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Out With My Gun in the Morning

[ Roud 1847 ; Ballad Index K245 ; Bodleian Roud 1847 ; Wiltshire 920 ; trad.]

Jimmy Knights sang Out With My Gun in the Morning in his home in Little Glenham, Suffolk, on 3 April 1975 to Keith Summers. This recording was included in 1978 on the Topic anthology of traditional songs and music from Suffolk, Sing, Say and Play, in 1998 on the Topic anthology To Catch a Fine Buck Was My Delight (The Voice of the People Volume 18), and in 2007 on the Musical Traditions anthology of songs recorded by Summers, A Story to Tell. Rod Stradling commented:

Apart from Alfred Williams’ inclusion in his MS of this song from a Mrs Phillips of Burton, Wiltshire, the only other singers cited by Roud are Charlie Baldry’s son Jim, and Jimmy Knights! And the only broadside listed is that in the G.R. Axon Collection, Chetham’s Library, Manchester—so this is a very rare song.

Jim Causley sang Out With My Gun in the Morning in 2011 on The Woodbine & Ivy Band’s eponymous album The Woodbine & Ivy Band.

Bob and Gill Berry sang Out With My Dog in the Morning on their 2018 WildGoose CD Echoes of Alfred. They noted:

Inspired by the singing of this song by Keith Kendrick, Bob was delighted to find it nestling within the manuscripts of the Williams collection. It describes the sort of simple life to which we wish we could return, a nice little cottage, a loving wife and singing whilst sat next to the fire. Another song collected from Mrs King, Castle Eaton.


Jimmy Knights sings Out With My Gun in the Morning

Now I like my jovial country life,
Happy at home with my home and wife.
Some people are rich but I envy none,
I’m rich enough with my dog and gun.
Early in the morning I leave my home
That is the time in the fields to roam.
Down in the valley my house you’ll see,
Folks say it’s small but it just suits me.

Chorus (after each verse):
Then I like my wife, my pipe and my glass,
Gaily along life’s road do I pass.
Jolly and free it just suits me
And out with my gun in the morning.

Oh I’d lie in bed when the lark sings high
Up in the blue and cloudy sky.
Gay as a bird to the fields I go,
Back I’ll return with the sunset glow.
My dear little wife as she crossed the stile,
She welcomed me home with a loving smile.
Perhaps other women would fairer be
But she is my own and she just suits me.

Now the winter may come and the winds may blow,
Safe at home from frost and snow.
By my fireside with my wife I’ll sing
I would not change with a crowned king.
Happy am I in my little cot,
Contented I’ll be with my humble lot.
Some people may sneer at my low degree
They say I’m poor, but it just suits me.