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The Lincolnshire Poacher

Lincolnshire Poacher

The Lincolnshire poacher is a traditional English folk song with a theme on the joys of poaching. It is the unofficial county anthem of Lincolnshire.

It was first seen and printed in York in the year 1775. Its usage, however, started as a regiment quick march of the 10th Regiment Foot and its successors. This is because these men were known as the “poachers”.

It was also an authorized march of The Lincoln and Welland Regiment of the Canadian Forces. The Royal Air Force College Cramwell adopted it as its quick march. Moreover, the melody was used in Harold Baums “The Glyoxylate Cycle”.

Its lyrics are as follows:

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

As me and my companions was setting out a snare
Twas then we spied the gamekeeper, for him we didn’t care
For we can wrestle and fight, my boys, and jump from anywhere
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year.

As me and my companions was setting four or five
And taking them all up again, we caught a hare alive
We caught a hare alive, my boys, and through the woods did steer
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year.

We threw him over my shoulder, 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 divven’t tell you where
Oh, ’tis my delight on a shiny night in the season of the year.

Success to every gentleman that lives in Lincolnshire
(Alt. Bad luck to every magistrate)
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 on a shiny night in the season of the year.

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