Early autumn morning, set off up the hill,
Sun and ’aze together, just a bit of chill;
Off ti get the sheep in, sales is gettin’ near;
Last year’s trade was slow, we need a better yan this year.
Yows is lakin’ well, lambskins is good an’ bright,
Should be tonned fower-’undred, lamb crop warn’t too light.
Wiv a good stick and a sharp dog, and the great wide moorland sky,
Smell of damp ling under foot an’ ’ear the collew cry. (Curlew)
Sae go, Tip! Fetch, Tip! Send ’em on.
Yip! Yip! Get away by. (‘Yip! Yip!’ is actually yelped)
Up the rig an’ down yon slack, watch for t’ greeny mire,
Hoss an’ cart yance was lost, swallowed up entire.
Cross it biv a sheep-track, they know where it’s sound;
Some reckon sheep is stupid, but they know solid ground.
Round back o’ t’ Standin’ Stones lang ling pulls at feeat;
Not monny yows up ’ere, the’ like it young an’ sweeat.
Sheep begin ti gather, blatin’ as the’ go,
Top end’s all cleared off now, low side still ti go.
Trickles soon a woolly beck off away down t’ ’ill,
Two yows try ti give us slip in t’ breckons down in t’ gill.
Should ’ev gitten ’em all now field gate’s cummed in view;
Heeads down when they get through, good grass is something new.
Fetch ’em down ti t’ steading, we’ll sort out what’s ti sell,
And yows off for better keep, ’ope crossin’ men pay well;
Wether lambs for feedin’, Swaledale meeat’s the best;
Gimmers replace t’ awd lasses, so back ti moor wi’ t’ rest.
There’s nowt nae more ti please a man than good sheep in the ring,
Tall tales in t’ pub theerafter and beer ti mak ’im sing.
This is a contemporary song about Yorkshire.
This song was written by John Greaves, a retired farmer from Littlebeck near Whitby.
John recorded this song with great passion and enthusiasm.
The chorus in particular is worthy of mention, giving all the authority of a sheep farmer gathering his sheep together from off the moorland.
The account is clearly born of many years of actually doing the job, is well observed and gives an excellent factual description.