“D'ye Ken John Peel?”


"Do ye ken John Peel with his coat so gray? Do ye ken John Peel at the break of day?" The singer talks of Peel's frequent hunting expeditions, detailing even his hounds. The singer will "follow John Peel through fair and through foul"


Written by Graves to celebrate his friend John Peel. The tune is said to be "Bonnie Annie."

John Peel is not to be confused with the prime minister Sir Robert Peel (who created the "Peelers"). Born in 1776, John Peel lived until 1854, and "for over 40 years ran the famous pack of hounds that bore his name."

According to Stokoe, Graves (1795-1886) wrote the song while in the company of Peel. This would date the song before 1833, in which year Graves emigrated to Tasmania. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "The Horn of the Hunter" (subject)


  1. Stokoe/Reay, pp. 108-109, "D'ye Ken John Peel?" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 208, "John Peel" (1 text)
  4. ADDITIONAL: Walter de la Mare, _Come Hither_, revised edition, 1928; #143, "John Peel" (1 text)
  5. Roud #1239
  6. BI, FSWB208


Author: Words: John Woodcock Graves / Music: Traditional
Earliest date: 1900 (Stokoe/Reay)
Keywords: hunting dog