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The Hare's Dream / The Hare's Lament

[ Roud 3574 ; Henry H172 ; Ballad Index HHH032A ; trad.]

The Hare's Dream is printed in Gale Huntington's Songs of the People, a collection of Ulster folk songs from the Sam Henry Collection.

Martin Carthy sang The Hare's Dream in a radio broadcast that was available, undocumented, from Napster before its decline in early 2001. He never recorded it for an official album though.

Len Graham sang The Hare's Lament in 1979 on Joe Holmes' and his Topic album of traditional songs, ballads and lilts from the North of Ireland, After Dawning.

Vicki Swan and Jonny Dyer sang The Hare's Lament in 2005 on their WildGoose album Scatter Pipes. They laconically noted:

The story of a hares struggle for life in a hunt.

John Doyle accompanied by Liz Carroll sang The Hare's Lament in 2009 on their CD Double Play. This video shows them at Lafayette College on April 7, 2009:

Lyrics

Martin Carthy sings The Hare's Dream

On the 20th of January and in the 70th year,
The morning being beautiful, charming, bright and clear,
I being disturbed by dreams as I lay in my den,
I dreamed of heathery mountain, high rock and low glen.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
To my hark, tallyho! Hark over yon brow.
“She's over,” cries the huntsman, “See, yonder she'll go.”

As I sat in my form for to view the plains round
I being trembling and shaking for fear of the hounds
And seeing no danger appearing to me
I quickly walked out to the top of the slee.

They hunted me up and they hunted me down;
At the loop of the burn they did me surround.
When up come the huntsman to end all the strife,
He says, “Leave the hare down and give her play for her life.”

Bad luck to all sportsmen, to Bowman and Ringwood,
They sprinkled the plain with my innocent blood.
They let Reynard go free, that cunning old fox,
That ate up all the chickens, fat hens and game cocks.

It's now I'm for dying, but I know not the crime;
To the value of sixpence I ne'er robbed mankind.
I never was given to rob or to steal,
All the harm that ever I done was crop the heads of green kale.

Acknowledgements and Links

Transcribed by Garry Gillard. Thanks to Bob Hudson. See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: The Hare's Lament (The Boys of the Lough).