SongNotes: Doon the Moor Jamie O’Reilly & The Rogues

From On the Banks of the Roses LP, 1986
Rereleased on Jamie O’Reilly & The Rogues
A Collection of Rogues’ Recordings
, 2005

Listen here:

Tom Amandes, vocals, penny whistle
Jamie O’Reilly, vocals
Paul Amandesm guitar, harmony vocals
Peter Swenson, classical guitar
Stuart Rosenberg, fiddle
John Floeter, double bass

Doon the Moor was a find in the Colm O Lochlainn More Irish Street Ballads book. We loved its modal sound, and the old-world charm of the story of the lass on the moor discovered by a traveler.

The Banks of the Roses LP was recorded at WFMT studio. The LP has photography by Miki Greenberg. His shot from his travels in Scotland
on the back cover seemed just right.


As I rode out one morn in May
It being fine and sunny weather,
Some miles frae home I chanced to roam
Among the bonny, blooming heather
Doon the moor.
Doon the moor and ‘mang the heather
Doon the moor and ‘mang the heather
Some miles frae home I chanced to roam
Among the bonny, blooming heather
Doon the moor.

I rode along to the huntsman’s song
My heart bein’ light as any feather,
Until I met with tha wee lass
A-brushin’ the dew from off the heather
Doon the moor etc.

She barefoot was and homely clad
And she wore neither hat nor feather
But her plaid hung neatly ’round her waist
As she tripped o’er the blooming heather.

We tigged and toyed frae morn to night
It bein’ the langest day in summer
Until the beams o’ the red, settin’ sun
Came sparklin’ doon along the heather.

Says she, “My laddie, I maun gang
My ewes are strayin’ frae each ither
And I’m as loth to part wi’ you
As the wee lambs to part their mither.”

Then up she got and off she went
Her name nor place I ne’er could gather
But if I were king, I’d make her queen
The lass I met amang the heather.

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Colm Ó Lochlainn (1892 – 26 June 1972) was a printer, typographer, collector of Irish ballads and traditional Irish Uilleann piper. He was notably the author of Irish Street Ballads published in 1939 and More Irish Street Ballads in 1965.

Ó Lochlainn established the Candle Press in 1916. It was the winner of a bronze medal for bookbinding in 1924.

He founded his own press, At the Sign of the Three Candles Press, in 1926. He gave the aspiring piper Seamus Ennis his first job at this press, and Ennis collaborated with him on the Irish Street Ballads books. (Wikipedia)