[an error occurred while processing this directive]

A Trace Boy On Ligoniel Hill
Hugh Quinn

Do ye mind the old horse trams a long time ago, 
As they passed through the city at jog trot or slow? 
On the level they cantered, but the pace it did kill 
When they got to the bottom of Ligoniel Hill. 

But the trace-boys were there with a heart and a hand, 
They let down the traces and buckled each band. 
The passengers sat on contented and still 
When they saw the bold trace-boys of Ligoniel hill. 

Away we did canter as fast as the wind, 
And left the poor country carts plodding behind; 
And that song of the wind in my heart I hear still 
As when I was a trace-boy on Ligoniel Hill. 

The youth of today hold their heads in the air 
And the young girls pass by with a golliwog stare, 
Let them pity the crulge on my back if they will 
But I once was a trace-boy on Ligoniel Hill. 

My friends all departed, and work now so scarce, 
The only thing left is a ride in a hearse; 
For the sky is my roof and my bed a brick-kiln, 
Yet I once was a trace-boy on Ligoniel Hill.
Return to the song lyrics index.

A battle hymn - Countess Markevitz

Armed for the battle kneel we before thee 
Bless thou our our banners,God for the brave!! 
Ireland is living! Shout we exulant 
Ireland is waking hands grasp the sword 
Who fights for Ireland,God guide his blows home 
Who died for Ireland,God give him peace! 
Knowing our cause just,march we triumphant 
Lying or dying Ireland to free! 
The spirit of freedom floats in the ether 
Souls of our hero's marched by out side 
Tone is out battle-cry: Emmet inspires us 
Those who for Freedom fall never shall die 
England is breaking! shout we exultant 
England is beaten - Ireland is free!!!!!! 
Charge for the old cause, down with the old foe 
Giving our hearts blood Ireland to free!

Return to the song lyrics index.

A song of The loyal Irish
Brian O'Higgins (sarcasm)

Boys, O Boys! Listen here to me, 
We´re going to live in a State that´s Free, 
Good English citizens all we´ll be; 
And friends of the Princess Royal; 
If we only flop on our hands and knees 
And swear by George of the lands and seas 
To wipe the green from the Irish trees 
And for evermore be loyal. 

We´ll welcome George with a slavish smile 
We´ll greet him in real colonial style, 
Back out of his presence half a mile, 
Like English Whigs and Tories; 
We´ll damn the deeds of the true and brave 
Who are sleeping in many an Irish grave 
Bow down like beggars and humbly crave 
For a share in England´s glories. 

We´ll curse the name of the rebel Tone, 
And of every rebel our land has known 
And all who hated the English throne, 
And fought for the Irish Nation, 
We´ve torn up every oath and vow, 
We´re part of the civilised Empire now, 
And the annals of England will teach us how 
To make sure of our soul´s salvation! 

All hail the glorious Union Jack! 
(Though steeped in the blood of the white and the black) 
We´ll paste it to Ireland´s bended back 
To prove to the world she´s loyal; 
We´ll stifle her voice, we´ll drown her cries, 
We´ll blacken her face with loyal lies, 
Throw royal dust in her angry eyes 
And hooray for George the Royal!
Return to the song lyrics index.
(James Connolly) 

Come workers, sing a rebel song, a song of love and hate, 
Of love unto the lowly, and of hatred to the great 
The great who trod our fathers down, who steal our childrens bread, 
Whose hand of greed is stretched to rob the living and the dead 

cho: Then sing our rebel song, as we proudly sweep along 
To end the age-long tyranny that makes for human tears 
Our march is nearer done with each setting of the sun, 
And the tyrants might is passing with the passing of the years. 

We sing no song of wailing, and no song of sights or tears, 
High are our hopes and stout our hearts, and banished all our fears 
Our flag is raised above us so that all the world may see 
'Tis Labour's faith and Labours arm alone can labour free. 

Out from the depths of misery we march with hearts aflame, 
With wrath against the rulers false who wreck our menhoods name 
The serf who licks his tyrants rod may bend forgiving knee. 
The slave who breaks his slaverys chain a wrathful man must be. 

Our army Marches onward with its face towards the dawn, 
In trust secure in that one thing the slave may lean upon, 
The might within the arm of him who, knowing Freedom's worth, 
Strikes home to banish tyranny from off the face of earth 

Return to the song lyrics index.

