Last Valentine's day, bright Phoebus shone clear,
We had not been a hunting for the space of one year.
I mounted Black Clover, that horse of great fame,
For to hear the horn blow and the words "Tally ho! ho!"
Ho! Ho! ho! ho! ho!
Hark, Forward! Who says "Tally ho!?"
"Hark! Hark! into cover!" Colonel Wyndham he cried,
He had no sooner spoke than a fox he espied;
"Tally ho!" was the word, and then, "Crack!" the whip!
And that being the signal, our hounds they let slip.
Then up stepped Jim Norris who cared not a pin
When he pushed at the stream and his horse tumbled in;
And as he crossed over, he spied the bold Ren,
With his tongue hanging out turning back to his den.
Our hounds and our horses they all were so good
As ever broke cover or dashed through a wood.
Come fill up your glasses and round let us drink,
For whilst we are hunters we never will shrink.
(In verses 3 and 4 substitute "Huzza!" for "who says" in the last line of the chorus.)
Jones Lewis, 1995, Sweet Sussex
, Ferret Publ, Sutton Coldfield
From the collection Sussex Songs: Popular Songs of Sussex
. This song was collected by Lucy Broadwood.
The song seems first to have been published c.1770/1 as Black Sloven
(C & S Thompson, A Choice Collection of Favorite Hunting Songs, 1770; The Universal Magazine, Vol.xlviii., p. 95 1771). Information from Early American Secular Music and Its European Sources, 1589-1839: An Index
and the British Library catalogue.
(Search Roud index at VWML)