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The Huntsman / Tally Ho! Hark Away!

[ Roud 1182 ; trad.]

Walter Pardon sang The Huntsman (Tally Ho, Hark Away) on his 2000 Musical Traditions anthology Put a Bit of Powder on It, Father. Rod Stradling and Mike Yates commented in the album's booklet:

A widespread, if not terribly popular song in England—the eight versions in Roud coming from Cornwall to Lincolnshire. It has the unlikely distinction of not appearing in the Holme Valley Tradition's book of hunting songs! As so often, Walter is the unique East Anglian, and recorded, source.

The Dollymops from the Isle of Wight sang Tally Ho! Hark Away! in 2013 on their WildGoose CD Wight Cockade. They noted:

The first foxes were introduced to the Isle of Wight in the 1830s specifically for the purposes of hunting—which rather undermines the ‘pesky predator’ argument. The song is in William Henry Long’s Dictionary of Isle of Wight Dialect (1886). The tune we use was collected from Mr William Lugg of Cornwall and sent to George Gardiner in 1905.

Lyrics

Walter Pardon sings The Huntsman (Tally Ho, Hark Away)

The sun had just peeped its head o'er the hills,
The ploughboys whistling 'cross the fields.
The birds are singing so sweet on each spray,
Said the huntsman to his hounds, “Tally-ho! Hark away!”

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Tally-ho, hark away! Tally-ho, hark away!
Tally-ho, tally-ho, tally-ho, hark away!

Come my brave sportsmen, come, make no delay
Quick, saddle your horses and let's brush away
For the fox is in view and he's kindled with scorn
Come my brave sportsmen, come, join the shrill horn.

He led us a chase for sixteen long miles
Over hedges, over ditches, over gates and over stiles.
The huntsman came up with his musical horn,
We shall soon overtake him, for his brush drags along.

He led us a chase, six hours in full-cry
Tally-ho, hark away, now, soon he must die.
We will cut off his brush with a hallowing noise
And we'll drink a good success to all fox-hunting boys.

The Dollymops sing The Huntsman (Tally Ho, Hark Away)

The sun was just peeping up over the hills,
And the ploughboy was whistling along cross the fields.
The blackbirds were singing all each on his spray,
Said the huntsman to his hounds, “Tally-ho! Hark away!”

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
Tally-ho, hark away! Tally-ho, hark away!
Tally-ho, tally-ho, tally-ho, hark away!

Come up my brave sportsmen and make no delay
Come saddle your horses and let's dash away
For the fox is in view, all kindled with scorn,
So come my brave sportsmen and join the shrill horn

He has led us in chase for fifteen long miles
Over hedges, over ditches, over gates, over stiles.
So come, my brave huntsman, sound your musical horn,
We shall soon overtake him, for his brush drags along.

He has led us in chase for six hours in full-cry
Tally-ho, hark away, now the fox he must die.
So we'll cut off his brush with great hollers and noise
And then drink a good health to all fox-hunting boys.