On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘at

Where have you been since I saw you, I saw you? On Ilkley Moor without a hat

This week I went up to the moor, Ilkley Moor, where the  far reaching views are particularly beautiful, especially on a bright and clear sunny autumn day such as this one.

View from the moor

In my teens I did some walking on the moor with a group from the youth club.

Also in my teens and with friends, I came up to the isolated Cow and Calf hotel that stands almost at the top. We came to the disco nights that mushroomed in the 60s. The discotheque was in the large basement and occasionally there were live bands, complete with psychedelic and strobe lighting.


Ilkley Moor is part of the larger Rombald’s Moor, and lies directly above the lovely spa town of Ilkley, the moor is also home to a series of fascinating ancient monuments.

One of the best known attractions of Ilkley Moor is the Cow and Calf, in Ilkley Quarry. This craggy outcrop and the smaller, single rock beneath it are said to be reminiscent of a cow sheltering her calf, both looking out across the moor.

Myths and legends

The origins of these curious slabs of millstone grit – a type of sandstone – are mired in legend. Stories tell of how a giant called Rombald was running from his wife when he stamped on the rocks here, splitting the calf from its mother.

The giant’s wife then dropped the stones held in her skirt, creating a rock formation now called the Skirtful of Stones. You can also find The Twelve Apostles on Ilkley Moor – a rock circle of unknown origin.”~ Country File.com

The Moor Cow and Calf rocks

My visit this week to the moor was to the same hotel of my youth, to meet up for lunch with cousin Angela. Although still a working hotel, it’s also a gastro pub that we visit from time to time.

There are a number of high quality restaurants around here, but we chose the Cow and Calf because as Angela put it, it’s a real winter pub. There are large open fires in each of the bars, and the atmospherics, even on grey days when it’s raining and blowing a gale, simply add to the allure.


Enjoying long leisurely lunches with Angela is always a pleasure. We find so much to talk and laugh about, and often one of us manages to come up with some snippet of information about a relative that the other didn’t know about. No apologies for that, we love a good gossip, and anyway a chunk of our relatives are dead!

As usual when I come up to the moor I found myself singing the ‘Yorkshire Anthem’ this triggered my online search for the brilliant version that I’ve included here, and although not even recorded in Yorkshire and not sung in the broadest of Yorkshire accents, it remains one of the most entertaining.

Oh and it must be sung in the Yorkshire dialect, go on, I dare you to give it a go!

Lyrics in Yorkshire dialect

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee, ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee, ah saw thee?

Wheear ‘ast tha bin sin’ ah saw thee?

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

On Ilkla Mooar baht ‘at

Tha’s been a cooartin’ Mary Jane

Tha’s bahn’ to catch thy deeath o’ cowd

Then us’ll ha’ to bury thee

Then t’worms’ll come an’ eyt thee oop

Then t’ducks’ll come an’ eyt up t’worms

Then us’ll go an’ eyt up t’ducks

Then us’ll all ha’ etten thee

That’s wheear we get us ooan back

Interpretation in Standard English

Where have you been since I saw you, I saw you?

On Ilkley Moor without a hat

Where have you been since I saw you, I saw you?

Where have you been since I saw you?

On Ilkley Moor without a hat

On Ilkley Moor without a hat

On Ilkley Moor without a hat

You’ve been courting Mary Jane

You’re going to catch your death of cold

Then we will have to bury you

Then the worms will come and eat you up

Then the ducks will come and eat up the worms

Then we will go and eat up the ducks

Then we will all have eaten you

That’s where we get our own back

© Sue W-nansfarm.net 2017 In response to the daily word-prompt Mushroom

All photographs taken by me 16.11.17

25 thoughts on “On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘at

    1. Loved that the best version was recorded by an Australian male voice choir. Though the main singer on the left sounds Lancastrian to me, listen to the pronunciation of the R sound and the one on the right could well be of original Yorkshire stock! Thanks again Peter. I appreciate this.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Peter, I’ve just researched the singers. Pat Alexander (the guitarist) is Australian (I got that wrong then) and Phil Jackson is the former Barrow and Great Britain Rugby League star Phil Jackson. The Wagga choir including Phil sang at the Royal Albert Hall in 2010. Funny how we rarely meet folk who come from Barrow, well, apart from my dad!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. What? Canada? No… Really? Ah well. I have an affinity with Canadians! Phil must have lived in Barrow a long time, listen to how he pronounces Worms with a distinct sound on the R. Still an entertaining rendition, no matter where they hailed from. Thanks Peter.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. A glorious warm story and the pub looks so cosy, as I’m sitting out here in the beautiful bower garden of the Moorabool Valley Chocolate Cafe, basking in the afternoon sunshine a nice 80′ F and Monty my pal for the week is enjoying every moment.

    Liked by 1 person

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