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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleI keep my dogs and ferrets too
Roud No.363
Collected FromUnknown
LocationManton
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative TitleWhile gamekeepers lie sleeping
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 1 - Berkshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Bk 23
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 5th August, 1916, p 3, Part 40, No. 7: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923 p 110
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

I keep my dogs and ferrets, too,
I have them in my keeping,
To catch good hares all in the night,
While the gamekeeper lies sleeping.

Verse 2

My dogs and I went out one night,
'Twas to view their habitation,
Up jumped poor puss and away ran she
Straightway to our plantation.

Verse 3

She had not gone so very far in
Before something caught her running;
So loudly she cried out, "Aunt!"
Says I, "Uncle's just a coming."

Verse 4

I then drew out my little pen knife,
All quickly for to paunch her;
She turned out one of the female kind,
How glad I was I catched her!

Verse 5

Now we'll go down to a public inn
And drink this hare quite mellow,
And I'll spend a crown, and a merry crown, too,
And be a hearty, bold fellow.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms: 'This is a poaching song; it is very old. I have heard it at Manton, near Marlborough, and in several other villages far remote. The words were supplied to me by Christopher Carter, late of Watchfield, Berkshire.'

Williams, Alfred: WGS / FSUT: 'The following is a poaching song; it is very old. I have heard it at Manton, near Marlborough, and in several other villages far remote. The words were supplied to me by Christopher Carter, late of Watchfield, Berkshire.'

Note 2

In Verse 1 Lines 3 and 4 two lines are deleted:

My dogs and I went out one night
To see what there was for sneaking

In Verse 1 Line 3 the original text read:

To hunt the hares all in the night

In Verse 2 Line 2 the original text read:

Twas to view this habitation

In Verse 4 Line 3 the original text read:

I soon found out all secrets right

At the end of the song is a line of explanation - a female hare is considered better eating than a male.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.

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