Mountain Streams where the Moorcocks Crow, The

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  • Teideal (Title): Mountain Streams where the Moorcocks Crow, The.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 853910.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): 2124.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): song.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): Lucy Simpson.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 25/02/1980.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, New York, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): private.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

This is the man who goes fowling1 with his dog and gun, and he meets this pretty girl, and they talk about love and this and that… And then he said, would she marry him – a rover? And she says, her people wouldn’t take too kindly to her marrying a rover. But. And he says, well if you’ll prove- ‘I’ll I’ll prove constant,’ he said, ‘if you’ll promise to marry me… I’ll come back next year,’ he said, ‘and I’ll make sure- If you’re in the same place, we’ll be married.’ And he said, ‘Tell me your name.’ ‘I can’t,’ she said, ‘but I’ll tell you I live near 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 spied a lovely fair one
Her 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 wed a rover
My former raking I will leave aside
Here is my hand, and I pledge my honour
If you prove constant, I’ll make you my bride.’
‘If my parents knew that I loved a rover
Great affliction I would undergo
I’ll stop at home for another season
Near the mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.’

‘Then farewell, darling, for another season
I hope we’ll meet in yon woodland vale
And when we meet we’ll embrace each other
I’ll pay attention to your lovesick tale.
It’s hand in hand we will join together
And I’ll escort you to yon valley low
Where the linnet sings her sweet notes so pleasing
Near the mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.’


1. In Conamara, fowling appears to be a generic term for hunting. The Irish word for ‘hunting’ is foghlaereacht – a word clearly borrowed from English – and can either mean (as here) with ‘dog and gun’ or (as perhaps in bygone times) with a hunting ‘fowl’ – a hawk or falcon.

Joe told Lucy Simpson that he learned this song in 1959 from Fermanagh/Donegal singer Paddy Tunney. This song was, indeed, central to Tunney’s repertoire, and he recorded it a number of times; compare Topic Voice of the People, vol. 6 (TSCD 656), in which Tunney sings an additional verse.