PM
Bat Goddess 13 Apr 06 - 07:47 AM
Joe Offer 16 May 06 - 01:06 PM
Joe Offer 18 May 06 - 01:22 PM
Jim Dixon 15 Oct 10 - 07:29 PM
GUEST,A Gregory 24 Jan 11 - 03:12 PM
GUEST,Guest : Shay 29 Aug 12 - 11:39 AM
Steve Gardham 29 Aug 12 - 06:44 PM
Dave Hunt 29 Aug 12 - 09:05 PM
GUEST,Alison Ward 09 Apr 18 - 07:57 AM
GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP) 09 Apr 18 - 09:09 AM
Tradsinger 09 Apr 18 - 02:19 PM
Steve Gardham 10 Apr 18 - 10:59 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: THREE JOVIAL HUNTSMEN
From: JenEllen
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 09:47 PM

I'm trying to find a tune, lyric variations, and history for the following:

There were three jovial huntsmen
As I have heard men say
And they would go a-hunting
Upon St.David's day

All the day they hunted
And nothing could they find
But a ship a-sailing
A-sailing with the wind
One said it was a ship
The other he said nay
The third said it was a house
With the chimney blown away

And all the night they hunted
And nothing could they find
But the moon a-gliding
A-gliding with the wind
One said it was the moon
The other he said nay
The third said it was cheese
And half of it cut away

And all the day they hunted
And nothing could they find
But a hedgehog in a bramble bush
And that they left behind
The first said it was a hedgehog
The second he said nay
Thei third said it were a pincushion
And the pins stuck in wrong way

And all the night they hunted
And nothing could they find
But a hare in a turnip field
And that they left behind
The first said it were a hare
The second he said nay
The third said it were a calf
And the cow had run away

And all the day they hunted
And nothing could they find
But an owl in a holly tree
And that they left behind
One said it was an owl
The other he said nay
The third said it was the evil one
And they all ran away

There were three jovial huntsman
As I have heard men say
And they would go a-hunting
Upon St.David's day

Any additions are greatly appreciated. Thanks, Jen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 11:35 PM

The text you quote is pretty much the one I remember from "Singing Together" at school in the '60s; I have a tune for it and will get back to you on that.  Meanwhile, there are three versions in the DT that I can think of, perhaps more...

Three Jolly Sportsmen

Three Jolly Welshmen

Three Jolly Welchmen


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: Sorcha
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 11:47 PM

Malcolm, didn't you also do a tune for the No Tune list? Just a vague memory here.........


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 09 Aug 01 - 11:53 PM

I did, but that was another version.  I'll pull it all together tomorrow when I've had a bit of a sleep (5 a.m. here)...


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: masato sakurai
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 12:15 AM

For lyric vaiants and the song's history, see Iona & Peter Opie, The Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes, new edition (Oxford, 1997, no. 524, s.v. Welshmen). The words "Upon St. David's Day" was used as the title of a dance tune entered in John Playford's Dancing Master (1714). Commentary on the latter and the music can be found in Claude M. Simpson, The British Broadside Ballad and Its Music (Rutgers UP, 1966, pp. 731-2). According to Florence E. Brunnings' Folk Song Index (Garland, 1981), there were other titles related to this song, which are under the index "Cape Ann": The Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman; It's Hunting We Will Go; Lookie There!; Looky There Now; The Three Hunters; The Three Huntsmen; Three Jolly Hunters; Three Jolly Huntsmen; Three Jovial Huntsmen; Three Jovial Welshmen; Three Little Hunters; Three Men of Gotham; Three Men They Went A-Hunting; Three Men Went A-Hunting; 'Twas of Three Jolly Welshmen; The Two Noble Kinsmen; We Hunted and We Halloed; We Hunted and We Hallowed; We Went Alog a Bit Further; We Whooped and We Hollered.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: pavane
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 03:08 AM

I saw a thread on the Three Men of Gotham quite recently


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: GUEST,sigurd
Date: 10 Aug 01 - 06:00 AM

Hi Jen,

There's also a version of the Harry Belafonte singers on the album "Cheers" called Hunters song starting like this: "There were three jo jo Huntsmen A hunting they did go They hunted and they hallowed And they gave their horns a blow Looky there now looky there ect.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: Garry Gillard
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 04:58 AM

a href="http://wwwmcc.murdoch.edu.au/~gillard/watersons/carthy.html">Martin Carthy has twice as many in his version: Six Jovial Welshmen.

Garry


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 12:08 PM

JenEllen, here is what I've found vor variants in the DT, and Forum.

3 Jolly Coachmen
3 Jolly Rogues of Lynne
3 Jolly Sneaksmen
3 Jolly Sportsmen
3 Jolly Welchmen
3 Jolly Welshmen
 
King Arthur / Variant of 3 Jolly Rogues
 
3 Jolly Fishermen
 
3 Jolly Fishermen
3 Jolly Coachmen
3 Jolly Rogues of Lynn/In Good Old Colony Days
3 Jolly Boys In a Row
3 Jolly Sportsmen
 
One of our earliest ever threads on the Forum:
3 Jolly
&bsp;

Have fun.


