Doon the Moor

(or All Among the Heather or Heather on the Moor or Queen Amangst the Heather)
Traditional 

Audio


This example of "Doon the Moor" is sung by Brian Hart, recorded live and used with permission.


This example of "Doon the Moor (All Among the Heather)" is sung by Len Graham on his album with Cathal McConnell called For the Sake of Old Decency, available from the Chivalry Music store.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

sheet music (toggle as desired for printing)

Background notes

Brian Hart notes: "I learned this song from the singing of Rosie Stewart of Derrygonnelly, Co Fermanagh.  It's of obvious Scottish origin however it has been embedded in the Irish tradition  for a very long time. The Scottish version is known as Doon the Moor."  The sheet music below is fairly close to Brian's melody.

Notes from Sam Henry's Songs of the People
Other titles: "Among....," "Tje Blooming....," "Bonnie Lassie amang...," "Doon (Down) the Moor," "Heather on the Moor," "Herding  Lambs amangst...," "The lass amang...," O'er the Muir;" cf. "Far up Yon Wide and Lofty Glens," "Queen amang...," "Skippin Barfit thro the..."

Source: John Parker (Mayoghill, Garvagh).

s: ...Burns, in his remarks on Scottish song, quotes a version of "O'er the Moor amang the Heather," which he states he obtained from Jean Glover, a Kilmarnock lassie (Dt:born 31st Oct 1758, died Letterkenny, suddenly in 1801), who claimed it as her own composition. Jean [Bp: from her moral delinquencies] had visited most of the Houses of Correction in west Scotland [Dt: and her claim to the authorship of this song cannot be taken seriously]. 
[Bp: To her other faults, it would seem, must be added unveracity, as clearly this old song was composed long before her day. 
l: Gardner/Chickering and Morton suggest their variants are related to Child #236, "The Laird o Drum," although Bronson asserts: "The musical record, it might be observed, lends no corroboration to the assumption that the secondary forms of the ballad have grown traditionally from the earlier." (3, 1966:395)

 

Note that the line "In among the heather, o'er the moor and through the heather" is combined with the last line of each verse to form a refrain.

Lyrics, as Brian Hart sings them:

One morn in May the fields were gay
Serene and pleasant was the weather
I spied a lass and a very bonny lass
She was scoopin dew in among the heather
down the moor

In among the heather, o'er the moor
and through the heather
I spied a lass and a very bonny lass
She was scoopin dew in among the heather down the moor

Barefooted was she, she was comely dressed 
and on her head neither cap nor feather
But the plaid hung neatly about her waist
As she tripped through the bloomin heather 
down the moor

In among the heather, o'er the moor
and through the heather
But a plaid hung neatly about her waist
As she tripped through the bloomin heather 
down the moor

I stepped up to this fair maid
Tell me your name what brings you hither
And she answered me down by the bonny Bann-side 
And I'm herding all my ewes together down the moor

In among the heather, o'er the moor
and through the heather
And she answered me down by the bonny Bann-side 
I'm herding all my ewes tagither down the moor

I courted her that lee-long day and
me heart was light as any feather
Until the beams of the red setting sun came 
shining down in among the heather down the moor

In among the heather, o'er the moor
and through the heather
Until the beams of the red setting sun came 
shining down in among the heather down the moor

She said young man, I must away
For my ewes are straying from each other
But I'm loath for to part from you as the bonnie 
wee lamb is to part their mother down the moor

In among the heather, o'er the moor
and through the heather
But I'm as loath to part from you as the bonnie 
wee lambs as to part their mother down the moor

So up she got and away she went and her 
place and her name I cannot gather 
But if I were king, I would make her a queen
The bonny lass I met among the heather
Down the moor

In among the heather, o'er the moor
and through the heather
But if I were king, I would make her queen
The bonny wee lass I met among the heather
Down the moor

Lyrics as from Sam Henry's Songs of the People:

One morning in May when the fields were gay,
Serene and pleasant was the weather,
I happened to roam some miles from home
Amang the bonnie bloomin heather

Doon the moor, roon amang the heather,
O'er the moor and through the heather,
I happened to roam some miles from home 
Amang the bonnie bloomin heather, Doon the moor.

I trudged along with the lilt of a song
My heart as light as any feather
Until I met with a very bonnie lass
She was brushing the dew frae amang the heather,
Doon the moor,....

'O,' said I, 'my fair lassie, where have you been?'
Her name and place I scarce could gather
She answered me by the bonnie burn side
'A-feeding of my flocks together.'
Doon the moor...

barefooted was she, and trig and clean
Her cap as light as any feather
With a tartan plaid hanging neatly round her waist
She tripped through the bloomin' heather.
Doon the moor...

We tigged and toyed from morn till e'en
It being the langest day in summer,
Until the rays of the red settin' sun
Came trinklin' doon amang the heather.
Doon the moor...

She charmed my heart and pleased me e'en,
I ne'er can think on ony ither 
If I was a king she would be queen,
The lass I met amang the heather
Doon the moor...

trig: trim or tight in dress; spruce, smart
tig: a light but significant touch; a tap or pat.