Most of the songs in this book have been passed down from generation to generation, each an important part of Lakeland oral history. Hence there is no conventional spelling, punctuation or grammar for these written versions, many containing words of dialect. A glossary of terms & dialect words has been added to help with understanding the characters, events & journeys described within the verses.
Wendy Fraser, Editor and Illustrator
Published: June 2011 Words: 17092 (approximate)
Printed book available to purchase from Blurb
, soft cover, hard cover, illustrated.
E book available from Amazon
: and most other ebook retailers.
People who have been searching for hunting songs will enjoy this book, but I have only been a holiday maker in Lakeland and know little about hunting. However I appreciate "stories" about our country's history and heritage. There is no cruelty here, no complaining or counting of miles. There is co operation between farmer and huntsman, respect for the cunning of the fox and humour too. Did the fox go through the pig-sty intentionally, did the bachelors eventually start families?
Obviously this is a book for dipping into. I shall keep the Kindle ready to pop into my bag so when I am kept waiting, rather than finger tapping I shall read a song, and smile. My favourite at the moment is the Terrier Song but I have plenty more to read so could probably change my mind.
I have frequently been at meets or supporters events (including balls) that have, at some point during proceedings, included a song or two, so I was delighted to be asked to review a copy of Hunting Songs Volume One: The Lakeland Fell Packs. This collection of songs from a number of packs across the Lakeland area of the UK has been gathered by Ron Black, with editing and illustrations provided by Wendy Fraser.
... it is packed with a wealth of songs from the featured packs which have formed part of the local oral tradition for decades or even hundreds of years. Unlike some collections in the past, Black and Fraser have left many of the dialect words and region-specific phrases in place instead of trying to sanitise the songs into modern English, and this adds greatly to the charm of the book. The glossary is a handy touch, allowing readers from other areas to understand the words in full.
The introductions to the various sections, ranging from historical notes to biographies to personal remembrances, are well-structured and easy to read, in some cases revealing details that might not be widely known outside the area. I can imagine these being used as the source of questions for hunting quizzes across the UK, and perhaps further afield. There are some widely-known favourites in the collection, such as John Peel, and others that are not familiar outside of Lakeland, and this mixture makes the book very engaging with an easy to read narrative enhanced by Fraser's drawings.
I am very much looking forward to the release of Volume 2 and hope that hunting people everywhere enjoy Volume 1 as much as I have.
Dr H Brook, Baily's Hunting Directory