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All on {those/the} Belfast mountains I heard a maid complain,
Making forth her lamentation down by {some/a} purling stream.
Sayng "My heart is fettered, fast in the bonds of love,
All by a false pre-ten-der who doth inconstant prove.

Oh Johnny! my deas jewel, don't treat me with distain!
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."

"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.

If I'd but all those diamonds on yonder rock to 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."

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Source: Broadwood, L, 1908, English Traditional Songs and Carols, London, Boosey

Collected from Henry Burstow, Sussex, 1893.  An annotation on the publication against the verse "My dear , I'm sorry ... distracted run" reads:  Omit when Singing.

Lucy Broadwood wrote:

The words follow very closely those on a ballad-sheet (circa 1800), printed by W. Shelmerdine, Manchester. Catnach also printed a version. There is a popular Irish superstition that Cave Hill near Belfast contains diamonds which shine sometimes at night, and this throws light upon similar allusions to diamonds, found so frequently in Irish broad­sides of a particular type. Cf. " Faithful Emma " in English County Songs, and " Come all you little Streamers," Journal of the Folk Song Society, Vol, i., p. 122, also "The Belfast Mountains," Complete Petrie Collection (Boosey) No. 558.

Roud: 1062 (Search Roud index at VWML)

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