“The Banks of the Mossen”

Alternate titles: “The Banks of the Mossom”; “The Banks of Sweet Mossom”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1954 (recording, Jim Swain)
Keywords: love separation animal river
Found in: Britain(England(Lond,South))


"As I was a walking down by some shady grove... Young lambs were a-playing on the banks of sweet Mossen... The lark in the morning... brings me joyful tidings of Nancy my dear." The singer asks for pen and ink to write to Nancy


I'd bet a lot that this is one of those Johnny-the-sailor-separated-from-his-love type songs that's been collected about three hundred times -- but from the short text given (three short verses and a fairly generic chorus), I can't tell which one. - RBW



  1. Copper-SoBreeze, pp. 242-243, "The Banks of the Mossen" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #1201
  3. BI, CoSB242