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Year 3 Music

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Folk Music - 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'

lincolnshire poacher

Do you know the song called 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'? Here are the words. Let's sing it.

When I was bound apprentice, in famous Lincolnshire,
Full well I served my master for more than seven year,
Till I took up to poaching, as you shall quickly hear;
Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.
Yes, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.

We took a hare alive my boys and then we trudged home
We took him to a neighbour's house and sold him for a crown,
We sold him for a crown, my boys, but I did not tell you where,
Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.
Yes, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.

Success to every gentleman that lives in Lincolnshire,
Success to every poacher that wants to sell a hare,
Bad luck to every gamekeeper that will not sell his deer,
Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.
Yes, 'tis my delight of a shiny night in the season of the year.

Who wrote 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'? No one knows. It's a song that has been passed down from parents to children for many years. We call this kind of song a folk song. Another word for 'folk' is 'people'. Folk songs have been sung and enjoyed by people for so long that, most of the time, we don't know who made them up. Many of the lyrics of our favourite folk songs come from regions where English is spoken with a dialect. A dialect is like a local language. Phrases like 'seven year' would be wrong in standard English but can be normal in dialect. Another example is 'He's my ain for ever mair' from the song 'Bobby Shaftoe'. We can all imagine ourselves as part of the story. People who would never dream of poaching can still sing 'The Lincolnshire Poacher'.

Just about every country has its own folk music. In France, people enjoy singing a folk song about 'Frère Jacques' (Brother John), which we sang in Year 2. You probably know the English words for this song: 'Are you sleeping, Brother John?'


This activity is adapted from pages 204 - 205 of What Your Year 3 Child Needs to Know, which can be purchased here.

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