BRENNAN ON THE MOOR

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
BRENNAN ON THE MOOR
According to Burl Ives, this tune was popular in Ireland, Scotland and America during the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The first printed appearance of the tune was around
1850. William Brennan was a highwayman (robber of the wealthy) in the 18th century.
He operated around the Kilworth mountains in County Cork. Brennan was hanged at
Cork in 1804. Given these facts, Ives has estimated the date of the tune too early.
‘Tis of a brave young highwayman this story I will tell
His name was Willie Brennan and in Ireland he did dwell
It was on the Kilwood Mountains he commenced his wild career
And many a wealthy noble man before him shook with fear
Oh, it’s Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor
Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor
One day upon the highway, as Willie he went down
He met the Mayor of Cashell a mile outside the town
The mayor he knew his features, and he said: “Young man”, said he
“Your name is Willie Brennan, you must come along with me”
And it’s Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor
Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor
Now Brennan’s wife had gone to town, provisions for to buy
And when she saw her Willie, she commenced to weep and cry
Said: “Hand to me that tenpenny”, as soon as Willie spoke
She handed him a blunderbuss from underneath her cloak
For young Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor
Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor
Now with this loaded blunderbuss, the truth I will unfold
He made the mayor to tremble, and he robbed him of his gold
One hundred pounds was offered for his apprehension there
So he, with horse and saddle, to the mountains did repair
Did Brennan on the moor, Brennan on the moor
Bold, brave and undaunted was young Brennan on the moor
Now Brennan being an outlaw upon the mountains high
With cavalry and infantry, to take him they did try
He laughed at them with scorn until at last, ’twas said
By a woman false of heart he was cruelly betrayed