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Subject: ADD: Notes: 3 Jovial Huntsmen
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 03:42 PM

Many of the songs George mentions above are completely unrelated to this one, except insofar as they recount the (mis)adventures of three companions.  In any case, we are probably already dealing with two songs; A fox-hunting song and one involving a series of comic misadventures.  Peter Kennedy, for example (Folk Songs of Britain and Ireland, 1975) classes them separately.  For the purposes of this thread, however, we may as well consider these two groups to be close enough relatives to be dealt with together.  The relevant links are, therefore:

Three Jolly Sportsmen  : the version noted by Dr. Gardiner from William Taylor, Petersfield Workhouse, Hampshire in 1908, though this is not stated.  It belongs to the "foxhunt" sub-group of the song rather than to the (older?) "misunderstandings" thread.  A midi of the tune will appear at  The Mudcat Midi Pages  in due course, but can meanwhile be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Click to play Three Jolly Sportsmen.

Three Jolly Welshmen  : an American set from Mrs Annie Stevenson, TN, 1954; with tune.
Three Jolly Welchmen  : another American version, with tune.

THE THREE HUNTERS,  which I missed the other night, is from The New Green Mountain Songster (Helen Hartness Flanders), and was noted from Paul Lorette of VT; with tune.

lyric request: fox hunting song  contains an American text of Beau Reynolds (Again from the "foxhunt" group) and the text of Three Jolly Sportsmen which was later included in the DT.

Since Masato mentions the Opies, we may as well start with them.  The main text they give is the same as the one JenEllen quotes, though they are Welshmen rather than Huntsmen.  The Opies have was for were throughout, and the final verse ends

The third said 'twas an old man,
And his beard growing grey.

They continue:

"This well-known song was embodied in a black-letter broadside ballad, Choice of Inuentions, Or Seuerall sorts of the figure of three, entered in the Stationers' Register 2 January 1632:

There were three men of Gotam,
as I haue heard men say,
That needs would ride a hunting
vpon Saint Dauids day,
Though all the day they hunting were,
yet no sport could thev see,
Untill they spide an Owle
as she sate in a tree:
The first man said it twas a Goose,
the second man said nay,
The third man said it was a Hawke,
but his Bels were falne away.

The song, it appears, was already old, for in Fletcher and Shakespeare's joint work, The Two Noble Kinsmen, which may be dated 1613, the jailor's daughter sings (III. V),

There were three fooles, fell out about an howlet
The one sed it was an owle
The other he said nay,
The third he sed it was a hawke, and her bels were cut away.

The first five verses, in their present state, 'For Little Masters and Misses', are found as early as 1760 in The Top Book of All.  These were known to James Orchard Halliwell (The Nursery Rhymes of England) in 1842, and he was later able to add the rest of the story.  In 1880 Randolph Caldecott further popularized the song with his illustrations to a Lancashire dialect version, The Three Jovial Huntsmen, beginning,

It's of three jovial huntsmen, an' a hunting they did go;
An' they hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' they blew their horns also.
Look ye there!
An' one said, Mind yo'r e'en, an' keep yo'r noses reet i' th' wind,
An' then, by scent or seet, we'll leet o' summat to our mind.
Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they hollo'd, an' the first thing they did fïnd
Was a tatter't boggart, in a field, an' that they left behind.
Look ye there!
One said it was a boggart, an' another he said, Nay;
It's just a ge'man-farmer, that has gone an' lost his way.
Look ye there!

A song comparatìve with this, which has also entered nursery collections, was possibly also old when it appeared in some sheet music about 1725:

There was 3 Jovial Welshmen, & they would hunt the Fox;
And where should they find bold Reynolds, but among the Woods & Rocks.
With a gibble, gibble, gibble, all in a merry tone,
With a hoop, hoop, hoop & hallow, & so cry'd 'ery one.

[Note: this verse contained superscripts which mostly don't work in html, so I have expanded them.]

Six verses follow.  Entitled The Pursuit of Reynard, this is found again, with fairly similar words, in The Woody Choristers (c. 1770).  It was also collected by Baring-Gould for A Book of Nursery Songs and Rhymes (1895) and by Alfred Williams in Folk Songs of the Upper Thames (1923). "


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Subject: ADD: Six Joyful Welchmen
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 03:45 PM

Sabine Baring Gould (Songs of the West, revised edition, 1905) gives substantially the same information, adding that The Choice of Inventions was directed to be sung to the tune of Rock the Cradle, Sweet John, which is to be found in Chappell's Ballad Literature and Popular Music of the Olden Time.  The set he prints, which was noted from "Old Capul", Nankivel, Merivale Bridge, around 1890, is substantially the same as Three Jolly Sportsmen, above.