A Place In The Choir
Bill Staines

All god's creatures got a place in the choir 
Some sing low and some sing higher 
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire 
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now 

All god's creatures got a place in the choir 
Some sing low and some sing higher 
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire 
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now 

Listen to the bass it's the one at the bottom 
Where the bullfrog croaks and the hippopotamus 
Moans and groans in the big tattoo 
And the old cow just goes "moo" 
The dogs and the cats they take up the middle 
Where the honey bee hums and the cricket fiddles 
The donkey brays and the pony neighs 
And the old grey badger sighs oh 

All god's creatures got a place in the choir 
Some sing low and some sing higher 
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire 
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now 

Listen to the top with the little birds singing 
And the melodies and the high notes ringing 
And the hoot-owls cries over everything 
And the blackbird disagrees 
Singing in the night-time, singing in the day 
And the little duck quacks and he's on his way 
And the otter hasn't got much to say 
And the porcupine talks to himself 

All god's creatures got a place in the choir 
Some sing low and some sing higher 
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire 
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now 

It's a simple song, a little one sung everywhere 
By the ox and the fox and the grizzly bear 
The dopey alligator and the hawk above 
The sly old weasel and the turtle-dove 

All god's creatures got a place in the choir 
Some sing low and some sing higher 
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire 
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now 

All god's creatures got a place in the choir 
Some sing low and some sing higher 
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire 
Some just clap their hands or paws or anything they've got now

Return to the song lyrics index.

A Pair Of Brown Eyes
Shane MacGowan

One summer evening drunk to hell 
I sat there nearly lifeless 
An old man in the corner sang 
Where the water lilies grow 
And on the jukebox Johnny sang 
About a thing called love 
And it's how are you kid and what's your name 
And how would you bloody know 

In blood and death 'neath a screaming sky 
I lay down on the ground 
And the arms and legs of other men 
Were scattered all around 
Some cursed, some prayed, some prayed then cursed 
Then prayed then bled some more 

And the only thing that I could see 
Was a pair of brown eyes that was looking at me 
But when we got back, labelled parts one to three 
There was no pair of brown eyes waiting for me 

And a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go 
For a pair of brown eyes 

I looked at him he looked at me 
All I could do was hate him 
While Ray and Philomena sang 
Of my elusive dreams 
I saw the streams, the rolling hills 
Where his brown eyes were waiting 
And I thought about a pair of brown eyes 
That waited once for me 

So drunk to hell I left the place 
Sometimes crawling sometimes walking 
A hungry sound came across the breeze 
So I gave the walls a talking 
And I heard the sounds of long ago 
From the old canal 
And the birds were whistling in the trees 
Where the wind was gently laughing 

So a rovin' a rovin' a rovin' I'll go 
For a pair of brown eyes 
For a pair of brown eyes

Return to the song lyrics index.

An Irish Country Home

In an Irish country home, One evening long ago
Sat an old man and his little daughter Nell
Said the girl with Irish glee, as she played upon his knee
You promised me a story you would tell

"Come tell me of the past. Of my mother dear." she asked
Come tell me how she used to look she cried
Answering Nell the old man said, as he slowly bent his head
Tears were in his eyes, he then replied

She was sweeter than the blossoms on the clover
She was fairer than the evening sunset glow
But I never will forget how much I loved her
When your mother took my name long long ago
We were married she and I, and in every way we tried
To make our house a home of happiness
'Til a bright septembers morn, on the day that you were born
God took her to a brighter home above

In an Irish country home, one evening long ago
Sat an old man and his little daughter Nell
Though the best of friends must part
She was dearer to my heart
For your mother was the only one I love
For your mother was the only one I love


Return to the song lyrics index.

A Day In Eirinn
Michael Scanlan

Four gleaming scythes in the sunshine swaying, 
Through the deep hush of a summer´s day, 
Before their edges four stout men sweeping 
In tuneful measure the fragrant hay. 
Myself the fourth of them, strong and happy, 
My keen blue steel moving fast and free. 
Ah! Little then was the broadest meadow 
And light the heaviest scythe to me! 

O King of Glory! What a change is o´er me 
Since the young blood thrilled me long, long ago, 
And each day found me with the sunshine round me 
And the tall grass falling to my every blow. 
O´er the dewy meadows came the cailín´s voices, 
Ringing glad and merry as they raked the hay. 
Oh! The hours pass quickly as a beam of sunshine 
When the years are rosy and the heart is gay. 

Like fairy minstrels, the bees a-humming 
Went honey-seeking from flower to flower; 
Like golden berries in the distance gleaming, 
I´ve watched and listened to them hour by hour. 
And the butterflies on the sunbeams riding, 
With wings surpassing e´en the blush of dawn, 
Or like fairy jewels, full of light and splendour 
On the golden crown of the buachalán. 

The blackbird´s lay in the woods rang clearly, 
The thrush´s notes echoed far and high, 
While the lark´s full song, like a bell´s vibration 
Comes floating down from the midmost sky. 
From his leafy station the linnet lifted 
His little voice in the hazel glen, 
And O God of Grace, was not life a pleasure, 
In our green and beautiful Eirinn then!

