The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow

Another song made known by the singer Paddy Tunney. Thanks to Brian Hart for the suggestion. Here it is sung by, I believe, his son John.

The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow

With my dog and gun through the blooming heather
To seek for pastime I took my way,
Where I espied a charming fair one
Whose charms invited me a while to stay.
I said, “My darling, you will find I love you,
Tell me your dwelling and your name also.”
“Excuse my name and you’ll find my dwelling near
The mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.”

I said, “My darling, if you’ll wed a rover
My former raking I will leave aside.
Here is my hand and I pledge you my honour,
If you prove constant I’ll make you my bride.”
“If my parents knew that I loved a rover
Then a grave affliction I would undergo.
I will stop at home for another season near
The mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.”

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Craigie Hills

Some craggy hills in Northern Ireland.

There’s a bit of a debate among singers and song collectors as to the origin of this song and whether or not Craigie Hill(s) is an actually location or just a generic name, although many agree it is an Ulster song. And there is some agreement  that the song was brought to the public’s attention through the singing of the great Paddy Tunney, who got the song off his mother. Here’s a version from the great Dolores Keane.

Craigie Hills

It being in spring and the small birds they were singing
Down by a shady arbour I carelessly did stray
Where the thrushes they were warbling
The violets they were charming
For to view two lovers talking a while I did delay

She said, “My dear, don’t leave me all for another season
Though fortune may be pleasing I’ll go along with you
I’ll give up friends and relations and quit this Irish nation
And to the bonnie Bann banks forever I’ll bid adieu”

He said, “My dear, don’t grieve me or yet annoy my patience
You know I love you dearly although I’m going away
I’m going to some foreign nation to purchase a plantation
For to comfort us hereafter all in America.

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