He also refers to an (arguably related) song, Six Jovial Welshmen (in fact, he mistakes the title), which was noted by W.P. Merrick from Henry Hills of Lodsworth in Sussex, (June 1900) and appeared in volume I of The Journal of the Folk Song Society (issue no. 5, 1904):

SIX JOYFUL WELCHMEN

(Noted by W.P. Merrick from Henry Hills of Lodsworth in Sussex; June 1900)

It's of six joyful Welchmen,
Six joyful men were they,
And they would all a-hunting ride
Upon St. David's day.
Then fill each glass and let it pass,
No sign of care betray,
We will drink and sing, "Long live the King!"
Upon St. David's Day.
Then fill each glass and let it pass,
No sign of care betray,
We will drink and sing, "Long live the King!"
Upon St. David's Day.


When Crook-back'd Richard wore the crown,
As regent of the land,
No policy could pull him down,
Nor his proud foe* withstand.
A tribute he from them did seek,
Which they refused to pay,
And in their cap they wore a leek
Upon St. David's Day.
Then fill each glass and let it pass,
No sign of care betray,
We will drink and sing, "Long live the King!"
Upon St. David's Day.


*Merrick glosses this as Law.

This is the song that Martin Carthy has mixed with a "misunderstandings" variant (see Gary Gillard's link above), though Long live the King has been changed to while the bells do ring.  The melody as written down was without barring; J.A. Fuller Maitland gave a notional re-barring, with some note values modified, to approximate a likely rhythm.  A midi of his modification of the tune will appear at  The Mudcat Midi Pages  in due course, but can meanwhile be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Click to play Six Joyful Welchmen.

The text printed in Alfred Williams' Folk Songs of the Upper Thames (1923), referred to by the Opies, is another Bold Reynolds foxhunt set, and was collated from around five variants.


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Subject: ADD: Three Jolly Huntsmen
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 03:48 PM

The "school" set I mentioned earlier was reproduced from English Folk Songs for Schools (Sabine Baring Gould and Cecil Sharp , 1905); the text may be collated.  The tune appears to be that noted by Sharp from Mrs. Lucy White of Hambridge, Somerset, in 1904, though with the rhythm made more regular.  Here is her version:

THREE JOLLY HUNTSMEN

(Noted by Cecil Sharp from Mrs. Lucy White of Hambridge, Somerset, in 1904.)

We hunted all the day, my boys,
But nothing could we find
But a hay-rick in the fields, my boys,
And that we left behind.
The Englishman said: Hayrick,
The Scotchman he said: Nay,
Poor Paddy said: It's the Catholic Church
With the steeple blown away.
And a-hunting we will go.

So we hunted all the day, my boys,
But nothing could we find
But a hedgehog in the fields, my boys,
And that we left behind.
The Englishman he said: Hedgehog.
The Scotchman he said: Nay.
Poor Paddy said 'twas a pincussion
Turned up the upside way.
And a-hunting we will go.

We hunted all the day, my boys,
But nothing could we find
But a black pig in the field, my boys,
And that we left behind.
The Englishman he said: Black pig.
The Scotchman he said: Nay.
Poor Paddy said it was Old Nick
And so let us run away.
And a-hunting we will go.

From The Crystal Spring: English Folk Songs Collected by Cecil Sharp, ed. Maud Karpeles, Oxford University Press 1975.  The Welshmen often become, in later versions, an Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman.  Peter Kennedy printed one such set from Hywel Wood of Bala, Merionethshire, 1954, Three Men Went a-Hunting, and wondered whether the change might be the revenge of the Welsh!

 A midi of the Mrs. White's tune will appear at  The Mudcat Midi Pages  in due course, but can meanwhile be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Click to play Three Jolly Huntsmen.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THREE JOVIAL HUNTSMEN
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 08:50 PM

I know it from an old LP. The Highwaymen or the Brothers Four. Maybe even Chad Mitchell. This is as much as I remember:

There were three jovial huntsmen
A'huntin they did go
They hunted and they hallowed
And gave their horns a blow
Well, lookie there now; lookie there.

On their way a huntin'
They brought a jug of rum
THe first one drank; the second drank;
The third one he drank some
Well lookie there now; lookie there

They hunted and they hallowed
And each one took a swig
They rode along quite merrily
Until they spied a pig
Well lookie there now; lookie there

The first:"'Tis a cow"
The second:"Nay"
The third: "You fools, it's Mrs. Finch with a little Finch on the way
Well, lookie there now; lookie there

They hunted and they hallowed
And passed the jug of rum
'Til they came to a farmer's privy
Then they argued some
Well, lookie there now; lookie there

The first:"'Tis a barn"
The second "Nay"
The third: "You fools, it's a meeting house with the steeple blown away.
Lookie there now; lookie there

They shot to the left; they shot to the right
They blasted all around,
The first one nicked a cricket
Damn near brought him down
Lookie there now; lookie there

The second shot an old dead horse and after several tries
The third one hit the gameskeeper right between the eyes
Well, lookie there now; lookie there

And so these jovial huntesmen
A'huntin they did go
They hunted and they hallowed and gave their horns a blow
Well, lookie there now; lookie there....


