Hunt is Up (The)

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X:1 T:Hunt is Up, The M:6/4 L:1/8 N:Lyrics begin: The hunt is up, the hunt is up, and it is well nigh day; N:And Harry our King is gone hunting to bring his deer to bay. S:Chappell - Popular Music of the Olden Times Z:AK/Fiddler's Companion K:C C2|C4 D2 E3F G2|c4 G2 E3F G2|A4 G2 F4 E2|(D6 D4) E2| F4 G2 A3G F2|c4 _B2 A3G F2|G3F E2 D3C B,2|C6||



HUNT IS UP (WHEN THE COCK HE CROWS), THE. AKA - "Hunt's Up." English, Scottish; Air and Dance Tune (4/4, 6/4 and 6/8 times). G Major (Merryweather): C Major (Emmerson/Pickering, Kines, Chappell/Pickering). Standard tuning (fiddle). One part (Emmerson/Pickering, Kines, Chappell/Pickering): AABBCCDDEE (Merryweather). This old English tune, one of the most popular of the early ballads, a dance tune and reville, was mentioned by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet (act III, scene 5). Its age is attested to, not only through its appearence in old music manuscripts, but also by mention in literature. The English collector Chappell (1859) notes that one John Hugan was arrested in London in 1537 for singing with a "crowd" or fyddyl (fiddle) a political song to a tune with this title, while in 1565 William Pickering paid for a licence to print the ballad. Emmerson (1971) finds an even earlier reference to the melody in Scotland in Robert Henryson's fable 'The Wolf, the Foxe and the Cadzear' -- "The Cadzear sang Hunts up, up on hie." Chappell remarks that wide differences are found in the various variations of the tune that appear around 1600 and explains them as alterations brought on by the popularity of a tune where "the greater part of each section lies upon one harmony." Chappell, Merryweather (1989) and Kines (1964) explain that "The Hunt is Up" is actually a genre of tunes, the earliest of which stem from the early 16th century, around 1534; they say that any song intended to arouse in the morning, even a love song, was at one time called a 'hunt's-up'. These tunes originated with the town waites, or musicians, whose duties included playing for church rites, processionals, banquets, Royal visits, etc., but whom could also be hired by individuals to play early morning wake-up calls. "These musical aubades became known as 'Huntsups' and a ground bass 'ye Hunte Yis Uppe' a popular inspiration for descants and ballad tunes for many years" (Merryweather, p. 20). These calls have entered English folk tradition, and Merryweather says fragments have even been identified in Cumbrian folk music in the 20th century. Emmerson finds another trace tradition from the 19th century in Cumberland where there existed a custom called 'hun-sopping' (i.e. 'hunt's up-ing') in which revelers traversed the town on Chrismas morning playing on instruments and shouting greetings. The tune Merryweather gives is actually a suite of such pieces from several sources. The air appears in Jane Pickering's Lute Book (1615), a lute MS of the Cambridge University Library, The Fitzwilliam Virginal Book (where a "fantasia" based on the tune appears rather than the air itself), Lady Neville's Virginal Book, Musick's Delight on the Cithern (1666 or 1667), Anthony Holborne's Cithern Schoole (1597), Sir John Hawkin's transcripts (as "Pescod/Peascod Time"), and the Leyden Lute MS (as "Soet Olivier"). Kines gives the version as given by Hullah from Musick's Delight on the Cithern (1667), which resembles closely Chappell's example from Jane Pickering's Lute Book (1615). Emmerson, suggesting Scottish origins for the air, finds it in the Scottish Gude and Godlie Ballates (Pickering's version resembles this, he says). He notes was frequently recorded as a dance tune in the 1600's and that it was in the repertoire of Habbie Simpson, the piper of Kilbarchan in the early part of that century (which Emmerson {1972} gives in the poem by Robert Sempill of Belgrees, Rendrewshire {1595-1668} called "The Elegy of Habbie Simpson Piper of Kilbarcan," said to be a favorite of Robert Ferguson and Robert Burns)-

Now who shall play 'The day it daws',
Or 'Hunt's up when the cock he craws'?
Or who can for our kirk-town cause
Stand us in stead?
On bagpipes now nobody blaws
Sin' Habbie's dead.

By the end of the 16th century, says Chappell, the tune became known as "Peascod Time" after a ballad sung to it, and under this title "it was appropriated for two very important and popular ballads--'The Lady's Fall' and 'Chevy Chase.'" One melody by the title "Huntsuppe" was by John Whitfield (1588-1616).


Additional notes



Printed sources : - Chappell (Popular Music of the Olden Time), vol. 1, 1859; p. 86 (Jane Pickering's version, 1615). Emmerson (Rantin' Pipe and Tremblin' String), 1971; No. 5, p. 17 (Jane Pickering). Kines (Songs From Shakespeare's Plays and Popular Songs of Shakespeare's Time), 1964; p. 49. Merryweather (Merryweather's Tunes for the English Bagpipe), 1989; p. 20.

Recorded sources : - Harmonia Mundi 907101, The King's Noyse - "The King's Delight: 17c Ballads for Voice and Violin Band" (1992).




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