This is more of lyric than a poem - being based by David Trotter on the tune of the Londonderry Air. He intended to sing it at a hunting song competition, in the year when the Hunting with Dogs bill was much in dispute. On the night he was not well enough to sing, so asked me to take it on instead. I adapted it considerably so that it was easier to sing. This doesn't necessarily work on screen, so if you don't know the tune, well, just pass this one by.
Oh, country friends, the final horn is sounding
Across the lake, and down the wild fellside.
Our quiet land is crowded with offcomers;
How can we stand, against an urban tide?
Beware, beware, the bureaucrats are coming
To take our sport and country life away,
The final horn is calling from the wild fellside;
United we must stand to keep them held at bay.
The city man, who buys a home for holidays,
Out-bids the shepherd with his modest wage,
Who sees his children waiting for a council house,
And turns away, embittered by his rage.
The supermarkets work against the farmer;
Their buyers grin and take us all for fools;
We can see DEFRA stacking up the paperwork;
The farm is drowning in a sea of rules.
Our way of life is being taken over,
Each year they pass new laws upon our lives;
Westminster pawns and European bureaucrats
Must be defied, or we shall not survive.
The countryside marched into London City
And walked its streets with humour and good will.
Now that once more we’re forced to fight the bureaucrats,
We’ll use their tools to cheat them of their kill.
Beware, beware, you bureaucrats! we’re coming,
You cannot take our country life away!
We bid the horn that calls the Lakes to waken –
The hunt’s afoot – the horn is sounding: “Gone Away!”
David Trotter & Sue Millard, Lunesdale & Ullswater Hunts, 21 November 2004