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Subject: Lyr Add: THREE JOLLY HUNTSMEN (LANCASHIRE)
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Aug 01 - 10:18 PM

Thankyou, Sinsull.  Any chance of a tune for that one?

One more.  The Lancashire version referred to earlier I can't lay hands on just now, but I do have a more recent form of it -to the same tune- as given by Mike Harding in his Folk Songs of Lancashire (1980).  He describes it as "quoted in Waugh's Owd Cronies".  Waugh wrote in the latter part of the 19th. century, so Harding's set is clearly a modernisation; it's a pity he didn't feel able to be a little more specific.

THREE JOLLY HUNTSMEN (LANCASHIRE)

It's of three jolly huntsmen and a hunting they did go
And they hunted and they hollered and they blew their horns also
And one said "Mind your eyes and keep your noses to the wind
And then by scent or sight we'll find summat to our mind.
Look you there!"

They hunted and they hollered and the next thing they did find
Was a turnip in a turnip field and that they left behind
One said it was a boggart and the other he said "Nay!
It's just a rusty cannon ball owd Hitler threw away
Look you there!"

They hunted and they hollered and the next thing they did find
A tattered boggart in a field and that they left behind
One said it was a boggart and the other he said "Nay!
It's just a drunken tinker who's gone and lost his way
Look you there!"

They hunted and they hollered and the next thing they did find
Two lovers in a lane and those they left behind
One said as it were boggarts and the other he said "Nay!
It's just two raving lunatics who tried to run away
Look you there!"

They hunted and they hollered and the next thing they did find
An old pig lying in a poke and that they left behind
One said it was a boggart and the other he said "Nay!
It's just a Manchester alderman who hasn't much to say
Look you there!"

They hunted and they hollered and the next thing they did find
An old crow lying dead and still and that they left behind
One said it was a boggart and the other he said "Nay!
It's just a dirty blackin' brush somebody's thrown away
Look you there!"

They hunted and they hollered till the settin' of the sun
And they'd nowt to bring away at last when t' huntin' day were done
Said one unto the other "This huntin' doesn't pay
But we've powlered up and down a bit and had a rattlin' day."

The tune is The Rose.  A midi of the tune will appear at  The Mudcat Midi Pages  in due course, but can meanwhile be heard via the  South Riding Folk Network  site:

Click to play Three Jolly Huntsmen (Lancashire set).


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Subject: Lyr Add: HUNTERS SONG
From: GUEST,sigurd
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 06:23 AM

Hi Jen,

As I mentioned earlier,there is another version sung on the Album "Cheers" Drinking songs from around the World byThe Belafonte folksingers 1958

HUNTERS SONG

There were three jovial Huntsmen
A hunting they did go
They hunted and they hollowed
And they gave their horns a blow
And looky there now looky there

Now on their way a hunting
They had a drink or two
And then they heard a rooster
Say cockle doodle doo
Looky there now looky there
The first: "'Tis a bugler"
The second: "Nay"
The third: "You fools it's a maiden
That sings so sweet and gay"
Looky there now looky there

They hunted and they hollowed
They passed a jug o' rum
Till they came to a farmers privy
And there they argued some
Looky there now looky there
The first:" 'Tis a barn"
The second: "Nay"
The third: "You fools it's a meeting house
With the steeple blown away"
Looky there now looky there

They hunted and they hollowed
And each one took a drink
And then they saw a paddle
And stood there on the brink
Looky there now looky there
The first: " 'Tis a lake"
The second: "Nay"
The third: "You fools it's the ocean
That's standing in our way"
Looky there now looky there

They hunted and they hollowed
And each one took a swig
And they rode along quite merrily
Until they spied a pig
Looky there now looky there
The first: "It's a cow"
The second: "Nay"
The third: "You fools it's Mrs Finch
And looking mighty gay"
Looky there now looky there

They shot to the left
They shot to the right
They blasted all around
The first one nicked a cricket
And damn near brought him down
Looky there now looky there
The second shot an old dead horse
And after several tries
The third one got the gameskeeper
Right between the eyes
Looky there now looky there


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Subject: Lyr Add: THERE WERE THREE MEN WENT HUNTING (?)
From: okthen
Date: 12 Aug 01 - 07:20 AM

First heard this by Bob Davenport, he sang...

There were three men went hunting to see what they could find.
They came across a cow pat, and that they left behind.
The Englishman said it's a cow pat. The Scotsman he said nay.
Geordie said it's a currant bun with the currants all blown away.

CHORUS: Well, look at that now. Well, look at that now.
Titty fal la, fal la, fal lay
Titty fal la, fal lay

They went along a bit further and nothing could they find.
They came across hedgehog and that they left behind.
The Englishman said...etc.
Geordie said it's a pincushion with the pins stuck in the wrong way.

