> Peter Bellamy > Songs > The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow / Wi' My Dog and Gun

The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow / Wi' My Dog and Gun

[ Roud 2124 ; Henry H32 ; Ballad Index K136 ; trad.]

Brigid Tunney of Co. Fermanagh sang The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow in a recording made by Peter Kennedy and Sean O'Boyle in 1952. (BBC 20022). It was also included in 2014 on the Topic anthology of traditional songs, airs and dance music in Ulster, The Flax in Bloom (The Voice of the People Volume 27).

Her son Paddy Tunney sang The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow on the anthology Songs of Courtship (The Folk Songs of Britain Volume 1, Caedmon 1961, Topic 1968). He sang it again in a recording by Tony Engle and Tony Russell in the crypt of St John the Baptist, Kensington, London, in February 1975. This was the title track of his own 1975 Topic album, The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow, and it was also included in 1998 on the Topic anthology Tonight I'll Make You My Bride (The Voice of the People Volume 6). Cathal Ó Baoill commented in the album's sleeve notes:

This is is one of the songs I heard as a boy from Paddy‘s mother. It is recorded by her on BBC No. 20022. Paddy has already recorded it for Topic and Caedmon [see above]. You will find a version of this song in Peter Kennedy’s Folksongs of Britain and Ireland (No. 136), though I must say I prefer this version to the Denis Cassley version recorded there. Whether or not it is ever proved that the song was originally composed in Ayrshire there is no doubt in my mind as to the Irishness of Paddy`s version and performance.

Peter Bellamy learned The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow from the singing of Paddy Tunney. He sang it unaccompanied in a recording of unknown origin, possibly from the 1975 Peter Bellamy recording sessions; at least it was included on that album's CD reissue as part of the 2004 Fair Annie 2 CD set.

Eddie Butcher sang The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow on his 1976 Leader album Shamrock, Rose & Thistle.

Sheila Stewart sang My Dog and Gun in 1985 on the Lismor album The Stewarts of Blair. She sang The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow on April 12, 1988 at the National Folk Music Festival, Sutton Bonington, Leicestershire. This live recording by Doc Rowe was included in 1998 on the Topic ballad anthology It Fell on a Day, a Bonny Summer Day (The Voice of the People Volume 17), and it can be seen in this video:

Doc Rowe made another recording of Sheila Stewart Wi' My Dog and Gun in Blairgowrie on October 15, 1998. It was released in 2000 on her Topic album From the Heart of the Tradition. He commented in the album's booklet:

Variously named Dog and Gun or The Mountain Streams, this is another song well known in Northern Ireland yet supposed to have originated in Scotland. Sam Henry, however, notes a version from Co. Derry and states that it had been composed by a roving sportsman in honour of a young lady in Letterban!

Patti Reid sang Where the Moorcocks Crow on 1987 on her eponymous Fellside album, Patti Reid.

Maggie Boyle sang The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow in 1987 on her album Reaching Out. and Bert Jansch sang Dog and Gun in 1990 on his album The Ornament Tree. Both albums were on the Run River label, and Maggie played on the second album too, though not on this track. Maggie's former partner Steve Tilston sang The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow on his 2005 CD Of many Hands.

Bella Hardy sang Dog and Gun, accompanied by Emily and Hazel Askew, in 2007 on her first album Night Visiting.

Lyrics

Peter Bellamy sings The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow Sheila Stewart sings Wi' My Dog and Gun

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.

With my dog and gun through the blooming heather,
For game and pleasure I took my way.
I met a maiden, she was tall and slender,
Her eyes enticed me some time 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.”

Says I, “My darling, do you know I love you?
Tell me your name and your dwelling also.”
“Oh, excuse my name, sir. I have my dwelling
By 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.”

Says I, “My darling, if you wed a fairmer
You'll be tied for life tae one plot o' land.
But I'm a-roving Johnnie, and if you'll gang wi' me
You'll have no ties, so give me your hand.”

“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.”

“But if my parents knew, sir, I loved a rover,
Then that I am sure 'twould be my overthrow.
So I stay at home for another season
By the mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.”

“So farewell, darling, for another season;
I hope we'll meet in some moorland vale.
There we will kiss and embrace each other,
I'll pay attention to your lovesick tale.

“So it's fare the well, love. Another season
We will meet again in yon woodland vale.
And I will sit you down upon my knee then
And I will listen to your lovesick tale.

“Then it's arm in arm we will join together
And I'll escort you to yon valley low,
Where the linnet sings his note so pleasing near
The mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.”

“Then it's arm in arm we will go together
To the lofty trees intae the valley below,
Where the linnets are singing their songs sae sweetly
By the mountain streams where the moorcocks crow.”