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The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow

[ Roud 2124 ; Ballad Index K136 ; trad.]

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, February 1975; this was the title track of his own album, The Mountain Streams Where the Moorcocks Crow and was also included on the anthology Tonight I'll Make You My Bride (The Voice of the People Volume 6, Topic 1998).

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 Peter Bellamy recording sessions; at least it was included on that album's CD reissue as part of the Fair Annie 2CD set.

Lyrics

Peter Bellamy sings 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.”

“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.
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.”