“Hares on the Mountain”


The singer avers that if young women ran like hares on the mountain, if he was a young man he'd go hunting. Likewise if they sang like birds in the bushes he'd beat the bushes, etc. ad (possible) nauseum


It has been theorized that this song descends from "The Twa Magicians" [Child 44] (so, for instance, Bronson, who prints this piece as an appendix to that ballad). Frankly, I don't see it. More likely is the connection with "Creeping and Crawling (The Knife in the Window)," with which it shares a tune. But even they have separate plots. - RBW

OLochlainn-More: "Sometimes attributed to Samuel Lover (1797-1865) as he printed it in his novel _Rory O More,_ but is probably an older ballad rewritten. He was a versatile genius, poet, artist, novelist, folk-lorist and antiquarian." See my speculation on Lover for "Widow Machree (II)." - BS

Cross references


  • Dickie Lashbrook, "Blackbirds and Thrushes" (on FSB2CD)
  • Pete Seeger, "Sally My Dear" (on PeteSeeger06, PeteSeegerCD01) (on PeteSeeger14)


  1. Bronson (44), "The Twa Magicians" -- the appendix includes 11 versions (#2-#12) which are this song
  2. Sharp-100E 63, "Hares on the Mountains"; 64, "O Sally, My Dear" (2 texts, 2 tunes) {Bronson's #2, #12}
  3. Kennedy 169, "Blackbirds and Thrushes" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. OLochlainn-More 50, "Blackbirds and Thrushes" (1 text, 1 tune)
  5. Silber-FSWB, p. 173, "Sally My Dear" (1 text)
  7. Roud #329
  8. BI, ShH63


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1836 (Samuel Lover's novel _Rory O'More_ . See NOTES)
Found in: Britain(England(South)) Ireland US(NE)