> Peter Bellamy > Songs > The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate

The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate / The Cheerful 'Orn / Tally Ho

[ Roud 217 ; G/D 4:727 ; Ballad Index GrD4727 ; trad.]

Randolph Caldecott: The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate (1883)The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate is a Victorian parlour song printed in a picture book by Randolph Caldecott published in 1883. Peter Bellamy sang this song in 1969 as the title song of third solo LP, The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate, accompanying himself on concertina. A.L. Lloyd commented in the album's sleeve notes:

Straight from the Bellamy family repertoire. The words from a Randolph Caldecott picture book; “the tune,” says Peter Bellamy, “from me mum.” Peter Bellamy was fascinated by the song as a nipper and continues to be so. With justification.

Notts Alliance sang The Cheerful 'Orn as the title track of their 1972 Traditional Sound Recordings album, The Cheerful 'Orn. They commented in their liner notes:

This version was noted by one Arthur Tompson, an architect, in Somerset in the year 1858. He wrote it out in what he imagined to be phonetic spelling of the original singer's dialect but which in fact looks, on the printed page, to be more of a parody of the way it was really sung. Here we do it completely straight—it's such a good song that it would come over strongly in any dialect you care to name.

Barry Skinner and Geoff Lakeman sang The Cheerful 'Orn in 1978 on their Fellside album Bushes & Briars. This track was also included in 2006 on Fellside's 30th anniversary anthology, Landmarks. Barry Skinner commented in the original album's sleevenotes:

Somerset is a renowned hunting area and this is a Somerset version of a widespread and popular song from Lucy Broadwood's collection.

Fay Hield sang The Parson's Gate in 2012 on her CD with the Hurricane Party, Orfeo. She quoted Lloyd's comment in her liner notes, adding:

Our ‘B part’ comes from Rob [Harbron] from whom it flowed as smoothly as water while we were arranging the song. Genius.

This YouTube video shows them at Cambridge Folk Festival on July 28, 2012:

See also the related song We'll All Go A-Hunting Today (Roud 1172).

Lyrics

Peter Bellamy sings The Fox Jumps Over the Parson's Gate

The huntsman blows his horn in the morn,
And folks go hunting, oh!
And folks go hunting, oh!
And folks all hunting go.
But all my fancy dwells on Nancy
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!, my boys,
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!

The fox jumps over the Parson’s gate,
The hounds all after him go,
The hounds all after him go,
Yes the hounds all after him go.
But all my fancy dwells on Nancy
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!, my boys,
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!

The parson he had a pair to wed
When the hounds came full in view;
He just tossed his surplice over his head,
And bid them all adieu!
He just tossed his surplice over his head,
And bid them all adieu!
But all my fancy dwells on Nancy
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!, my boys,
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!

Now never despise the soldier lad
Though his station be but low,
His station be but low,
Though his station be but low.
For all his fancy dwells on Nancy
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!, my boys,
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!

Now pass the can around, my boys;
For we must homewards go,
For we must homewards go,
For we must homewards go.
And if you ask me of this song
The reason for to show,
I say, I don’t exactly know-ow-ow,
I don’t exactly know.
But all my fancy dwells on Nancy
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!, my boys,
So I’ll sing, Tally-ho!

Barry Skinner and Geoff Lakeman sing The Cheerful 'Orn

The cheerful 'orn she blows in the morn and we'll a-hunting go!
The cheerful 'orn she blows in the morn and we'll a-hunting go!
And we'll a-hunting go-o, and we'll a-hunting go,
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!

Well the fox jumped over the farmer's gate and after him we go,
The fox jumped over the farmer's gate and after him we go.
And after him we go-o, and after him we go,
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!

It's never despise a soldier lad though his station be quite low,
Never despise a soldier lad though his station be quite low.
Though his station be quite lo-ow, though his station be quite low,
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!

So pass around the jug, my boys, and homeward we will go,
Pass around the jug, my boys, and homeward we will go.
And homeward we will go-o, and homeward we will go,
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!

If you ask me the reason I sing this song, the reason for to know,
If you ask me the reason I sing this song, the reason for to know,
I really do not kno-ow, I really do not know,
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!
And all my fancy dwells upon Nancy and I'll sing, Tally-ho!

Links

See also the Mudcat Café threads Lyr Req: The Fox Jumps over the Parson's Gate and Lyr Req: Cheerful Horn?.