Ann Bowker's Home Page - This page includes links to excellent digital photographs of Skiddaw and The Lake District
John Peel: The Man and the Song - This page includes a portrait of John Peel.
John Peel: by Barry Taylor - Melody and Original words by William Woodcock Graves in Cumbrian dialect, taken from original manuscript.
John Peel: A favourite English hunting song, dating from shortly before the middle of the l9th century. The hero, John Peel, was a Cumberland farmer, who kept a pack of fox hounds. The words of the song are by John Woodcock Graves, a fellow Cumbrian and their origin was told by the author to this effect.
When both men were in the heyday of their manhood they met one night at Graves's house at Caldbeek, to arrange some hunting matter. The grandmother of Graves's children was singing a child to sleep with an old nursery rhyme known as Bonnie Annie, or Whar wad Bonnie Annie lie, and Graves became struck by the idea of writing a song in honour of Peel to the tune the old lady was singing. He completed a version before Peel left the house and jokingly remarked 'By Jove, Peel, you'll be sung when we are both run to earth'. Peel died in 1854, aged seventy-eight, and was buried at Caldbeck. The song, sung to a version of Bonnie Annie, seems to have had a long traditional popularity before it got into print, and was probably first published on a music sheet by Mr William Meteclfe of Carlisle about 1870 or 1880. There are two distinct versions of the tune of John Peel, the one being a corruption from the other, and both differing materially from the old nursery rhyme. The tune Whar wad Bonnie Annie lie or Whar wad our Guidman lie, is found in several early Scottish publications. It is, however, founded on an English Country Dance called Red House, printed in The Dancing Master, 1703, and greatly used in the early ballad operas of the first part of the 18th century.
Submission on Behalf of the Central Committee of Fell Packs
I am particularly glad that the submission from
the Central Committee of Fell Packs has touched on hunting songs so far
as to include
extracts from two (paragraphs 1.2 and 9.1). These songs, though frequently referring to one particular hunt and its country, tend to be
well known throughout the land. Thus, Joe Bowman is familiar to us here in the Shires while I am sure Drink Puppy Drink, written by
that arch Meltonian, Whyte-Melville, is known in the Lake District. They constitute one further piece of evidence (if more were needed)
that hunting folk constitute a community ? an ethnic group even ? in their right.
9.1 The Ullswater Foxhounds were formed in 1873
after the amalgamation of two smaller packs: the Patterdale and the Matterdale.
Mr.J.E.Hasell became Master in 1889. He appointed Joe Bowman as Huntsman (probably the most famous fell Huntsman after Peel). Joe
Bowman had already hunted the Ullswater hounds, first doing so on 14th November 1879 (when he was 22). He finally retired (having
retired once in 1911 and come back in 1915) in 1924, having completed 41 seasons. He died in 1940 aged 90. A song dedicated to him is a
When the fire's on the hearth and good cheer abounds,
We'll drink to Joe Bowman and his Ullswater hounds,
For we ne'er shall forget how he woke us at dawn
With the crack of his whip and the sound of his horn.
What others have to say about John Peel
Notes extracted from NewsGroup :
The following extended quote is taken from "The American Song Treasury: 100 Favorites" by Theodore Raph (Dover, 1986). The book was originally published in 1964 as "The Songs We Sang: A Treasury of American Popular Music"
"This is the song of a fox hunt, a sport originating
in the British Isles around 1700 and still quite popular up to the present
time. John Peel was a real person, the English novelist John
George Whyte-Melville, formerly a captain in the Coldstream Guards.
He was an expert hunter during the middle 1800's and was considered the
laureate of fox hunting. On the occasion of his death on the hunting field
in 1854, Whyte-Melville's friends attended the funeral after which they
went for drinks. Here was the setting for the birth of "D'Ye Ken John Peel".
After a couple of drinks one of his close friends , John Woodcock Graves,
scribbled some verses in tribute to Whyte-Melville. He used the melody
of an old folk song "Bonnie Annie." It is very likely the original "Bonnie
Annie" arrived in America shortly after the War of 1812, but only a small
handful of people were attracted to it. Years later, when Graves' version
appeared, interest picked up to some extent. Many glee clubs and college
students adopted the song, and with the aid of folk-song enthusiasts the
song was kept very much alive well into this century. However, it was not
until the mid-1940's that this melody became nationally popular om the
from of the Pepsi Cola jingle frequently played over the radio. After the
jingle was discontinued the catchy melody was still remembered and enjoyed
by millions, and thus the original "John Peel" lyrics were restored."
"Horn of the Hunter" was *not* anything to do
with John Peel, it is about John Bownam (Bowman), another far more recent
Lake District huntsman. The Lyrics also chronicle the flooding of Mardale
in the thirties to provide what is now the Haweswater reservoir for Manchester
and other Nw industrial towns. The Dun Bull was the local pub, and Haweswater
was the original Lake which formed the basis of the reservoir. The last
time I was in the Lakes in about 1985 from memory, the water was so low
that the remains of the old village could be seen
According to an article by Anne Geddes Gilchrist in Journal of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, 1941, the song was by John Percival Graves. The tune evolved from "Red House" in the Dancing Master from 1695, through "Whaur will our goodman lie"/" "Where will bonny Annie lie", and it was apparently Peel's mother's singing of "Bonnie (or Canty) Annie" to her grandson that gave Graves his tune. Gilchrist cites several subsequent publications of the tune in Scots works, and in John Gay's 'Polly'. She also discuses the fragments of songs seemingly connected with the fragmentary song "Bonnie Annie", of which not much is really known. She gave the 'Dancing Master' tune, one from Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion, and a Welsh version of c 1896. The latter, in English, is 'The Red House of Cardiff- a pipe dance.'
