Dusky Night,The

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Dusky Night.jpg

This tune was published with dance instructions by Peter Thompson in Thompson's 200 Country Dances Volume 4 Index


William Chappell writes in Popular Music of the Olden Time that the song The Dusky Night was written by Henry Fielding for his ballad-opera Don Quixote in England (1734) to the tune of A begging we will go. However, many printed sources show these words set to the tune above.

THE DUSKY night rides down the sky,

And ushers in the morn;

The hounds all join in glorious cry,

The huntsman winds his horn,

And a-hunting we will go.

The wife around her husband throws

Her arms, and begs his stay;

‘My dear, it rains, and hails, and snows,

You will not hunt to-day?’

But a-hunting we will go.

‘A brushing fox in yonder wood

Secure to find we seek:

For why? I carried, sound and good,

A cartload there last week,

And a-hunting we will go.’

Away he goes, he flies the rout,

Their steeds all spur and switch,

Some are thrown in, and some thrown out,

And some thrown in the ditch;

But a-hunting we will go.

At length his strength to faintness worn,

Poor Reynard ceases flight;

Then, hungry, homeward we return,

To feast away the night.

Then a-drinking we will go.

Source: Chappell's Popular Music of the Olden Time

Further information at The Fiddler's Companion