...came across a pigsty…
Geordie said it's Parliament with the M. P.'s all away.

Cheers
Bill

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 9-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: GUEST,willow
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 03:57 PM

Chris Wood, Roger Wilson And Martin Carthy recorded (If my memory serves me), Three Jovial Welshmen - In which they came across, amongst the more traditional elements, Patrick Moore. It's on an eponymously titled album.

Cheers all


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 11:47 PM

A favorite in North America from Canada to the Ozarks and beyond, and on to the 'unprintable' version of "The Three Butchers" in Randolph and Legman. The Traditional Ballad Index gives a lot of space to this complex.
Surprised Joe hasn't made a study thread of the variants for this one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Ch/History: 3 Jovial Huntsmen???
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 13 Apr 06 - 07:47 AM

Sinsull, I first learned that same version in the '60s from an Oscar Brand recording. (Which I probably still have somewhere.)

Linn


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Subject: ADD: And We Hunted and We Hunted
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 May 06 - 01:06 PM

Let's see if I can transcribe exactly what's in the book, Animal Folk Songs for Children (Ruth Crawford Seeger, 1950):

And We Hunted and We Hunted
(Three Jolly Welshmen)

And we hunted and we hunted and we hunted and we found
A pig in the lane and him we left behind.
Look 'ee there!
Some said it was
a pig but others said nay.
Some said it was
an elephant with its snout shot away.
Look 'ee there!

And we hunted and we hunted and we hunted and we found
A frog in the well and him we left behind.
Look 'ee there!
Some said it was
a frog but others said nay.
Some said it was
a canary with his feathers washed away.
Look 'ee there!

And we hunted and we hunted and we hunted and we found
A man in the road and him we left behind.
Look 'ee there!
Some said it was
a man but others said nay.
Some said it was
a monkey with his tail cut away.
Look 'ee there!

And we hunted and we hunted and we hunted and we found
An owl in an ivy bush and him we left behind.
Look 'ee there!
Some said it was
an owl but others said nay.
Some said it was
the devil and we all ran away.
Look 'ee there!

Verses:
A pig in the lanean elephant with its snout shot away.
A frog in the wella canary with his feathers washed away.
A man in the roada monkey with his tail cut away.
An owl in an ivy bushthe devil and we all ran away.
A horse in the wooda deer, but its horns are shot away
A cat in the woodan owl, but its ears are shot away
The moon in the elementsa cheese, but the half's cut away
A hedgehoga pincushion with the pins stuck in the wrong way.
A girl in a cottagean angel with her wings blown away
A barn in the meadowa church with the steeple washed away
A ship in full saila washtub with the clothes hung out to dry
A snake in the grassa branch with the twigs cut away
A ball in the roada turtle with its legs tucked away
A child in the beda bear, and we all ran away
or a pony gone to sleep on the hay
or any number of other things



Ruth Crawford Seeger said one traditional singer claimed he knew upward of a hundred stanzas of this old nonsense song, made up around the lumber camp in which he learned the song. The tune is the same as Three Jolly Welchmen in the Digital Tradition (the Seeger tune is in 2/4, and the DT tune switches between 4/4 and 2/4 -otherwise, they're the same)


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Subject: RE: Add/Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen
From: Joe Offer
Date: 18 May 06 - 01:22 PM

Most of the information we have on this song is in this one thread, so maybe it's an idea to turn it into an "Origins" thread and see what else we can find out about it. Here's what the Traditional Ballad Index says about this song:

