Denis McDaid and Jimmy Houten


In the sweet county Antrim as I did rove down
To view that fine city they call Randalstown
Where the waters it runs clearly and everything nice
It reminds me of Eden or some paradise

I mounted on horseback a few miles to ride
Till I came to a cottage near Kellswater side
Says I to myself In this cottage might be
A maid neat and handsome and she might fit me

I leapt down of horseback I went in and sat down
A maid in the corner I viewed her all around
Her two cheeks blushed like the rose, her lips a cold red
Her two eyes shone like the diamonds well placed in her head

Oh I says Pretty Bessie will you come with me
To the sweet County Antrim where it’s married we will be
Your friends and relations they won’t run you down
For leaving Kellswater and fair Randalstown

Your offer it is good sir I cannot deny
For to further the acquaintance I cannot comply
Do you think would it not be a slight on my mind
For the leaving Kellswater and fair hearts behind

To the sweet Ballabogie my lovel you I’ll bring
Where the blackbird does whistle and the nightingale sing
Where the lark and the linnet they all sing so sweet
They would all join in chorus and sing you to sleep

The cuckoo’s a pretty bird and sings as she flies
She brings us good tidings and tells us no lies
She drinks the spring water and keeps her voice clear
And she only sings cuckoo in the spring of the year



7 April 1987


Denis McDaid’s House, Isle of Doagh, Co. Donegal


5 min. 10 sec.


Jimmy McBride Collection


Performer and Inishowen Traditional Singers’ Circle

Roud Number