Have you heard old hunting songs but want to know more about them?

Old hunting songs are wonderful to hear, echoing the traditions and sentiments of the chase over centuries. Old hunting songs often incorporate distinctive whistles and yodels, which allowed hunters to identify the location of each other and their prey. However, some of the songs emerged from very different backgrounds. The infamous “a-hunting we will go” was a British song originally written by Thomas Arne for the 1777 producution of The Beggar’s Opera by John Gay in Covent Garden, London. It went on to become a popular folk song and nursery rhyme. But what are the other hunting songs? Do you know the words and if not where can you find them?

QUERY: I would very much like to know whether there is a book that lists some of the wonderful old hunting songs you often hear. I don’t quite know where to start looking.
CG, Powys


Hunting Songs and Miscellaneous Verses by RE Egerton Warburton (1804-1891), first published in 1925 is now available in a paperback version from amazon or order from your local bookshop. It contains A Good Merry Gallop for Me and Farmer Dobbin among many others. Egerton Warburton’s main hobby was hunting and his enthusiasm for the Tarporley Hunt Club shows in his popular light-hearted poetry and verse. This new edition is an exact reproduction of the original book and may have a few imperfections – blurred or the odd missing word – but these are all part of the original artefact.

Songs aside. are you minding your manners on hunt day? Check that you are behaving as you should be with hunting etiquette and manners in the field and 7 deadly hunting sins. Are you guilty?

Our Country Queries editor is always on hand to answer such enquiries. If you have a query you think we could help with contact Country Queries directly.