Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Let's celebrate our folk heritage

We shooters don't make enough of our traditions and heritage. Let's face it, we're the direct descendants of the aboriginal British hunter-gatherers, and we're continuing a great tradition of nurturing and harvesting Britain's wildlife. We are living history - there should be a preservation order on us!

The French have a splendid Museum of Hunting (in the broad sense of the word) - you can read about it in next month's issue of Sporting Shooter (all good newsagents, from 5 March or thereabouts). What do we Brits have? Not a lot. So, first off, I'm proposing we get this project off the ground. Hunting/shooting/etc philanthropists are welcome to drop me an email, or just a brown envelope of used 20s. We'll need to track down the perfect location for the museum, get together a fabulous collection of hunting/shooting memorabilia, and employ a top-notch curator to take care of the stuff and present it really well. The alternative? Well it'd be awful if all that history was lost wouldn't it?

Meanwhile, to kick things off, how about a list of hunting/shooting-related folk songs to help us reconnect with our roots? Below is a small selection I found via a Google search. Can anyone suggest others that should be on the list? And is anyone still performing these great old songs? If so, send us some mp3s to put on the website - and let's see you performing at the game fairs!

The Bad Squire

Chatting about all this with Richard Shelton, he pointed out that several infantry regiments use hunting tunes as their regimental marches - something else for me to investigate when I get a spare moment!

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