Return to the song lyrics index.

Aiden McAnespie

It was on a sunday Evening
The sun shone in the sky
As he walked on his way to the Gaelic ground
Never thinking he was going to die
As he crossed the checkpoint
The sound of gunfire came
As the news spread through the borders
Aiden McAnespie was slain

Oh why did you do it
Have you not the guts to say
You say it was an accident
Or even a a richochet
But like Rockall or Gibralter
Your lies are well renowned
You murdered Aiden McAnespie
On his way to the football Ground

For years he was harrased
By the forces of the Crown
As he went to work each morning
Out from his native town
The soldiers swore they'd get him
For reasons no one could say
And sure enough the murdered him
In cold blood that sunny day


To say it was an accident
Was the greatest crim of all
To his heart broken family
Was the worst that can befall
A cross that marks that lonely spot
Where Aiden he was shot down
As he walked that Sunday evening
On his way to the gaelic ground


Aidens life has ended
It was time for judgement day
A soldier jumped out from a tower
And the coward he sniped away
Gods curse on you England
For this cruelty that you have done
But god will have the final say
When your day of judgement comes


Return to the song lyrics index.

Thomas Osbourne Davis

   When boyhood's fire was in my blood
   I read of ancient freemen
   For Greece and Rome who bravely stood
   Three hundred men and three men
   And then I prayed I yet might see
   Our fetters rent in twain
   And Ireland long a province be
   A Nation Once Again

   A nation once again
   A nation once again
   And Ireland long a province be
   A Nation Once Again

   It whispered too that freedom's ark
   That service high and holy
   Would be profaned by feelings dark
   And passions vain and lowly
   For freedom comes from God's right hand
   And needs a Godly train
   And righteous men must make out land
   A Nation Once Again

   [Chorus repeat]

   So as I grew from boy to man
   I bent me to that bidding
   My spirit of each selfish plan
   And cruel passion ridding
   For thus I hoped some day to aid
   Oh, can such hope be vain
   When my dear country should be made
   A Nation Once Again

   [Chorus repeat]

Return to the song lyrics index.

Oh have you been to Avondale and lingered in her lovely vale
Where tall trees whisper low the tale of avondale's proud eagle
Where pride and ancient glory fade
Such was the land where he was laid
Like Christ was thirty pieces paid
For Avondale's proud eagle

Oh have you been to Avondale and lingered in her lovely vale
Where tall trees whisper low the tale of avondale's proud eagle
Long years that green and lovely glade
Have lost for now our grandest Gael
And Cursed the land that has betrayed
Our Avondale's proud eagle

Return to the song lyrics index.
Aon Focal Eile

When I was just a lad I used to go to school
I'd sit down there in the seat, feeling like a fool
The teacher taught us everything, everything we know
She had a great big lump of a stick that was bent into a bow
She'd go "Aon focal dar, focal two, focal eile,
And I not knowing no focal at all
She'd go "Aon focal dar, focal two, focal eile
And I not knowing no focal at all

She taught how to say all our A.B.C.
She showed us how to make little men out of plasticene
She taught us how to say our prayers, she taught us right from wrong
The only thing about it, we didn't go to school too long


She taught us about the history, the battle of the Boyne
And how to play a game with the chestnut and the twine
She says "Open up your catechism, learn all that information
If you don't get it in your big thick head, you won't get your conformation


Well, the days we spent going to school, were the best years of our life
Tho' at the time we thought they were full of trouble and strife
Now when I'm home on holiday, I'd pass the old school gate
I think of the time I spent in there, them times were surely great


Return to the song lyrics index.

Among The Living
Tim MacGlashen

i was on the front line of the march down on william street 
crowd a cheering, some stones were thrown but otherwise at peace 
gas was fired by th army, the marchers sprayed with dye 
someone shouted saracens are coming on rossville street they road 

a hall of shots rang out, crowd taken unawares 
there were people lying, creeping, running, screaming everywhere 
bullets coming from all directions, under fire when we moved our heads 
though we approaced the soldiers with our hands up in the air 

now the ropes slip gently /neath your back 
lowered to a peace that you have gained 
among the living dressed in black 
i'm left standing over, standing over your grave 

running by the rubble barricades just past glenfada park 
i was dragged out by my hair on the ground, crawling to your side 

a man took his coat off, put it under your sweet head 
father daly whispered last rites, but you were gone 
high up on a hill of creegan derry mourned the fall 
when i pray to god i ask him what's the meaning of it all

Return to the song lyrics index.


I had a true love, if ever a girl had one 
I had a true love, a brave lad was he 
One fine Easter morning, with his gallant comrades 
He started away for to set Ireland free. 

cho: All round my hat, I'll wear the tri-colored ribbon 
All 'round my hat I'll wear the green white and gold; 
And if anyone should ask me the reason that I'm wearing it 
It's for my true love (I never more shall see) or (in the I.R.A.) 

