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Lyr Req: Last Valentine's Day / Black Sloven

20 May 04 - 08:50 AM (#1189540)
Subject: Lyr Req: last valentines day

20 May 04 - 10:51 AM (#1189658)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: last valentines day
From: Malcolm Douglas

20 May 04 - 01:24 PM (#1189872)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: last valentines day
From: Amos

Trust Malcolm to make it right!


22 May 04 - 05:56 PM (#1191709)
From: Jim Dixon

Might as well have it here, too.

Lyrics and notes copied from


Last Valentine's day, bright Phoebus shone clear,
We had not been a-hunting for the space of one year.
I mounted Black Clover, that horse of great fame,
For to hear the horn blow and the words "Tally ho! ho!"

CHORUS: Ho! Ho! ho! ho! ho!
Hark, Forward! Who says, "Tally ho?"

"Hark! Hark! into cover!" Colonel Wyndham he cried,
He had no sooner spoke than a fox he espied;
"Tally ho!" was the word, and then, "Crack!" the whip!
And that being the signal, our hounds they let slip.

Then up stepped Jim Norris who cared not a pin
When he pushed at the stream and his horse tumbled in;
And as he crossed over, he spied the bold Ren,
With his tongue hanging out turning back to his den.

Our hounds and our horses they all were so good
As ever broke cover or dashed through a wood.
Come fill up your glasses and round let us drink,
For whilst we are hunters we never will shrink.

(In verses 3 and 4 substitute "Huzza!" for "who says" in the last line of the chorus.)

Source: Jones Lewis, 1995, Sweet Sussex, Ferret Publ, Sutton Coldfield

From the collection Sussex Songs: Popular Songs of Sussex. This song was collected by Lucy Broadwood.

The song seems first to have been published c.1770/1 as Black Sloven (C & S Thompson, A Choice Collection of Favorite Hunting Songs, 1770; The Universal Magazine, Vol. xlviii., p. 95 1771). Information from Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589-1839: An Index and the British Library catalogue.

Roud: 6475

23 May 10 - 03:04 AM (#2912375)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Last Valentine's Day
From: kevthefarmer

I have recently researched the characters in the song "Colonel Wyndham" and "Jim Norris" and come up with this from "The New Sporting Magazine" of January 1837.

Colonel G. Wyndham was, in fact George Wyndham, 1st Baron Leconfield (1787-1869) who was the son of George Wyndham, 3rd Earl of Egremont (1751-1837) and lived at Petworth House, in West Sussex.

Noting the age of the tune, and that the "Black Sloven" was a horse from an earlier time and a different part of England, I can only imagine that the song was popular throughout the hunting districts of England and worked on the idea of "insert name of Master/Huntsman/Whipper-in here" at appropriate places in the song.
Best Wishes, Kevin Mayes.

25 May 10 - 01:17 PM (#2914043)
Subject: Lyr Add; BLACK SLOVEN
From: Jim Dixon

From The Universal Songster, or, Museum of Mirth, Volume 3 (London: John Fairburn et al., 1826), page 99:


Last Valentine's day when bright Phoebus shone clear,
I had not been hunting for more than a year;
  Taleo, taleo, taleo, taleo.
I mounted Black Sloven, o'er the road made him bound,
For I heard the hounds challenge, and horns sweetly sound.
  Taleo, taleo, taleo, taleo, taleo, taleo, taleo.

Hallow into covert, old Anthony cries,
No sooner he spoke, but the fox, sir, he 'spies;
  Taleo, taleo, &c.
This being the signal, he then cracked his whip,
Taleo was the word, and away we did leap.
  Taleo, taleo, &c.

Then up rides Dick Dawson, who cared not a pin,
He sprang at the drain, but his horse tumbled in;
  Taleo, taleo, &c.
And as he crept out, why he spied the old ren',
With his tongue hanging out, stealing home to his den.
  Taleo, taleo, &c.

Our hounds and our horses were always as good
As ever broke covert, or dashed through the wood;
  Taleo, taleo, &c.
Old renard runs hard, but must certainly die,
Have at you, old 'Tony, Dick Dawson did cry.
  Taleo, taleo, &c.

The hounds they had run twenty miles now or more,
Old Anthony fretted, he cursed, too, and swore;
  Taleo, taleo, &c.
But renard being spent, soon must give up the ghost,
Which will heighten our joys when we come to each toast.
  Taleo, taleo, &c.

The day's sport being over, the horns we will sound,
To the jolly fox-hunters let echo resound;
  Taleo, taleo, &c.
So fill up your glasses, and cheerfully drink,
To the honest true sportsman who never will shrink.
  Taleo, taleo, &c.

25 May 10 - 05:56 PM (#2914240)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Last Valentine's Day / Black Sloven
From: JeffB

Congratulations on a cracking piece of research Kevin.

14 Feb 11 - 08:37 AM (#3094975)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Last Valentine's Day / Black Sloven
From: MGM·Lion


09 Oct 20 - 03:59 PM (#4074881)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Last Valentine's Day / Black Sloven
From: GUEST,Surreysinger sans cookie

It's a long time since I posted here - and this is reviving a rather old thread, but as a result of someone performing the song in an online club zoom session and announcing it as having been collected by Lucy Broadwood, it's probably as well to mention here that it is not certain that Lucy actually collected it. Manuscript copies of the words exist in the Lucy Broadwood collection at Vaughan Williams Memorial Library, but they are not in Lucy's hand, and are in the subsection of the collection related to songs that were collected by John Broadwood, Henry Fowler Broadwood (her father), or John Schudi Broadwood (her grandfather). So it looks more likely to have been from one of those three rather than the lady. (I haven't yet seen a copy of the notation of the song yet though).

30 Jan 21 - 04:00 AM (#4090623)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Last Valentine's Day / Black Sloven
From: GUEST,Mzaliwa wa Ingereza

Big thanks to Kevthefarmer.

George Wyndham had a brother Charles who was also a colonel and was the squire of my village, Rogate. James Norris as whipper-in to Col G. Wyndham's hunt confirms that we are talking (singing) about George. Bob Lewis who sang this grew up in Heyshott only a few miles from Petworth so there is a good chance his mother got the song through the tradition.
COVID permitting the Petworth-based Chiddingfold, Leconfield and Cowdray Hunt still have a trail-hunting meet in Rogate.