Over The Hills And Far Away barndance

Also known as Jockey’s Lament, O’er The Hills And Far Away.

There are 2 recordings of a tune by this name.

Over The Hills And Far Away has been added to 78 tunebooks.

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Two settings

X: 1
T: Over The Hills And Far Away
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmaj
A2|:d2 d2 de fe|d2 B2 B2 A2|d2 de f2 ef|g2 e2 e4|
a2 ag f2 e2|d2 B2 g2 B2|A2 AB AB de|f2 e2 e4:|
|:a3 g f2 ef|d2 B2 B2 fg|a2 fa gfed|f2 e2 e4|
abag f2 ef|d2 B2 g2 B2|A2 AF AB de|1 f2 e2 e4:|2 f2 e2 e2||
X: 2
T: Over The Hills And Far Away
R: barndance
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Ador
AB | "D"defe defe | "G"d2 B2 B4 | "D"defe defe | "A"g2 e2 e4 |
"D"defe defe | "G"d2 B2 g3 B | "A"A3 B ABde | "A"f2 e2 e2 :|!
fg | "D"a3 f afef | "G"d2 B2 B2 fg | "D"a3 f afed | "A"g2 e2 e2 fg |
"D"a3 f afef | "G"d2 B2 g3 B | "A"A3 B ABde | "A"f2 e2 e4 :|

Thirteen comments

Over The Hills And Far Away

This is an English tune that has been around since at least the 1720s when it was used in "The Beggars’ Opera" (whose idea was apparently first given to its writer John Gay by Jonathan Swift). But I don’t know when and where it originated. Nor do I know what political baggage it may carry - there are various sets of words to it, I think. For all that, the tune is one of those troupers like The Dashing White Sergeant that deserves to be widely known.

I’ve transcribed it with an f# as the third last note of each part, as I prefer the tune this way; but it’s often ended with a g here, the last two bars of the second part for instance going, |A2 AF AB df|g2 e2 e4 |
(Maybe it’s easier for a singer to use this version.)

Over The Hills And Far Away

This tune isn’t really a barndance - or a hornpipe, reel or polka. I think it’s been used as a march, and I’d call it one.

Over The Hills And Far Away

Kuntz in his on-line "Fiddler’s Companion" implies that the tune was around by the early c17 but that its place of origin is contested - may be England, may be Scotland. By late c18 it was known in New England. It was seemingly used by the British Army in the Napoleonic Wars as a tune specifically played when departing from camps, etc.

Over the Hills

We used to sing a version of this song as follows:
When I’m rising early in the morning
When Im rising early in the morning
When I’m rising early in the misty May
And smell all the new day dawning etc etc
The tune and song used to be featured in the TV series ‘Sharpe’s Rifles’

Sharpe

Sharpe’s Rifles is one of 20+ feature-length episodes of the ‘Sharpe’ series, still replayed regularly, an excellent series with John Tams excelling, particularly on this, the theme song.
There’s a good cd available of the sound track from Virgin VTCD81 , 7243 8 41590 2 3, also starring Kate Rusby, Roger Wilson etal.
An updated version of the song is regularly heard in Bristol, well sung by Mick Byrne.

Source

This is a tune I’ve always liked, [ although I’m unaware of it being part of the Irish tradition. ] There’s a fine version as the first track on the CD "On The Banks Of The Helicon - Early Music Of Scotland" by The Baltimore Consort, which included Chris Norman among its’ members. They have the source as "Wit and Mirth : or Pills To Purge Melancholy", a collection of music published in London in 1719, which agrees with Nicholas’ date above.
A Scottish band recorded an excellent song - probably by Burns - to this tune recently. I’ll come back with details later.

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Martin Carthy used to sing these words to the tune.

Hark now the drums they beat again
For all true soldiers gentlemen
To list and enter into pay
Over the hills and far away

Chorus (after each verse):
O’er the hills and o’er the main
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain
Queen Anne commands and we obey
Over the hills and far away

You gentlemen who have a mind
To serve a Queen that is good and kind
Come join with us and march away
Over the hills and far away

He that is forced to go to fight
Will never win true honour by it
For volunteers will win the day
Over the hills and far away

Although our friends our absence mourn
We with all honour shall return
And we shall sing both night and day
Over the hills and far away

Hark now the drums they beat again
For all true soldiers gentlemen
To list and enter into pay
Over the hills and far away

Version for the Scottish Smallpipes from the Lowland and Border Piper’s socety session tunes book. Currently played by me on my practise chanter, but coming to pipes near you soon…

Anyone have the William Dixon Manuscript? And does it include extra variations for this version.

M:C
K:ADor
AB | "D"defe defe | "G"d2 B2 B4 | "D"defe defe | "A"g2 e2 e4 |
"D"defe defe | "G"d2 B2 g3 B | "A"A3 B ABde | "A"f2 e2 e2 :|!
fg | "D"a3 f afef | "G"d2 B2 B2 fg | "D"a3 f afed | "A"g2 e2 e2 fg |
"D"a3 f afef | "G"d2 B2 g3 B | "A"A3 B ABde | "A"f2 e2 e4 :|

Jockey’s Lament

This is also a Scottish Highlands song, about a lad called Jockey, whose love, Jenny, leaves him cruelly…


Over the Hills and Far Away is till the official tune for the 95th Rifle Regiment.

Re: Over The Hills And Far Away

My brother-in-law, Dave, has a relative named Thomas Hall who was a fiddler in Tipperary County in Ireland in the early 1800s. He was actually murdered on his way home from a gig. Dave has Thomas Hall’s personal tune book from 1828 and is scanning some of it for me, since I have taught fiddling for many years. I have been rewriting the music notation which is a bit messy; Thomas inserted his own symbols to show this or that part needs to be inserted here etc. BTW Thomas has his own personal bowing in the tunes. What is interesting for this tune, is that Thomas Hall has a third part that he got from fellow musicians, Bob and Joan (a note of his on the music). The first 2 parts are in D dorian and in cut- time . The last 2 parts are in A dorian and in 9/8 time. I had never seen this 9/8 section before. Anyway, I am interpreting his music and recording it for Dave’s relatives. I just wrote the tune out in ABC format today and will play it awhile before I record it.
.

Re: Over The Hills And Far Away

Laura, sounds like a nice book. Bob and Joan may be another tune https://thesession.org/tunes/3663, I sure I’ve seen a version of this in 9/8 in a 19th century tune book. If I turn it up I’ll post it.