I was told that this was because the park had
been the graveyard of St David's, the Anglican cathedral church of Hobart
was the burial place of the author of the song "D'ye Ken John Peel" (presumably, John Woodcock Graves).
know that fox hunting had appealed to the early
colonists - especially down in Tasmania's more English climate and they
had imported foxes to release and provide their traditional sport. It was believed that the foxes had died out (or been hunted
out) but last year the team investigating claimed sightings of the (presumably) extinct "Tasmanian Tiger" (Thylacine) had
followed tracks and spoor - and located a surviving family of foxes! ".
George John Whyte-Melville, B1821-D1878 aged
57 - Killed whilst hunting
http://www.sc.edu/library/scotlit/timeline.html - Scottish Literature Timeline - 1862 : Whyte-Melville, The Queen's Maries
John Woodcock Graves, B1795-D1886 aged 91
THE SOUND OF HIS HORN
THE SOUND OF HIS HORN
LAKELAND MUSIC & CUSTOMS
17 songs & 15 dances. Moore Sedgwick of Sedbergh
blows the horn and talks about famous local huntsmen - in particular about
Joe Bowman, W.R. Mitchell tells the story of the song about John Peel, and Fred Clarke plays melodeon variants of the tune.
Here too 85 year old Keswick fiddler, John Oliver, plays 15 local dances while others are played by Billy Bowman, accordion,
and by his brother Jack on banjo. Others singers of hunting songs are John Dalton, Miles Wilson, Peter Morris, Alan Nelson,
Harry and Derek Irving of Corney, and Billy Irving of Cockermouth.
A = 44.45
1. Hunting horn & talk about Joe Bowman by Moore Sedgwick, Sedbergh, Yorksh - 1.23
2. JOE BOWMAN - 2v of song & talk about local meets by John Dalton - 2.29
3. JOE BOWMAN - 4v of song by Miles Wilson with Billy Bowman (accordion) - 3.43
4. THE LANCERS (Quadrille) - Fig 1: John Oliver (fiddle) - 1.13
5. THE HORN OF THE HUNTER (talk before) sung by Peter Morris - 2.53
6. JOHN PEEL Version #1 played as a waltz: Fred Clarke (melodeon) - 1.08
7. WINDHAM (talk before) sung by Billy Irving - 5.00
8. THE HORN OF THE HUNTER / THE TENTH DAY
OF MARCH tunes of song played by Billy Bowman (acc) with Jack
(banjo) - 1.27
9. THE TENTH DAY OF MARCH (talk after) sung by Alan Nelson - 8.46
10. AUTHTHWAITE FELLS: Alan Nelson - 3.03
11. LANCERS - Fig 2: John Oliver (fiddle) - 1.08
12. BOOTLE FELL HUNT (talk before) sung by Harry and Derek Irving of Corney - 5.33
13. WE'LL ALL GO A-HUNTING TODAY sung by Miles Wilson with Billy Bowman (acc) - 4.50
B = 44.35
14. JOHN PEEL: Story of song by W.R.Mitchell & friends - 4.38
15. JOHN PEEL Version #2: Fred Clarke (melodeon) - 0.38
16. SEDBERGH FOX HUNT 1953 (talk before) sung by Moore Sedgwick - 5.48
17. LANCERS - Fig 3: John Oliver (fiddle) - 0.40
18. ESKDALE SHOW (talk before about his father) sung by John Dalton - 3.42
19. THE COTTAGERS: John Oliver (fiddle) - 1.11
20. NEW YEAR'S DAY HUNT AT KIRKSTILE sung by Billy Irving with Billy Bowman (acc) - 5.05
21. THE GAY YOUNG SPARK (talk before) sung by Alan Nelson - 0.57
22. BILLY BOWMAN'S BAND sung by Jack Bowman with Billy (acc) - 1.45
23. YOU'LL NEVER GET IN WITHOUT (talk before): Moore Sedgwick - 5.40
24. LANCERS - Fig 4: John Oliver (fiddle) - 1.50
25. Talk about hunting with songs: YE DALESMEN,
DRINK PUPPY DRINK, WHEN ADAM WAS FIRST CREATED: Alan
Nelson - 7.36
26. QUADRILLE TUNES, VARSOVIANA (talk before),
JOE BOWMAN, WE'LL ALL GO A- HUNTING TODAY played by Billy
Bowman (accordion) - 5.00
Recorded by Peter Kennedy 1954. Edited by Peter
Kennedy and first published on Folktrax Cassettes 1975. Phonographic
copyright control. Unauthorised public performance, broadcasting or copying is prohibited except by permission of FOLKTRAX.
J Moore SEDGWICK, born 1885, was master of Sedbergh
Beagles 1926-31 and followed Lunesdale, Ullswater, Coniston and
Bleasdale. His father and grandfather were also well-known huntsmen. He can be heard singing HOWGILL LADS on FT-410.
John 'Wilse' DALTON, Thirlmere, born 1900, was
the son of of the famous Jim Dalton of The Blencathra. His daughter recites
in dialect on FT-410.
Alan NELSON, of Lorton rec Brackenthwaite, was
born 1890. He was the most prolific singer of hunting songs and can also
heard on FT-410.
John OLIVER, born 1874, was the Whip of Melbrake
Hunt and played fiddle for local Hunt Balls and weddings. He plays
SQUARE EIGHT and HOOLIGANS on FT-410.
Fred CLARKE, born 1899, Bleatam, Warcup, learned
melodeon from his father and from an older fiddler who played for dances
at Grasgill, Soulby, Crosby Garret, Musgraqve and Kirkby.
Billy IRVING, born 1898, was secretary of the
The Hound Trailing Association and was recorded in their offices at
Billy BOWMAN led the oldest dance band in the
area and with his brother Jack played for all the local farm dances and
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