The Keeper Did A-Hunting Go


h1 September 1st, 2020

This old English song (Roud 1519) dates back to the 14th century. A favorite of school children in the UK and abroad.
The hunting of the doe in this song originally suggested sexual pursuit, although this implication is quite lost on the children who now sing this song at school. “The second doe he trimmed he kissed” “Trimmed” meaning to hold a woman around the waist.

Lyrics:
[D]The keeper did a [G] hunting [D] go
[D] And under his cloak he [G] carried a [D] bow
All for to shoot a merry little [A] doe
[D] Among the leaves so [A] green, [D] O.

(Chorus:)
[D] Jackie boy! (Master!) Sing ye well! (Very well!)
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry [A] down
[D] Among the leaves so [A] green, [D] O
To my hey down down (To my ho down down )
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry [A] down
[D] Among the leaves so [A] green, [D] O

The first doe he shot at he missed;
The second doe he trimmed he kissed;
The third doe went where nobody wist
Among the leaves so green, O.

(Chorus:)
Jackie boy! (Master!) Sing ye well! (Very well!)
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O
To my hey down down (To my ho down down )
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O

The fourth doe she did cross the plain,
The keeper fetched her back again.
Where she is now, she may remain,
Among the leaves so green, O.

(Chorus:)
Jackie boy! (Master!) Sing ye well! (Very well!)
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O
To my hey down down (To my ho down down )
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O

The fifth doe she did cross the brook;
The keeper fetched her back with his crook;
Where she is now you may go and look
Among the leaves so green, O.

(Chorus:)
Jackie boy! (Master!) Sing ye well! (Very well!)
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O
To my hey down down (To my ho down down )
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O

The sixth doe she ran over the plain;
But he with his hounds did turn her again,
And it’s there he did hunt in a merry, merry vein
Among the leaves so green, 0.

(Chorus:)
Jackie boy! (Master!) Sing ye well! (Very well!)
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O
To my hey down down (To my ho down down )
Hey down (Ho down) Derry derry down
Among the leaves so green, O

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