Three Jolly Huntsmen

DESCRIPTION: Three jolly (Frenchmen/Welshmen/other) go hunting. Periodically they see things (barn, frog, moon) which they cannot identify. In each case they propound their theories and move on. Finally they see an owl. One says it is the "evil one"; they flee
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1613 (broadside, "Choice of Inventions, Or Seuerall sort of the figure of three"; earliest complete form 1219?)
KEYWORDS: humorous hunting nonsense
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South),Scotland(Aber),Wales) US(Ap,MA,MW,NE,SE,So) Canada(Mar)
REFERENCES (25 citations):
Belden, pp. 246-248, "Three Jolly Welshmen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph 77, "We Hunted and Hollered" (1 text, 1 tune)
Randolph-Legman I, pp. 306-307, "Three Jolly Huntsmen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Eddy 87, "Three Jolly Frenchmen" (1 text)
McNeil-SFB2, pp. 55-57, "Three Jolly Welshmen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Fuson, pp. 183-184, "Three Jolly Welchmen" (1 text)
FSCatskills 152, "The Three Huntsmen" (1 text, 1 tune)
BrownII 190, "Three Jolly Welshmen" (5 text, but only "A" and "B" go here; the rest are "The Bold Ranger")
Scarborough-NegroFS, pp. 57-58, "So We Hunted and We Hollered," "Old Circus Song" (2 texts, the second from a newspaper)
Flanders/Brown, pp. 125-126, "We Hunted and We Hallooed" (1 text)
Linscott, pp. 290-292, "Three Jovial Huntsmen" (1 text, 1 tune)
Lomax-FSNA 2, "Cape Ann" (1 text, 1 tune)
Williams-Thames, pp. 179-180, "Twas of Three Jolly Welshman" (1 text) (also Wiltshire-WSRO Wt 403)
Kennedy 306, "Three Men Went A-Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Creighton-NovaScotia 93, "Three Men Went A-Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Cohen/Seeger/Wood, p. 168, "Three Men Went A-Hunting" (1 text, 1 tune)
Botkin-NEFolklr, pp. 529-530, "Cape Ann" (1 text, 1 tune)
JHCox 165, "The Three Farmers" (1 text, 2 tunes)
Greig #31, p. 2, "The Hedgehog" (1 fragment)
GreigDuncan2 283, "The Hedgehog" (2 fragments, 1 tune)
Opie-Oxford2 524, "There were three jovial Welshmen" (5 texts plus a reproduction facing p. 422 of the 1632 broadside "Choice of Inventions")
Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #348, pp. 183-184, "(There were three jovial Welshmen)"
Silber-FSWB, p. 243, "Cape Ann" (1 text)
DT 315, THREWLSH* JOLLWLCH
ADDITIONAL: James P. Leary, Compiler and Annotator, _Wisconsin Folklore_ University of Wisconsin Press, 2009, article "The Wanigan Songbook" by Isabel J. Ebert, pp. 214-215, "Three Happy Hunters" (1 text, sung by Emory DeNoyer)

Roud #283
RECORDINGS:
Jack Elliott, "We Went Along a Bit Further" (on Elliotts01)
George Endicott, "Three Scamping Rogues" (on FieldTrip1)
A. L. Lloyd, "Three Drunken Huntsmen" (on Lloyd12)
Byrd Moore & his Hot Shots, "Three Men Went A-Hunting" (Columbia 15496-D, 1929, sung to the tune of "Wish I'd Stayed in the Wagon Yard")
New Lost City Ramblers, "Three Men Went a-Hunting" (on NLCR03)
Hywel Wood, "Three Men Went a-Hunting" (on FSB10)

CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "The Bold Ranger" (theme, some lyrics)
cf. "The Wild Cat Back on the Pipe Line" (theme, form)
ALTERNATE TITLES:
We Hunted and We Halloed
Look Ye There, Now
Three Jolly Hunters
The Three Huntsmen
Twas of Three Jolly Welshmen
Three Jovial Welshmen
NOTES: What appears to be a stanza of this piece is quoted in the Shakespeare/Fletcher play "The Two Noble Kinsmen" (c. 1611). In III.v.67-71, immediately after singing a snatch of "The George Aloe and the Sweepstake," the mad jailer's daughter sings,
There was three fools, fell out about an howlet,
The one sed it was an owl, the other he sed nay,
The third he sed it was a hawk,
and her bels were cut away.
A stanza in William Davenant's 1668 play "The Rivals" seems to be on the same theme, though it uses a different metrical pattern:
There were three Fools at Mid-summer run mad
About an Howlet, a quarrel they had.
The one said 't was an Owle, the other he said nay,
The third said it was a Haek but the Bells were cutt away. - RBW
Where Williams-Thames has "an owl in an ivy bush, and that they left behind. The first man said it was an old cow ....", Wiltshire-WSRO has"an owl up in the ivy, and that they left behind. The first man said it was a shepherd�s house ...." - BS
The "Cape Ann" versions of the song should not be confused with Gordon Bok's recent composition of the same name. - PJS
Last updated in version 2.7
File: R077

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The Ballad Index Copyright 2012 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHOICE OF INUENTIONS
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Oct 10 - 07:29 PM

From The Old Book Collector's Miscellany, Volume 1 by Charles Hindley (London: Reeves and Turner, 1871), page 106:


Choice of Inuentions,
Or
Seuerall sorts of the figure of three,
That are newly compos'd as you may here see;
Then lend your attention, you shall heare anon;
It goes to the tune of Rock the Cradle, sweet John.

1. There were three men of Gotam,
  as I haue heard men say,
That needs would ride a hunting
  vpon Saint Dauid's day.
Though all the day they hunting were,
  yet no sport could they see,
Vntill they spide an Owle,
  as she sate in a tree.
The first man said it t'was a Goose.
  the second man said nay,
The third man said it was a Hawke,
  but his Bels were falne away:

[CHORUS] There was an Ewe had three Lambes,
  and one of them was blacke;
There was a man had three sonnes,
  Ieffery, Iames, and Iacke;
The one was hang'd, the other drown'd,
The third was lost and never found,
The old man he fell in a sownd:
  come, fill vs a cup of Sacke.


