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Eliza And Martin Carthy – Bonny Moorhen lyrics

Hey, lads of Weardale I pray lend an ear

An account of the battle you quickly shall hear

Fought by the miners of Weardale, you ken

Claiming their right to the Bonny Moorhen

Now this Bonny Moorhen, as she plainly appeared

Belonged to the miners some hundreds of years

The miners of Weardale they're all gallant men

They'll fight till they die for their Bonny Moorhen

Now the miners in Weardale, they're bred to the game

Level their piece and make sure of their aim

When the Bonny Moorhen she mounts up in the air

They will bring her down neatly, I vow and declare

Now, times being hard, provisions being dear

The miners were starving almost, we do hear

They'd nought to depend on, so well you may ken

But to make what they could of their bonny moorhen

But the fat man of Auckland and Durham the same

Laid claim to the moor and likewise to the game

Sent word to the miners they'd have 'em to ken

They would stop them from shooting the bonny moorhen

Now these word was carried to Weardale with speed

It made those poor miners to hang down their heads

Sent them an answer they'd have 'em to ken

They would fight till they die for their Bonny Moorhen

When this word it reached all those gentlemen's ears

An army was risen, this quickly appears

Land stewards, bum bailiffs, and gamekeepers too

Were all ordered to Weardale to fight their way through

Now a captain was wanted at the head of the clan

H. Wye of great Auckland, was choosed for the man

His legs were too short and not fit for the stocks

And his head not so hard for to suffer the knocks

This captain he had an attack dog of his own

Taught by her master, was very well known

Either beggars or tinkers, she'll pull off their bags

And if that would not do she would rive 'em to rags

Now this army set out straight away as we hear

H. Wye in the front, attack dog in the rear

They marched on to Wolsingham, then they made a halt
Concerning the battle began to consult

For they heard that the miners' grand army was strong

And the captain that led them was full six foot long

That put H. Wye in a bodily fear

And back to great Auckland he wished for to steer

Up spake the gamekeepers: “Cheer up, never fear

Through Stanhope, through Weardale the way we will clear

In Durham or Auckland we'll never have said

That by a few miners our army was beat"

Now this battle was fought, fought in Stanhope town

Where the chimneys did reek and the soot it fell down

Such a battle was never fought in Stanhope before

And I hope such a battle will never be fought more

For they unhorsed the riders straightway on the plain

H. Wye and his attack dog in the battle was slain

Them that ran fastest got pushed out the town

And away they went home with their tails hanging down

Now the Bonny Moorhen, she's got feathers anew

Many fine colours, and none of them blue

The miners of Weardale, they're all gallant men

They'll fight till they die for their bonny moorhen

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Corrected byKevBoyd


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