This is a song passed down in our Griffin/ McGill family for at least 4 generations. We always thought it was a nonsense song, as the "poor reindeer" couldn't have climbed a tree. But now as I search the Internet, I find it was a hunting song about a fox "Beau Reynard". I am wondering which branch of my family tree brought this song into the family lore, and which generation "mis-heard" the lyrics. Here are the words we know and below are the lyrics from a hunting song from Cornwall.
COME A HIP, COME A HOOP, COME A HI-LO
Come a hip, come a hoop, come a hi-lo
Across the merry way.
With a rip tip tip, and a rap, tap, tap,
And hurrah, boys..
And a bow wow wow and a roodle doodle doo,
And the bugle horn plays fee fie eeedle-ey I - dee oh...
And through the woods we’ll run brave boys,
And through the woods we’ll run.
The first thing I saw was a school boy a-comin’ home from school
He said he saw a poor reindeer a - swimmin’ in a pool...
The next thing I saw was a blind man, as blind as he could be,
He said he saw a poor reindeer climb up a hollow tree...
Published in "The Book Buyer, Vol 11" in 1894, the song was at least 50 years old when printed. The writer says it was brought from Cornwall at that time.
Come all ye merry sportsmen
Who love to hunt the fox,
Who love to chase bold Reynard
Among the hills and rocks!
Come a whoop, come a whoop, come a hi lo
Along the merry lane
With a rap tap tap and a rip tip tip
And hurrah boys, with a bow wow wow
And a roodle doodle do goes the bugle horn
Sing fee-fi-fiddle-di- i -dee-ay
And through the woods we'll run brave boys,
And through the woods we'll run.
Another version, attributed to the Germans, says:
With a hoop, hoop, hoop and a heigh-O
Along the narrow straat.
Rat tat tat and a tippee tippee tap
With a bow wow wow
Come a hoodle doodle do
And a bugle sound.
As through the woods he ran brave boys,
And through the woods he ran.
Followed by many verses about Beau Reynard, the fox.