2. There were three London Lasses
  did loue a bonney Lad,
And either of these Wenchs thought
  this young man to haue had.
These Damsels all together met,
  and wrought a strange deuice,
That she should have the man that could
  throw most vpon three Dice;
Their maiden-heads must be the stake,
  now marke what did befall,
The young man threw the greatest cast,
  and brauely wonne they all.

3. There were three good old women
  that would not be contrould,
And each of them must take her cup,
  to keepe them from the cold.
The one of them a Taylors wife,
  the other was a Weauer,
The third a merry Coblers wife,
  that praid for dirty weather;
To sit and chat of this and that,
  it was then their hearts desire;
So long they staid till two were drunk,
  the third fell in the fire.

4. The Piper pip't his wife a daunce,
  and there sprung vp a Rose;
The Cobler drunke strong Ale so long
  till he had wrong'd his Hose;
His wife came with a Broomstaffe,
  and strooke him on the head,
That euery one did surely thinke
  the Cobler had beene dead:
But being to his senses come,
  "sweet wife," said he, "be quiet,
This twelue months day Ile take small Beere
  or water for my diet."

5. A man that hath a sluttish wife
  is in a beastly taking:
And he that hath a cleanly wife
  is of another making;
He that hath a dogged wife
  my fancy cannot brooke,
But he that hath a vertuous wife
  hath farre more better lucke:
He that hath a drunken wife,
  that spends all at the Alehouse,
Were better take a Cord in hand,
  and hang himselfe at the Gallowes.


The Second Part, to the same tune.

6. There was a Lasse had three Louers,
  the one of them a Taylor,
The second was a monied man,
  the third a Iouiall Saylor:
The Taylor gaue his Loue a Gowne,
  in loue and kinde good will;
The Vsurer, with his money-bags,
  her purse did often fill;
The Saylor in the Euening came
  vnto his hearts delight,
And brauely carried the wench away,
  the childe and all, by night.

[CHORUS AS IN PART 1]

7. There were three roaring Fidlers
  came lately out of France,
That light and nimbly can
  teach maidens how to daunce.
In Turnbull-street and Clarkenwell,
  Pickt-hatch, and faire Bloomsberry,
These fidlers taught their scholler there
  to sing, daunce, and be merry:
Yet bid all Fidlers haue a care
  of dauncing in this kinde,
Lest they from Tiburne chance to fall,
  and leaue the Crowd behinde.

8. A man that hath a signe at his doore,
  and keeps good Ale to sell,
A comely wife to please his guests,
  may thriue exceedingly well;
But he that hath a scolding wife,
  his fortune is the worse,
For shee'll not onely brawle and chide,
  but picke her husbands purse:
And he that hath a foole to his wife,
  her neighbours oft will flout her;
But he that hath a Whore to his wife,
  were better be without her.

9. There were three lusty souldiers
  went through a towne of late,
The one lou'd Besse, the other Sisse,
  the third lou'd bouncing Kate.
These maidens were three Landresses,
  to wash mens shirts and bands,
And for their pains these souldiers gaue
  them wages in their hands.
The Gallants are to Sweathland gone—
  all this is truth I tell yee—
And left these Lasses for to cry,
  "woe and alas! my belly!"

10. Three Gallants in a Tauerne
  did brauely call for Wine;
But he that loues those dainty Gates
  is sure no friend of mine;
Giue me a cup of Barley broth,
  for this of truth is spoke,
These Gallants drunke so hard that each
  was forct to pawne his Cloake:
The oyle of Barley neuer did
  such iniury doe to none,
So that they drinke what may suffice,
  and afterwards be gone.

Printed at London for F. Coles,


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: GUEST,A Gregory
Date: 24 Jan 11 - 03:12 PM

I remember a version on a Scottish LP from my childhood in the 70's, which means it could have been recorded in the 60's, where one lyric was (as I remember):

They came across a lamppost which someone'd left behind
The Englishman says 'lamppost'
The Scotsman he says 'nae'
The Irisher says it's a policeman whose clothes have blown away

Does anyone recall this version? I seem to remember the album cover featuring 3 or four male musicians.

Thanks!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: GUEST,Guest : Shay
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 11:39 AM

This a recent version arranged and sung by Andy Irvine from the album Abocurragh an earlier version was also done by Sweeneys Men.

