Mudcat Café message #2133394 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #104277   Message #2133394
Posted By: Joe Offer
25-Aug-07 - 02:11 PM
Thread Name: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
Subject: Origins/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
The Geordie Hanna recording is on Volume 18 of the Voice of the People CD series, To Catch a Fine Buck Was My Delight: Songs of Hunting and Poaching. Geordie Hanna was recorded by Robin Morton in County Tyrone in 1977, Topic 12TS372.
Roud shows Geordie Hanna as the sole known source of the song.
That's all you'll find in the Traditional Ballad Index, too:

On Yonder Hill There Sits A Hare

DESCRIPTION: A worried hare sits "o'er her lodgings." A huntsman sets his dogs on the hare. She escapes from the best dog. "Merrily as she trips the plain, And may she live to run again."
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1977 (recording, Geordie Hanna)
KEYWORDS: escape hunting animal dog
FOUND IN: Ireland
Roud #5173
RECORDINGS:
Geordie Hanna, "On Yonder Hill There Sits A Hare" (on Voice18)
File: RcOYHTSH

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Here are the lyrics from the CD booklet, just a little different from what Fred posted. It's interesting to see the differences.

ON YONDER HILL THERE SITS A HARE

On yonder hill there sits a hare.
Full of worry, grief and care,
And o'er her lodgings it was bare.
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.
And o'er her lodgings it was bare.
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.

Now there came a huntsman riding by,
And on this poor hare he cast his eye,
And o'er the bogs halooed his dogs
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.
And o'er the bogs halooed his dogs
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.

And now she's gone from hill to hill.
All for the best dog to try his skill
And kill the poor hare that never done ill.
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.
And kill the poor hare that never done ill.
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.

And now she's turned and turned again,
Merrily as she trips the plain,
And may she live to run again.
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.
And may she live to run again.
Singing ho, brave boys, hi-ho.

I guess the main differences are that this version has "And o'er her lodgings it was bare" and "And now she's gone from hill to hill." Did this come from you or from Geordie, Fred?

I hesitated to post these lyrics because I did not want to convey the impression that lyrics from a CD booklet are the "right" version. It's particularly valuable to have the lyrics from Fred, who actually sings the song. Sandy Paton would bop me on the head if he were to think I implied that CD lyrics were better than human lyrics.

-Joe Offer-

thesession.org has a discussion of the song, which quotes from John Moulden's sleeve notes from the original LP: