The Kielder Hunt


This song is Northumbrian in origin, having been written by James Armstrong of Redesdale in the 19th century. It is sung on both sides of the border. The song recounts the progress of a fox hunt, a traditional British activity that is now controversially outlawed.

Hark hark I hear Lang Will’s clear voice sound thro the Kielder Glen,
Where the raven flaps her glossy wing and the fell fox has his den,
There the shepherd lads are gathering up wi mony a guid yauld grew,
An wiry terrier game an keen an foxhound fleet and true.

Chorus: Hark away! Hark away!
Ower the bonnie hills o Kielder, hark away!

There’s Moudy frae Emmethaugh an Royal frae Bakethinn,
There’s hounds frae Reed an Kielderhead, an Ruby by the Linn,
There’s hounds of fame frae Irthingside, they’ll try baith moss an crag,
Hark! Hark! that’s Moudy’s loud clear note, she has bold Reynard’s drag.

Then away an away ower hill and dale an up by yonder stell,
The music o the gallant pack resounds ower muir and dell;
See yon herd callant waves his plaid, list yon loud tally-ho,
The fox is up an breaks away ower the edge o Hawkhope Flowe.

Hark forrit! hark! ye gallant hounds, hark onward, hark away,
He kens the hauds on Tosson hills an he kens the holes at Rae;
There’s neer a den roun the Kielder stane but he kens weel I trow,
An all the holes on Lariston hills, he kens them thro and thro.

There’s Wanny’s Crags an Sewingshields, and Christenbury too,
Or if he win to Hareshaw Linn ye may bid him adieu;
At the Key-Heugh an the Cloven-Crags, the Cove, an Darna Ha,
Chatlehope-Spout an the Wily-holes, auld foxy kens them all.

Then away an away ower bank and brae they drive the wily game,
Where Moudy, Ruby, Royal still uphold their glorious fame;
An see the lish yauld shepherd lads, how Monkside heights they climb,
They’re the pride of all the Borders wide for wind and wiry limb.

Thro yon wild glen they view him noo reet for the Yearning Linn,
By cairn an crag, by moss an hagg, sae glorious is the din;
Weel done, hurrah! they’ve run him doun, yon Moudy twirls him noo,
The hunt is done, his brush is won, I hear the death halloo.

So here’s tae Will o Emmethaugh, he is a sportsman true,
An here’s tae Rabbie o Bakethinn, an Rab o Kielder too;
At the Hope, Bewshaugh, the Kersie Cleuch, Skaup, Riggend, an the Law,
In Tyne, an Reed, and Irthinghead, they’re gallant sportsmen all.


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