Three Huntsmen Trad: Andy Irvine
It's of three huntsmen brave and bold as I have heard them say
They took five hundred guineas all in one market day
And as they rode home together o'er the Wicklow mountains high
O its hold horse cries Johnson for I hear a woman cry

I will not stop says Wilson I will not stop says he
And nor will I stop says Gilmore for robbed I'm afraid we'll be
But Johnson getting off his horse and searching the woods all around
Till he found a naked woman with her hair pinned to the ground

O woman dear O woman dear how come you here for to span
Who that brought you here on this may morning with your hair pinned to the ground
It was three bold and struggling men with swords keen in hand
Who that brought me here this May morning with my hair pinned to the ground

But my father he's a wealthy man and your kindness he'll repay
My life I place all in your hands protect sir I pray
Well Johnson being a man of his own being valiant brave and bold
He took off his coat from off his back for to keep her from the cold

And Johnson getting on his horse the woman got on behind
They rode down that lonesome valley their fortunes for to find
And as they rode on along the way as fast as they could ride
She threw her fingers to her lips and gave three shivering cries

Out sprang three bold and struggling men with swords keen in hand
Who commanded him to tarry commanded him to stand
Well I will stand says Johnson I'll stand then says he
For I never was in all of me life afraid of any three

And Johnson killing two of them not minding the woman behind
As he was at the other one she stabbed from behind
The day it was free and a market day the people all passing by
Could have seen this awful murder could have poor Johnson die


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 06:44 PM

This is not a version of the same song. It does have almost as long a pedigree but it's The Three Butchers.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: Dave Hunt
Date: 29 Aug 12 - 09:05 PM

~I often use it when working in schools - children like to make up the silly things that they might find. One of the favourites is - 'The came across a pigstye..etc....it's only the staffroom with the teachers all away'!


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: GUEST,Alison Ward
Date: 09 Apr 18 - 07:57 AM

I first heard of the poem 'The three jolly huntsman' in a St. Michael's book of Bedtime Stories, and absolutely loved this tale as a child.
It ended in the old man with beard growing grey rather than the evil part the others have mentioned.
I have since lost the book, and can't seem to trace it anywhere to make reference to it, but remember it recently as reading a story to my son it had a similar ring to it, and I remembered this poem.
Interesting to hear about al the other variations and song forms too.
I hope this helps with added reference.
Best wishes
Alison


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: GUEST,Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 09 Apr 18 - 09:09 AM

Malcolm above lamented Mike Harding's omission of details of Edwin Waugh's version, so here it is. I took it from 'Owd Cronies in Tufts of Heather vol I(3) - it continues onto another page and the song is on the continuation page:Three Jolly Hunters, about 1/3 way down the page.

Mick



THREE JOLLY HUNTERS

It's of three jolly hunters, an' a-hunting they did go;
An' they hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' they blew their horns also.
   Look ye there!

An' one said, "Mind yo'r e'en, an' keep yo'r noses reet i'th wind,
An' then, bi scent or seet, yo'n leet o' summat to yo'r mind."
   Look ye there!

They hunted, and they halloo'd, an' the first thing they did find
Was a tatter't boggart, in a feelt, an' that they left behind.
   Look ye there!

One said it was a boggart, an' another he said "Nay;
It's just a drunken tinker that has gone an' lost his way."
   Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a turnip in a stubble-field, an' that they left behind.
   Look ye there!

One said it was a turnip, an' another he said "Nay;
It's just a cannon-bo' 'at owd Noll Crummill thrut away."
   Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a cratchinly owd pig-trough, an' that, too, they left behind.
   Look ye there!

One said it was a pig-trough, but another he said "Nay;
It's some poor craiter's coffin," an' that caused 'em much dismay.
   Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a jackdaw, lyin' cowd an' still, an' that they left behind.
   Look ye there!

One said it was a jackdaw, an' another he said "Nay
It's nobbut an' owd blackin'-brush 'at somebry's thrut away."
   Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a gruntin', grindin' grindlestone, an' that they left behind.
   Look ye there!

One said it was a grindlestone, another he said "Nay
It's nought but an' owd frozzen cheese 'at somebry's roll't away."
   Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was a bull-cauve in a pin-fowd, an' that, too, they left behind.
   Look ye there!

One said it wur a bull-cauve, an' another he said "Nay;
I's just a painted jackass that has never larnt to bray."
   Look ye there!

They hunted, an' they halloo'd, an' the next thing they did find
Was two young lovers in a lane, an' these they left behind.
   Look ye there!

One said that they were lovers, but another he said "Nay
They're two poor wanderin' lunatics — come, let us go away."
   Look ye there!

So they hunted, an' they halloo'd till the setting of the sun
An' they'd nought to bring away at last, when th' huntin' day was done.
   Look ye there!

Then one unto the other said, "This huntin' doesn't pay;
But wean powler't up an' down a bit, an' had a rattlin' day."
   Look ye there!

Source: Edwin Waugh, 'Owd Cronies


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: Tradsinger
Date: 09 Apr 18 - 02:19 PM

I have come across several versions in my collecting. One Hampshire version has the chorus:

Twas half past five in the morning in the middle of the night
The ducks began to quarrel and the pigs began to fight
The neighbours looked out of their window to see that all was right
For twas half past five in the morning in the middle of the night.

I also found a Gloucestershire version with much the same chorus. Has anyone found a similar chorus anywhere?

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Origins: Three Jovial Huntsmen (and related songs)
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 10 Apr 18 - 10:59 AM

Quite a common song in my neck of the woods, Gwilym, but nothing like this attached. A modern addition I'd guess.


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