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Wrinkles Lyr Add: Belfast Mountains (23) Lyr Add: Belfast Mountains 27 Feb 05

I was searching for the version of Belfast Mountains, not in the DT, I'd heard over 20 years ago in a Belfast folk club. Of course I came across the P J McCall song "Henery Joy McCracken" ( and, but this version found at; is closest to what I recall although the tune (midi file on site) is quite different.

To quote the site;

"These words are from a broadside printed circa 1800 by W. Shelmerdine, Manchester.

According to Lucy Broadwood there is an Irish superstition that Cave Hill, near Belfast contains diamonds that sometimes shine at night.

This song was collected in Sussex and was sung by Mr. H. Burstow in 1893"


All on Belfast Mountains
I heard a maid complain,
Making forth her lamentation
Down by some purling stream,
Saying 'My heart is fettered,
Fast in the bonds of love,
All by a false pretender
Who doth inconstant prove.

Oh, Johnny! my dear jewel,
Don't treat me with disdain!
Nor leave me here behind you
In sorrow to complain!'
With her arms she clasps around him,
Like violets round the vine,
Saying 'My bonny Cheshire lad,
You've stole this heart of mine.'

If I'd but all those diamonds
On yonder rock that grow
I would give them to my Cheshire lad
If his love to me he'd show.
Wringing her hands and crying
'My Johnny dear, farewell!'
Unto those Belfast Mountains
My sorrow I will tell.

It's not those Belfast Mountains
Can give to me relief,
Nor is it in their power
To ease me of my grief;
If they'd but a tongue to prattle
To tell my love a tale,
Unto my bonny Cheshire lad
My mind they would reveal:'

(Third verse, noted to be omitted if singing)
'My dear, I'm sorry for you,
That you for me should grieve,
I am engaged already;
'Tis you I can't relieve.'
'Since it is so, my Johnny,
For ever I'm undone,
All by this shame and scandal
I shall distracted run.'


I'm afraid I haven't the skill to render the tune I remember into midi or abc format.

The lyrics of version I heared had a verse/chorus format. All I can recall is one verse and the chorus, which ran

And it's Oh you Belfast mountains
can ye bring me no relief.
Have ye got no tounge to flatter with
for to ease me from my grief?
Have ye got no tounge to flatter with
for to ease me from my pain?
For it's hard to love your own true love
who'll not your love return.

(Last verse)
And so may he never prosper
and may he never thrive
in any task he takes in hand
as long as he's alive
and the very ground he walks upon
may the grass refuse to grow;
for my Jaimie, cruel Jaimie,
the cause of all my woe.

The lyrics of the final verse are very similar to those in
"The Blue Cockade" (

It'd be much appreciated if anyone can help me recover the full lyrics of the version of Belfast Mountains that I partly remember.


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