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The Echoing Horn

[ Roud 878 ; Ballad Index K246 ; Bodleian Roud 878 ; Wiltshire 1014 ; trad.]

The Echoing Horn is a hunting song from the repertoire of the Copper Family. It is printed in The Copper Family Song Book and in Bob Copper's book Early to Rise. They also sang in on their 2004 CD Coppersongs 3: The Legacy Continues.

The Trugs sang The Echoing Horn on their 1971 Traditional Sound Recordings album And Boldly Go to Sea.

Will Noble and John Cocking sang The Echoing Horn in 2004 on their Veteran CD Yon Green Banks. Roy Palmer noted:

This is not a well known song in the tradition and in Steve Roud’s Folk Song Index there are only three versions. It does appear in Sussex and there are recordings of The Copper Family and by George Townshend [no, the latter's is The Echoing Horn (The Glittering Dewdrops) (Roud 24897) with quite different verses].

It seems to have been popular in Yorkshire, however. It is included in the Holme Valley Beagles song book and it was at one of their meetings that Will first heard it, while John remembers Andrew Rogers, the joint master of the Pennine Foxhounds as being his first introduction to the song.

Keith Kendrick and chorus sing The Echoing Horn on his 2006 WildGoose CD Songs from the Derbyshire Coast. His liner notes commented:

Whatever you think about fox hunting (and there’s always two sides to a story) the many glorious songs that it has produced over decades should, in my view, be evaluated separately from the activity itself (past or present) as, surely and undeniably, great pieces of artistic endeavour by people who at an earlier time clearly believed that, rightly or wrongly, it was necessary. I neither decry nor support foxhunting, it’s simply a thing of the past and we should let it be—but let the songs travel on as a socio-historic reference at least! This is a great one from Peter Kennedy’s recording of Bob Copper (both late and lamented) in 1956.

Alison Frosdick sang When the Moon Stands on Tiptoe on Amsher's 2018 album of Hampshire songs collected by Lucy Broadwood in Oxfordshire, Patience Vaisey at Adwell 1892. Bob Askew noted:

Alfred Williams felt this ‘unsurpassed as a hunting song’, but it turns into a love song in the last verse. It was noted a few times in Southern England, but seems to have been rather rare. Alison found that it was published in the Sporting Magazine in 1803 where it seems close to an Art song with the line “A nymph to pursue that's more bright than the day”. Both Alfred Williams and George Gardiner noted a much more folk-like version without any nymphs. It is open to debate which came first.

Lyrics

The Copper Family sing The Echoing Horn

𝄆 The echoing horn sounds well in the morn
To call the brave sportsmen away 𝄇
With the cry of the hounds,
Makes a musical sound,
So greatly enlightens the day, the day,
So greatly enlightens the day.

𝄆 We'll away to some shaw to hear some brave noise
Our hounds they will open their throats 𝄇
When the fox he breaks cover,
Hark forward, High Over,
We will follow their musical notes, their notes,
We will follow their musical notes.

𝄆 Hedges, gates and stiles cause us no denials,
Our horses they leap them so well 𝄇
With a High Tally Ho,
And away we will go,
We will gallop him over the plain, the plain,
We will gallop him over the plain.

𝄆 While our hounds are at fault We will hold hard our horse,
Till the scent of the fox we have gained 𝄇
With the crying Hark Forward,
High Over, Hark Forward,
What pleasures can hunting excel, excel,
What pleasures can hunting excel.

𝄆 Over mountains he flies then afterwards dies,
He has led us an excellent chase 𝄇
We will take off his brush,
Then home we will push
In order our spirits to raise, to raise,
In order our spirits to raise.

𝄆 With our bottle and friend an evening we'll spend
We will crown the brave sports of the day 𝄇
Our wives will at night
Give us great delight
And solve all our sorrows away, away,
And solve all our sorrows away.

Will Noble and John Cocking sing The Echoing Horn

The echoing horn sounds well in the morn,
And calls the brave sportsmen away.
The cry of the hounds with pleasure rebounds,
And bravely enlightens the day, the day,
And bravely enlightens the day.

The people all go to that wonderful show,
Our hounds they do open their throats.
They cry Hark for'ard, Hark for'ard away,
And follow those musical notes, those notes,
And follow those musical notes.

Lets go to yon cover that lies to the south,
Bold Reynard is there, Towler doubles his mouth,
And if he breaks cover, Hark for'ard high over,
We'll gallop him over yon plain, yon plain,
We'll gallop him over yon plain.

Over hedge, gate and stile and also beguile,
Our hounds they do open their throats,
Our huntsman does holler, and bravely we'll follow,
We'll follow those musical notes, those notes,
We'll follow those musical notes.

Over mountains he flies and afterwards dies,
He has led us an excellent chase.
We will take off his brush, and homeward we'll rush,
In order our spirits to raise, to raise,
In order our spirits to raise.

With a bottle and friend this evening we'll spend,
And crown the brave sport of the day.
Our sweethearts at night give us such delight
And smother all sorrows away, away,
And smother all sorrows away.