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Eliza And Martin Carthy – Bonny Moorhen lyrics

You brave lads of Weardale, I pray lend an ear
The account of a battle you quickly shall hear
Fought by the miners so well you may ken
Claimin' a right 2 their bonny moorhen

Now this bonny moorhen, as she plainly appeared
Belonged 2 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 2 the game
Level their piece & make sure of their aim;
When the bonny moorhen she mounts up in the air
They will bring her down neatly, I vow & declare

Now, times bein' hard, provisions bein' dear
The miners were starvin' almost we do hear
They'd nought 2 depend on, so well you may ken
But 2 make what they could of their bonny moorhen

But the fat man of Auckland & Durham the same
Laid claim 2 the moors & likewise 2 the game
Sent word 2 the miners they'd have them 2 ken
They would stop them from shootin' the bonny moorhen

Now these word was carried 2 Weardale with speed,
It made those poor miners 2 hang down their heads
Sent them an answer they'd have them 2 ken
They would fight till they died for their bonny moorhen

When this word it reached 2 the gentlemen’s ears
An army was risen, it quickly appears
Land stewards, bum bailiffs, & gamekeepers 2
Were all ordered 2 Weardale 2 fight their way through

Now a captain was wanted at the head of the clan
H Wye, of great Oakland, was choosed for their man
His legs were 2 short & not fit for the stocks
& his head not so hard for 2 suffer the knocks

This captain he had an attack dog of his own
Taught by her master 'twas very well known
Either beggars or tinkers, she'll pull off their bags
& if that would not do she would rive them 2 rags

Now this army set out straight away as we hear
H Wye in the front, attack dog in the rear
They marched on 2 Wolsingham, then they made a halt
Concernin' the battle began 2 consult

For they heard that the miners' grand army was strong
& the captain that led them was full six foot long
That put H Wye in a bodily fear
& back great Oakland he wished for 2 steer

Up spoke the gamekeepers: cheer up, never fear
Through Stanhope, through Weardale the way we will clear
In Durham or Oakland 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 & the soot it fell down
Such a battle was never fought in Stanhope before
& I hope such a battle will never be fought more

For they unhorsed the riders straightway on the plain
H Wye & his attack dog in the battle was slain
Them that ran fastest got pushed out of town
& away they went home with their tails hangin' down

Now the bonny moorhen, she's got feathers anew
Many fine colors, & 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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