KEEPER WOULD A HUNTIN GO

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • KEEPER WOULD A HUNTIN GO
    There are many similar versions of this song, but due to its content (mild enough to us,
    but considered gross by many in those days) these were not published at the time; except
    for a set which appeared in Sabine Baring Gould’s Songs of the West. This text was re-
    written to make it “safe”, but makes it clear, as the Sharp re-write does not, that the
    “does” are actually women. “The earliest known version is a black-letter ballad of fifteen
    verses, written by one Joseph Martin, and published in the mid-1680s under the title of
    The “Huntsman’s Delight”; or “The Forester’s Pleasure”. In the eighteenth century a
    slightly less elaborate version was issued, this time in white-letter, with only six verses,
    and entitled “The Frolicksome Keeper”. Unlike its predecessor, it has the dialogue chorus
    which is common to versions which have turned up in oral tradition during this century.”
    In American Favorite Ballads (1961), Pete Seeger uses the same lyrics as the first three
    verses in the DT, but does not include the fourth verse added by the Weavers. All that
    Seeger says about the song is that it is “a song from our British cousins, lots of fun as an
    answer-back song.” These particular lyrics were sung by the Weavers.
    The keeper did a hunting go
    Under his cloak he carried a bow
    All for a shoot, a merry little doe
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    Jacky boy
    (Master)
    Sing me well
    (Very well)
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    To my head on down, to my whole on down
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    The first, oh, she did cross the plain
    The keeper fetched her back again
    Where she’s now she may remain
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    Jacky boy
    (Master)
    Sing me well
    (Very well)
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
  • Among the leaves so green, oh
    The next doe, she did cross the brook
    The keeper fetched her back with his hook
    Where she’s now you may go and look
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    Jacky boy
    (Master)
    Sing me well
    (Very well)
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    To my head on down, to my whole on down
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    The keeper did a hunting go
    In the woods he caught the doe
    She looked so sad that he had to let her go
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    Jacky boy
    (Master)
    Sing me well
    (Very well)
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    To my head on down, to my whole on down
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
    Among the leaves so green, oh
    To my head on down, to my whole on down
    Hey, down, ho, down, very, very down
    Among the leaves so green, oh