On Ilkley Moor Baht 'At - Origins
|Origins of the Tune and Words >>> The Words >>> The Musical Score|
|This was kindly supplied by Bradford Libraries|
|In 1805 a hymn tune called "Cranbrook" was composed by a cobbler of Canterbury, Thomas Clark. A hundred years later it was still being sung in Wesleyan Chapels to the words "O for a thousand tongues" and at Christmas time to "While Shepherds watched their flocks by night".
According to tradition, the members of a Halifax Wesleyan Church were picnicking beneath the Cow and Calf rocks, after their annual walk across the moors from Dick Hudson's, when two of their party disappeared into the bracken. On their return to the main group, a member of the choir bellowed out "Wheer wor ta bahn when ah saw thee?" "Tha's bin a-courtin' Mary Jane", commented another. Further lines in common metre were contributed until the choir burst naturally into the tune to Cranbrook".
Over the years, more verses have been added, and it has been accepted as Yorkshire's "National Anthem"