Now to a debate which has once again rumbled in the halls of Westminster. Six years after the hunt was banned, ’The Horn of the Hunter’ is a powerful reminder of how deep the divisions lie.
Keille While’s ballad ’Fox,’ is the epitome of the battle that still rages on in the countryside. Sung from the perspective of a fox pleading with the Lords and Ministers to listen to their story, the narrative is juxtaposed with sound-bites from hunt supporters as if both sides were arguing in a courtroom for their survival.
I will readily admit that I did not approach ’Horn of the Hunter’ with a particularly open mind - I am biased towards the anti-hunt movement. Nonetheless, of all the ballads, this, for me is the least balanced and so the picture it painted was, unfortunately distorted.
Whilst in CD form, the Radio Ballads aren’t your typical album series - instead they are each an aural snapshot of social life, a portable documentary and a conscience-piquing reminder of the major issue of today. Featuring some of the brightest names in modern British folk, the 2006 Radio Ballads, encapsulate the power of music to shed light on issues which otherwise may have proved impossible.
A contentious issue, ’The Horn of the Hunter’ brings the two sides together, offering a brief glimpse of a debate that hasn’t, as yet, been consigned to the History books.
Originally recorded for the BBC in 2006 and released on CD on 04/09/2006. Re-released digitally by Delphonic Records on 02/03/2010. Part of a series of six plays, volume three deals with both sides of the story of hunting with hounds.
1. The echoing horn - Vince Hunt
2. Farewell part I - John Tams
3. Here we go a hunting - Bob Fox
4. Farewell part II - John Tams
5. Hounds of the Meynall - Keith Kendrick
6. On horseback - Kellie While
7. King George Hunt - Lester Simpson
8. Good dog and true - Bob Fox
9. The Hunt - Fox Hunting Historian
10. Dido Bendigo - Keith Kendrick
11. The Fox - Kellie While
12. Saboteurs’ song - Jez Lowe
13. The house on the hill - Barry Coope
14. The green hare - Martin Simpson
15. Farewell part III - John Tams