Belfast Mountains
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Lesley Nelson-Burns

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.'

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From English Traditional Songs and Carols
See Bibliography for full information.