Week 7 – My Dog and I

Another song from the Willett Family LP The Roving Journeymen. This one was sung by Tom Willett on the album, and given the title ‘While the Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping’, although those words don’t actually appear anywhere in the song. Neither do ‘Hares in the old plantation’, or ‘Dogs and ferrets’, which are other common titles for the song, so I’ve just used the first few words as the title It was only when I came to record this that I realised I’d never really given any thought to what I called the song. I’d guess that quite possibly Tom Willett never did either.

The Roud Index  currently has 53 entries for this song, nearly all from Southern England, and quite a few – like this version – collected from travelling singers.

My Dog and I

2 Comments to “Week 7 – My Dog and I”

  1. Hi, Andy, Someone may have told you already about the ‘While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping’ title, but here goes. It comes from a first verse that isn’t included your version: ‘O, I have a dog and a good dog too. I have him in my keeping. For to hunt the hares that do run by night, While gamekeepers lie sleeping’. Also in the same version is a line, ‘Up jumped a hare and away she ran, Into the old plantation’.
    Thank you for your song a week. It’s a great pleasure. Best wishes, Gail

  2. Thanks Gail – glad you’re enjoying the songs. I’m familiar with a number of songs which do include lines about hares in the old plantation, and sleeping gamekeepers – you can hear Bob Roberts’ version (from the Voice of the People) on Spotify http://open.spotify.com/track/3UYxYXjo3KsolbcKsX5rA8
    But my version doesn’t include any of those phrases. Somehow it didn’t seem right to call it “While Gamekeepers Were Sleeping” when those words don’t appear anywhere in the song!

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