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Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare

07 May 06 - 02:27 PM (#1734627)
Subject: Lyr Req: 'on yonder hill' Geordie Hanna
From: Fergie

Hi Mudcats

I have Geordie Hanna's version of this song.

On yonder hill there sits a hare,
full of worry, grief and care.
etc

Does anybody have other versions or variants?

Fergus


07 May 06 - 09:24 PM (#1734950)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'on yonder hill' Geordie Hanna
From: Malcolm Douglas

Available information suggests that there are none, the song being unique to Mr Hanna's family.


07 May 06 - 09:41 PM (#1734961)
Subject: Lyr Add: ON YONDER HILL THERE SITS A HARE (G Hanna
From: Hopfolk

I transcribed and learnt it - it's a lovely song.

ON YONDER HILL THERE SITS A HARE (G Hanna)

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

Well, a huntsman he came riding by,
And on that poor hare cast his eye,
And o'er the bogs, halloo'd his dogs,
Singin' ho, brave boys, hi ho;
And o'er the bogs, halloo'd his dogs,
Singin' ho, brave boys, hi ho.

So 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,
Singin' ho, brave boys, hi ho;
And kill the poor hare that never done ill,
Singin' 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,
Singin' ho, brave boys, hi ho;
And may she live to run again,
Singin' ho, brave boys, hi ho.

The ands and wells may be a bit mixed up but it all makes sense :-)

Camojohn


08 May 06 - 03:19 AM (#1735123)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'on yonder hill' Geordie Hanna
From: Fergie

Thanks Malcome thanks CamoJohn.

By the way Malcome, John Kennedy was guest at the Goilin Singers Club last Friday, He was in very good form and kept us entertained with some fine songs and stories, it was nice to see and hear him again
Fergus


25 Aug 07 - 09:05 AM (#2133271)
Subject: Lyr Req: On Yonder Hill There Sits A Hare
From: GUEST,imagocorvi

I used to have this song on a cassette - but I can't find it anymore. It was recorded by Geordie Hanna, and I would appreciate any help anyone could give

Catherine


25 Aug 07 - 09:14 AM (#2133272)
Subject: ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits A Hare
From: Fred McCormick

Here's a text as I sing it and as I learned it from Geordie. There may be one or two minor variations but hopefully not too many.

On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare

On yonder hill there sits a hare.
She's full of worry, grief and care
And all her lodgings they was bare.

ch: Sing hey, brave boys, high ho
And all her lodgings they was bare.
Sing hey, brave boys, high ho.

There came a huntsman riding by.
And on this poor hare he's cast his eye.
And oer the bogs halooed his dogs.
ch

She's turned and run across the hill.
The very best dog to try his skill.
And kill the poor hare that never done ill.
ch

And now she's turned and turned again.
Right merrily she's crossed the plain.
And may she live to run again.
ch.


25 Aug 07 - 09:20 AM (#2133274)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: On Yonder Hill There Sits A Hare
From: GUEST,imagocorvi

Thanks!
C


25 Aug 07 - 02:11 PM (#2133394)
Subject: Origins/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Joe Offer

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

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List

Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

The Ballad Index Copyright 2021 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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:
    "This seems to me the finest of all Ulster's hunting songs and known only from Geordie who has heard it from no-one but his father and Uncle George."


26 Aug 07 - 12:37 PM (#2133893)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: GUEST,imagocorvi

How right you are that there is no right version!
I thought it was
"And o'er the bogs how loud his dogs"
I am tempted to still sing it that way

C


26 Aug 07 - 01:12 PM (#2133907)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Fred McCormick

I learned the song from Geordie, probably via the Topic LP which he recorded with his sister, Sarah Anne O'Neill. However, after all these years, I woldn't like to swear to it. It could equally have come from a recording of Geordie which I made at a singing weekend, in Belleek, Co. Fermanagh in 1979, or possibly even from a radio broadcast.

Whatever, I've certainly never regarded traditonal song lyrics as being chiselled in stone, at least not as far as singing them is concerned, and my guess is that whichever source I used, I've made minor modifications over the years. There are two points worth bearing in mind however.

Firstly, I'd forgotten that the song was on the The Voice of the People CD and that recording is clearly the place to go to get the words. (Well, The Voice of the People is the place to go anyway, being the largest and most authoritative audio collection of British and Irish traditional song ever assembled). Having said that though, I reviewed five volumes from the series for Musical Traditions magazine (Vol 18 wasn't amongst them) and I found quite a number of transcription errors. So I'd advise anyone who wants to get the words exactly as Geordie sang them, to check the transcription against the recording.

Secondly, and the above notwithstanding, I don't think I've ever come across any traditional singer who regarded the lyrics of their songs as being in any way set in stone. I've never done a comparison of Geordie's recordings, but I have looked at the recorded legacies of Elizabeth Cronin and Leadbelly. In both cases there were some very significant variations.


27 Aug 07 - 07:01 AM (#2134360)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Jack Blandiver

I really do need to hear this; could someome please put an mp3 (or whatever)up at YouSendIt ??


27 Aug 07 - 09:10 AM (#2134415)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Fred McCormick

I certainly wouldn't be prepared to do it. The Topic recording, which is the one in question, is protected by copyright. Why not buy the record?


27 Aug 07 - 11:20 AM (#2134504)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Jack Blandiver

Because right now I'm about sixty miles from the nearest record shop likely to stock it (Roots in Newcastle) and if I order it online the rural post service would take about a week to deliver it.

Besides which, I like the instant fix afforded by mp3 culture...


27 Aug 07 - 11:23 AM (#2134511)
Subject: RE: Req/ADD: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Jack Blandiver

PS - Do you still have the recording of Geordie you made in 1979? Is there any way I might hear this?


