Sunday, October 26, 2008

Tip O' Derwent by Gerald Short

Edward Frederick Brewtnall (1846-1902)

Joe Tagg come tramping over the moor
One cold December day
To gather in his tups and yows
And bring them safe away
But snow lay thick on heather and moss
And more were coming fast
As man and dog worked on and long
All in the icy blast

Ch: Oh, Tip, come by, now Tip, come by
Why dost tha linger so?
Now old Joe's gone, tha'rt all alone
Out in the wind and snow

Old Joe now feeling tired and weak
Sat down a rest to take
But soon he slept that long cold sleep
From which you canna wake
For old Joe died there high on the moor
With Tip close by his side
And still the snow came falling down
And still the cruel wind sighed

Soon darkness spread its shadows about
O'er Howden's shoulders bare
While down below the village folk
Lay snug with never a care
And when Joe's absence was remarked
Folk thought but little of this
For hadn't Joe full many's the time
Been caught in worse than this?

But soon alarm began to spread
Folk searched by night and day
For maybe he had broke a bone
And couldna make his way
And though they searched the hills abroad
By clough and windy slough
No sign of Joe, nor Tip his dog
Was seen to give them hope

Soon the days passed into weeks
Old Joe could ne'er be found
Through weeks and months of frost and snow
Still brave Tip stood her ground
And how she lived, no one can tell
It canna be explained
Wi'out a bite, save what she caught
That faithful dog remained

The twelfth day of a December so cold
Old Joe Tagg breathed his last
And Tip, his sheepdog, stayed by him
Till fifteen weeks had passed
And when the twenty-seventh day
Of March it come around
Upon the heights of Howden Moor
Joe's corpse and Tip were found

They laid a stone to this brave dog
It stands by Derwent's shore
It tells the tale and it names the names
I canna do no more
So as you sit by a blazing fire
Both warm and full of cheer
Think on the ties that kept Tip there
All through that winter drear

This song is set in Derbyshire, England
and was writen by by Gerald Short.
It was recorded by Ram's Bottom.

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