Dido, Bendigo

Melody -

Traditional hunting song

As I was a walking one morning last autumn
I overheard some nobles foxhunting
Between some noblemen
And the Duke of Wellington
So early before the day was dawning.
There was Dido, Bendigo,
And Gentry he was there-o
Traveller he never looked behind him.
There was Countess, Rover,
Bonnie Lass, and Jover
These were the hounds that could find him.

2. Well the first fox being young
And his trials just beginning
He's made straight way for his cover
He's run up yon highest hill
And gone down yon lowest gill
Thinking that he'd find his freedom there forever.

3. Well the next fox being old,
And his trials fast advancing
He's made straight way for the river
Well the fox he has jumped in
But a hound jumped after him
It was traveller who straited him forever.

4. Well they run across the plain
But they soon returned again
The fox nor the hounds never failing
It's been just twelve months today,
Since I heard the squire say,
Hark, forward then me brave hounds forever.

A stirring old hunting song known all over England from Cumberland to Cornwall, though the name of the sporting duke may vary, the list of hounds stays much the same. Sabine Baring-Gould took the words and melody from a man named James Oliver and printed it in his SONGS OF THE WEST under the title, The Duke's Hunt. He says: 'This is a mere canto from a long ballad, entitled The Fox Chase, narrating a hunt by Villiers, second duke of Buckingha m, in the reign of Charles II. It is in the Roxburgh Collection and was printed by W. Oury, circa 1650.' The song has had a long life and still flourishes.


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