30 Aug 11 - 04:02 PM (#3215402)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: GUEST,maggie boyle

I have always sung 'o'er the bogs allowed his dogs', but perhaps misinterpreted Geordie's accent. Does anyone know for certain that Geordie is singing 'haloo' and not 'allowed'? My scant research reveals that the actual hunting call is more of a 'holla' than a 'haloo'!!


30 Aug 11 - 09:44 PM (#3215618)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Artful Codger

If you follow the link Joe Offer posted above to the notes for Volume 18, at the top next to the paragraph mentioning this song there is a box labelled "RA"; this links to a Real Audio sound clip sample which contains a complete verse, so if anyone wants the basic tune without having to buy the whole CD or even track, there ya go. Some sites (like the UK Amazon?) have sample clips for each of the tracks of each of the VOP albums.

In situations where one wants only to hear a tune, particularly one in the public domain, the "buy the whole CD/book" (or even "buy the track") attitude is bollocks; you can retire it with dispatch to a dark recess. Or, send us the money. Otherwise, you're not being helpful, or reasonable.


01 Sep 11 - 10:57 AM (#3216509)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Jim Dixon

From an article "Wine and Walnuts, or After Dinner Chit-Chat, by a Cockney Grey Beard. Chapter V. Old Home" in The London Literary Gazette and Journal of Belles Lettres, Arts, Sciences, etc. (London: Literary Gazette, No. 194, Oct. 7, 1820), page 665:

And I verily could prick the air to many an ancient song, recorded by that intelligent chronicler of ancient lore, which the artless minstrelsy of feasts and harvest-homes had chanted to her tuneful ear. Among the most simple, well do I recollect—

On yonder hill there sits a hare,
And she was overgrown with care,
Because her form was grown so bare;
Soho!

And there was run sir, run sir, run,
And there was turn sir, turn sir, turn,
And o'er the bogs, she lur'd the dogs,
Soho!


22 Feb 21 - 10:15 AM (#4094278)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: GUEST,Noreen

Very belatedly appreciating an obviously related couple of verses posted nearly 10 years ago by Jim Dixon from an 1820 source, when the only known version otherwise is from Geordie Hannah’s family.
I’m just learning it from the version of Carlow’s Ye Vagabonds.

I like hunting songs where the prey comes out in top.


15 Mar 21 - 07:23 PM (#4097848)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare (G Hanna
From: Joe Offer

This needs more work. Maybe Noreen can help. She sings it well.


15 Mar 21 - 07:40 PM (#4097852)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req/Add: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: RTim

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9l4CoZbxxQU

Topic on Youtube....

Tim Radford


16 Mar 21 - 04:14 PM (#4097961)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: GUEST,John Moulden

This song exemplifies the way a single word change can take a song out of one set of cultural experiences into another, from one set of understandings into another context.

I first heard this from Geordie Hanna while I was writing the notes for the Topic Record on which he sang it. It's a song, like almost all Irish hare hunting songs, about local men, on foot, each with their own, usually one but occasionally two, dogs. It's a song of a day on foot. The story behind one such song, the Granemore Hare, has a visiting hunt walk twenty miles to hunt over 'the green fields round Tassagh' and back again in the same day. But these men had no horses, these were not 'riders to hounds', this was like the north English fell packs, on foot, up hill and round again.

In such a situation, I've always thought that the line made most sense: "There came a huntsman passing by" though sometimes Geordie did sing, "There came a huntsman riding by". I don't know why - a slip of the tongue or a slip of the mind?

But, as I began by saying, there's a gulf between the words - a gulf of class, of wealth, of behaviour, of situation, and of topography - hunting on horseback doesn't go up hills, through boulders hidden by bracken; it's a 'sport' for open fields and rolling hills.

Passing: riding - it's a singers' choice but, in this case I think you're choosing a lot more than a word; but you're free to choose - I have!


16 Mar 21 - 06:06 PM (#4097983)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Steve Gardham

Anyone got a printable copy of the London Literary Gazette article of 1820 please? It's online but getting a copy to print is not easy for a limited techy like me. If not I'll type it out and have it available for whoever wants it.


16 Mar 21 - 06:27 PM (#4097986)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: GUEST,#

There are a number of them online. Which article specifically, Steve?


17 Mar 21 - 10:44 AM (#4098055)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Steve Gardham

Er..the one clickied by Jim above which has a version of this song and a few others 1820, pp664-665.


17 Mar 21 - 12:05 PM (#4098062)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: GUEST,#

Er, Jim's link still works.


17 Mar 21 - 12:08 PM (#4098063)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: GUEST,#

https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/009011333

Take your pick.


17 Mar 21 - 03:03 PM (#4098077)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Steve Gardham

Thanks GUEST#. After some tinkering around on Hathi I managed to print it off.


17 Mar 21 - 03:13 PM (#4098079)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Dave Hanson

On yonder hill there sits a coo,
It must have gone,
It's not here noo.

Dave H


17 Mar 21 - 03:37 PM (#4098083)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: JHW

That's what I remember - wonder if it originated from the Hare?
On yonder hill there stands a coo
If it's no there now it's awa' the noo


17 Mar 21 - 03:54 PM (#4098088)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Steve Gardham

'On yonder hill' is a commonplace starter.
On yonder hill there stands a creature
Who she is I do not know .....

Sad I sit on yonder hill
There I sit and cry my fill
And every tear would turn a mill....


18 Mar 21 - 01:30 AM (#4098156)
Subject: RE: Origins: On Yonder Hill There Sits a Hare
From: Mrrzy

The Long Patrol comes to mind, wot wot, eh, laddy-buck?