December 22, 2008

The Kielder Hunt

Hark away, hark away, oor the bonny hills o’ Kielder
Hark away.

Hark, hark I hear Lang Will’s clear voice sound through the Kielder glen
Where the Raven flaps her glossy wings and the fell fox has his den.
There the shepherds they are gathering up wi many a guid yauld crew
An wiry terrier game and keen and foxhounds fleet and true.

There’s Mowdy frae Emmethaugh, and Royal frae Bakethin
There’s hounds frae Rede and Kielderheed and Ruby by the Linn
And hounds of fame frae Irthing side they try baith moss and crag
Hark, hark, that’s Mowdy’s loud clear note he has bold Reynard’s drag.

Away and away oer hill and dale and up by yonder stell
The music of the gallant pack resounds oer moor and dell.
See yon herd callant waves his plaid, list yon loud tally–ho
The fox is up and breaks away oer the edge of Hawkhope flowe.

Hark forrard hark, ye gallant hounds, hark onward hark away
He kens the hauds on Tosson Hills he kens the holes at Rae
There’s no a den round the Kailstane but he kens weel I trow
And a’ the holes at Larriston he kens them thro and thro.

There’s Wannys Crags and Sewingshields and Christenbury too
And if he win to Hareshaw Linn you may then bid him adieu.
The Keyhaugh and the Cloven crags the Cove and Darna ha’
Chattlehope spout and the Wily holes old Foxy kens them a.

Away, away oer band and brae they drive the wily game
Where Mowdy, Ruby, Royal still unhaud their glorious fame.
And see the liesh yald shepherd lads how Monkside heights they climb
They’re the pride of a’ the Borders wide for wind and wiry limbs.

Through yon wild glen they view him now he’s right for the Yearning Linn
By cairn and crag oer moss and hagg sae glorious is the din
Weel done hurrah, they’ve run him doon! yons Mowdy twirls him now
The hunt is done the brush is won, I hear the death Hal-loo.

Here’s to Will of Emmethaugh, he is a sportsman true
Here’s to Robbie o’ Bakethin and Rob o Kielder too.
At the Hope, Bewshaugh and Kersie Cleugh, Skaup Riggend and the Law
In Tyne and Reed and Irthinghead, they’re gallant sportsment aa’.

Version collected by Clive Dalton from retired farmer Adam Robson who used to sing it regularly in the Black Bull at Wark.

David Armstrong of Bellingham says that the song was written by a James Armstrong of Plashetts in October 1875. The hunt was originally called the 'Kielder & Irthing Head Hounds' and were kenneled at Cairn Syke on the Cumbrian border

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