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Lyr Add: Swarthfell Rocks

Wolfgang Hell 11 Mar 98 - 07:41 AM
Bruce O. 11 Mar 98 - 12:50 PM
PKD 14 Mar 98 - 04:27 PM
GUEST,Alan Robson 11 Apr 14 - 01:11 PM
GUEST,Alan Robson 10 May 14 - 02:00 PM
GUEST,Oz Childs 11 Sep 16 - 09:02 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 16 - 04:38 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: SWARTHFELL ROCKS
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 07:41 AM

There has been a request for this song in another thread. So here it is from a photocopy that says "Noted by F. Kidson, sung by Miss A. Bownass of Windermere" (I don't know from which book I once copied this).
Wolfgang

SWARTHFELL ROCKS

1. Early one morning as I rose from me bed
I heard "Hark, hark away, boys!" so clearly,
Then I drew a little nearer for to see who was there
That was going fox-hunting so early.
(Chorus: repeat last two lines of each verse)

2. There were some gentlemen who had come from Patterdale,
They had come for to make out a trial,
To see the hounds run in the North, where they had great fame and worth,
And most of them without any denial.

3. It was then on Swarthfell Rocks where we laid on our hounds,
Not thinking the tops being likely;
Now a huntsman long I've been, but the like I've never seen,
We unkenneled bold Reynard so early.

4. Out cries Henry Wilkinson, "Hark, hark away, my boys!"
Joe Clark, our foot sportsman soon heard him;
Richard Mounsey cried, "Oh zounds! you may couple up your hounds,
For this day you will never come near him."

5. They came through How Town moor, it being late an hour,
Sometimes one hound and sometimes another,
It was hard to be expressed which of them ran him best,
For they all ran abreast close together.

6. There was "Tipler", "Towly", "Fairmaid" and "Jolly",
There was "Countess", "Blossom" and "Fury",
Several other hounds ran close within his bounds,
But these were the hounds that ran near him.

7. Richard Mounsey rode amain, and he whipt up o'er the plain,
Joe Thompson's grey mare got no favour,
It was up the highest hill and down the deepest glen,
Expecting his life for our labour.

8. They came through Hallin Hag, their course it being strong,
I'm sure there would be little ease in it,
But our hounds they ran amain, and laid him in again,
And he took Sharrow Woods for his cover.

9. Then Reynard being weary, and seeking for shelter,
His way was to take straight over-
But the hounds they ran him well, and turned him in again,
And there they destroyed him forever.

10. Old "Lilter" followed in, and never more was seen,
Which caused our brave sportsmen to murmur,
For a finer little hound never ran upon the ground;
She was the bonniest little hound in the number.

11. So now to conclude, and finish my song,
This gallant fox hunt is all over;
It's the forty-second fox that's been slain from Swarthfell Rocks,
So that's put an end to my story.


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Subject: Tune Add: SWARTHFELL ROCKS
From: Bruce O.
Date: 11 Mar 98 - 12:50 PM

Frank Kidson contributed the song to JFSS, #9, 1906. He there expressed his belief that the song was derived from "The Fox- Chase...Duke of Buckingham's Hounds", ZN75, in the internet broadside index. (I agree, for what tht's worth) Kidson noted that George Villiers, the 2nd Duke of Buckingham, (1627-88) kept a pack of hounds at Helmsley, Noth Yorkshire. The Folger Shakespeare Library acquired an 18th century copy of the ballad about 10 years ago, and put it on display soon after.

X:1
T:Swarthfell Rocks
N:JFSS 9, p. 267, 1906
N:Note by Frank Kidson from Miss Bownass, Windemere
N:As she sang it at a Westmoreland festival in 1903
L:1/8
M:C
K:A
E|E2 C DA3E|F E (CE)A3A,|A, B, (CE) (AB) c A|B4A2||A B|\
c A B A F2 A F|E F E C A,2z A,|(A,B,) C E (AB) c A|B4A:|]


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Subject: ADD Version: Swarthfell Rocks
From: PKD
Date: 14 Mar 98 - 04:27 PM

Swarthfell Rocks

It were early one morning when I rose from me bed
I've heard hark, hark away me boys so clearly
And so I drew me a little nearer, for to see who was there
That were going out fox hunting so early
And so I drew me a little nearer, for to see who was there
That were going out fox hunting so early

There were nine gentlemen and the Duke of Buckingham
And they each of them set out upon the trial
To see the hounds run in the north, where they have great fame and worth
And the most of them set out with no denial
To see the hounds run in the north, where they have great fame and worth
And the most of them set out with no denial

