To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
7 messages

Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping

10 Sep 02 - 10:44 AM (#780443)
Subject: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
From: MMario

The lyrics presented by John Paddy Brown in FolkSongs of Old Hampshire appear to me to be different enough from those in the DT version to warrant posting them. The tune (per Brown - from F. Purslow in Marrow Bones)appears to be the same. These lyrics listed as collected by george B. Gardiner from "a resident of Marchwood" in 1907.


I got a dog and a good dog too
I keeps him in my keeping
For to catch those hares that run by night
Whilst the gamekeepers lie sleeping

My dog and me went out one night
For to learn some education
Up jumps a hare and away she runs
Right into a large pantation

She had not gone so very far
Before something stopped her running,
A Aunt! O Aunt! she loudly cried,
Stop a minute, your Uncle's coming!

Then I took out my old penknife
And quickly I did paunch her,
She turned out one of the female kind
How glad am I I caught her

I picked her up and I smoothed her down
And I put her in my keeping
And I said to my dog It's time to be gone
Whilst the Gamekeepers are still sleeping

Away me and my dod did go,
Back into the town
I took this hare to a labouring man
And I sold her for a crown.

We called into some public house
And there we got quite mellow;
For we spent that crown and another too,
Don't you think I'm a good-hearted fellow?

Search for "Gamekeeper" threads

While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping in the Digital Tradition

10 Sep 02 - 11:58 AM (#780487)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
From: Malcolm Douglas

Roud Folk Song Index no.363. The song as given in Marrowbones (EFDS Publications, 1965), where it appeared as Gamekeepers lie Sleeping, includes the following source information.
Gardiner H.651/H.1134. Chas. Bull, Marchwood, Southampton. June 1907 and Jas. Ray (a 21 year old gipsy) Petersfield, Hants. August 1908.
No indication is given as to which bits are from whom, but guessing from Purslow's standard practice in that book, I'd expect that Bull's text was amplified from Ray's.

The tune with the DT file has what appear to be some rather eccentric note-durations, but these may be the result of making the midi with Noteworthy, which doesn't appear to conform to normal standards; or of an unusually meticulous transcription by ear from a record. Whatever the case, if these are regularised and the tune re-barred, it's identical to that in Marrowbones. That being so, I'll add the comment from that book.

This time-signature is very approximate. The song should be sung very freely, and the accompaniment should be non-rhythmic.
For some reason, Brown has altered the text. Verses 5 and 6 as collected used the historic present:

I picks her up and I smooth her down,
And I puts her in my keeping,
I says to my dog, It's time to be going,
Whilst the gamekeepers are still sleeping.

Away me and my dog did go,
Back into the town,
I takes this hare to a labouring man,
And I sells her for a crown.

Mellow in the final verse is a conjectural substitution for the original singer's merry.

10 Sep 02 - 06:02 PM (#780804)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
From: Micca

Malcolm, get hold of June Tabors recording on her Airs and Graces album, the timing and length of notes in that are a bit variable!!!(if you have trouble finding a copy, I could send you a tape)

10 Sep 02 - 07:32 PM (#780858)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
From: harpgirl

I've always loved this song. Is it not a variant of "The Lincolnshire Poacher?"

10 Sep 02 - 08:31 PM (#780898)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
From: Malcolm Douglas

I've heard June Tabor's arrangement, and the guitar part is intelligent, though I think she perhaps rushes the song a little; so far as I can remember, it's based on the traditional set collected by Gardiner, but with the textual alterations mentioned above. It isn't related to The Lincolnshire Poacher.

09 Jul 08 - 08:56 AM (#2384597)
From: RTim

Collected by George Gardiner from Charles Bull of Marchwood June 1907 - I believe he actually lived at Longdown when collected from, which is between Marchwood and Ashurst. However, when younger he lived in the Magazine Cottages, Magazine Lane, Marchwood, and his father - Samuel, lived at Longdown and worked as a shepherd.

These are the actual Bull words, not the Purslow amended version using Ray's words, etc., to be sung with Bull's tune.

I had a dog in my father's care,
'Twas in his care and keeping,
To catch some game was my intent,
While keepers they lie sleeping.

My dog and I now scent could tell,
All around their habitation,
So up jumps one and away she runs,
Right into the plantation.

"Tan, tan" she holloed, "tan, tan" she cried,
"There's something stops me running,"
I says "be still you silly thing,
For your Uncle's just a-coming."

My dog and I now scent could tell,
Twas in a field on further,
Up jumps one and away she run,
My dog and she struck murder.

I picked her up and I cracked her crown,
And in my pocket I put her,
Thinks I to myself "I better be off,
Before the keeper's coming."

I went into a neighbour's house,
And asked what they would give me,
They said they'd give me a crown a brace,
If I could bring them fifty.

I went into a public house,
There I sat and got mellow,
I spent that crown and another one too,
Wasn't I a jolly fellow?

Tim Radford

09 Jul 08 - 11:10 AM (#2384714)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Whilst the Gamekeepers lie Sleeping
From: Tradsinger

Here's my version, as on my CD and as learnt (apart from verse .. from gypsy Wiggie Smith in Gloucestershire and possibly the only folk song with to contain the word 'airgun'.

I took my dog and my airgun too
And then I took a ramble
I rambled round for a mile or two
To see what I could find-oh.

I had not gone two fields from home
Before up jumped a hare-oh
Oh, up she jumped and away she ran
Made my dog, made her squeal murder

I had not gone three fields from home
Before up jumped another
Up she jumped and away she ran
Right into my plantation.

See how she laughs, see how she cried
Then something stopped her running
Lie still, lie still, oh you poor pussy cat
For your now is a-coming.

I popped that hare into my bag
Not noticing of her features
Oh let her be a buck or doe
She was a charming creature.

I took that hare along the road
And sold her for a crown-oh
Tbey said they would give me a crown a brace
If I could bring them fifty.

If your're quick, you can hear it on the Music Well billboard, as 'I took my dog.'