It were at Swarthfell Rocks, where we laid on our hounds
Not thinking a fox there being likely
Now an huntsman long I've been but the likes I've never seen
We unkenneled bold Reynard so early
Now an huntsman long I've been but the likes I've never seen
We unkenneled bold Reynard so early

Henry Wilkinson cried "Hark, hark away me boys"
Joe Clark, our foot-sportsman, soon heard him
Richard Mounds he cried "Oddzounds, you mun' couple up your hounds
"For this day you never will come near him"
Richard Mounds he cried "Oddzounds, you mun' couple up your hounds
"For this day you never will come near him"

They come through our town moor, being late in the hour
It were sometimes one hound and sometimes t'other
It were hard to be expressed which of them ran him the best
For they each ran abreast close together
It were hard to be expressed which of them ran him the best
For they each ran abreast close together

There were Tippler and Towler and Fair Maid and Drolider
There were Countess and Blossom and Fury
And there were several other hounds ran close within his bounds
But these were the hounds that ran near him
There were several other hounds ran close within his bounds
But these were the hounds that ran near him

They come through Hallen Hag, their course being strong
I'm sure there was little ease in it
But our hounds they ran him well and they turned him in again
And he took Sharrow Woods for his cover
But our hounds they ran him well and they turned him in again
And he took Sharrow Woods for his cover

Then Reynard being weary and seeking for shelter
His way was to take the straight over
But our hounds they ran amain and they laid him in again
And there they destroyed him forever
But our hounds they ran amain and they laid him in again
And there they destroyed him forever

Oh Lilter followed him, and never more was seen
Which caused our great sportsmen to murmur
That a finer little hound never ran above the ground
He was the bonniest little hound in the number
Aye a finer little hound never ran above the ground
He was the bonniest little hound in the number

So now to conclude, and to finish me song
This gallant fox hunt it is all over
It's the forty-second fox that's been slain on Swarthfell Rocks
So that puts an end to me story
It's the forty-second fox that's been slain on Swarthfell Rocks
So that puts an end to me story

Mike, Lal and Norma sing this on "for pence and spicy ale", The Watersons 1975.

Bert Lloyd says in the sleeve notes:

On the surface this sounds like a local Ullswater song. Frank Kidson heard a lady sing it at a Windemere festival, and he contributed it to the Folk Song Journal (no 9) where the Watersons found it. In fact, like many hunting songs, it has turned up in other places with other place-names. Sharp and Baring-Gould found three or four sets of it in Somerset and Devon. They called it "The Duke's Hunt", with some reason, for the song has grown out of an earlier ballad, printed about 1660, concerning a pack of hounds owned by the repulsive George Villiers, second Duke of Buckinhgham (containing the "Dido, Bendigo" chorus that turns up in several hunting songs). Watersons have craftily brought brought the Duke's name into their version, though it wasn't there when the Windemere lady sang it.
Apologies for any spelling mistakes. Hope this is OK.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swarthfell Rocks
From: GUEST,Alan Robson
Date: 11 Apr 14 - 01:11 PM

Verse 4, line 3 should surely read "Richard Mounsey cried out "Zounds, you mun couple up your hounds". "Zounds" being an archaic contraction of "God's wounds".
You have in one thread "Oddzounds" and in another "Oh, zounds" both of which seem to me impossible. "Must" should read "mun", which is "must" in the Yorkshire dialect used.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swarthfell Rocks
From: GUEST,Alan Robson
Date: 10 May 14 - 02:00 PM

This is an error. The lyric is, in fact, "Oddzounds"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swarthfell Rocks
From: GUEST,Oz Childs
Date: 11 Sep 16 - 09:02 PM

On reflection I think "Richard Mounds" must really be "Richard Mounsey" because Mounsey is a good old North Country name. But what a strange song it is. The narrator, I think, woke up and totally forgot he was to be the chief sportsman at the hunt, When he showed up early in the morning someone must have told him, 'Saddle your horse and get your horn, you are in charge of this hunt!" Mounsey and Wilkinson would have been the whippers-in, and a a whipper-in would be the first to spy the fox since they ride nearest the hounds.

Note that the hunt staff is exactly right in this song: Huntsman (the narrator), whippers-in left and right, and a foot-sportsman to manage the hounds on foot.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Swarthfell Rocks
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 16 - 04:38 PM

There would be no hunt staff - this being a 'trial' and from an early date . The hounds would be owned by individuals and 'trencher fed' ie not kept in Kennels. This system became commonplace in N. America - but largely died out in UK. The 'trial' evolved into Hound Trailing, so serious betting could take place.


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