He whispered, "Goodbye, love, Old Ireland is calling 
High over Dublin the tricolour flies; 
In the streets of the city, the foeman is falling 
And wee birds are singing, "Old Ireland, arise!" 

His bandolier 'round him, his bright eyes a-shining 
His short service rifle, a beauty to see, 
There was joy in his eyes, though he left me behind him 
And started away for to set Ireland free. 

[My true love is a soldier, he's fighting for old Ireland 
His short service rifle is a wonder to see; 
And as the moon was declining, he left me repining 
His bright bayonet shining, to keep old Ireland free.] 

All around my hat I wear the tricolor ribbon 
All around my hat, until death comes to me 
And if anybody's asking why do I wear it 
It's all for my true love, I never more shall see. 

In prayer and in waiting, the dark days passed over 
The roar of the guns brought no messge to me 
I prayed for Old Ireland, I prayed for my true love 
That he might be safe and Old Ireland be free. 

The struggle is ended, they brought me the story 
The last whispered message he sent unto me, 
I was true to the land, love, I fought for her glory 
And gave up my life for to keep Old Ireland free. 

Return to the song lyrics index.
ALL AROUND MY HAT (another version)

My love she was fair, and my love she was kind
And cruel the judge and jury that sentenced her away
For thieving was a thing that she never was inclined to
They sent my love across the sea ten thousand miles away


All around my hat, I will wear the green willow
All around my hat for a year and a day
And if anyone should question me the reason for my wearing it
I'll tell them that my own true love is ten thousand miles away

I bought my love a golden ring to wear upon her finger
A token of our own true love and to remember me
And when she returns again, we never will be parted
We'll marry and be happy for ever and a day


Seven, seven long years my love and I are parted
Seven, seven long years my love is bound to stay
Seven long years I'll love my love and never be false-hearted
And never sigh or sorrow while she's far, far away


Some young men there are who are preciously deceitful
A-coaxin' of the fair young maids they mean to lead astray
As soon as they deceive them, so cruelly they leave them
I'll love my love forever though she's far, far away


Return to the song lyrics index.

(John Todhunter) 

There's a glen in Aghadoe, Aghadoe, Aghadoe 
There's a deep and secret glen in Aghadoe 
Where we met my love and I, love's fair planet in the sky 
In that deep and silent glen in Aghadoe 

There's a glade in Aghadoe, Aghadoe, Aghadoe 
There's a deep and secret glade in Aghadoe 
Where I hid from the eyes of the redcoats and their spies 
That year the trouble came to Aghadoe 

But they tracked me to that glen in Aghadoe, Aghadoe 
When the price was on his head in Aghadoe 
O'er the mountain through the wood as I stole to him with food 
But the bullets found his heart in Aghadoe 

I walked from Mallow town to Aghadoe, Aghadoe 
I took his head from the jail gate to Aghadoe 
There I covered him with fern and I piled on him the cairn 
Like an Irish king he sleeps in Aghadoe 

Return to the song lyrics index.
Amhrán na bhFiann

Sinne Fianna Fáil
Atá Fá gheall ag Éirinn
Buidhean dár sluagh tar rúinn do ráinig chughainn
Fámhoídh bheírh saor
Sean-tír ár sinnsear feasta
Ní fágfar fá'n tíorán ná fa'n tráil
Anocht a theigeamh sa bhearna baoghail
Le gean ar Gaedhí chun báis nó saoghail
Le gunna sgréach: Fá lamhach na piléar
Seo Libh canaidh amhrán na bhFiann

Seo dhibh a cháirde duan oglaidh
Caithréimeach, bríoghmhar, ceolmhar
Ár dteinte cnámh go buacach táid
'S an spéir go min réaltógach
Is fionmhar faobhrach sinn chun gleo
'S go tiúnmhar glé roimh tigheacht do'n ló
Fa ciúnas chaoimh na h-oidhche ar seol
Seo libh, canaídh amhrán na bhFiann

Cois banta réidhe, ar árdaibh sléibhe
Ba bhuadhach ár rinnsear romhainn
Ag lámhach go tréan fá'n sár- bhrat séin
Tá thuas sa ghaoith go seolta
Ba dhúthchas riamh d'ár gcine cháidh
Gan iompáil riar ó imirt áir
'Siubhal mar iad i gcoinnibh rámhaid
Seo libh, canaidh amhrán na bhFiann

A buidhean nach fann d'fuil Ghaoidheal is Gall
Sinn breacadh lae na saoirse
Tá sgéimhle 's sgannradh í gcroidhthibh namhad
Roimh ranngaibh laochra ár dtíre
Ár dteinte is tréith gan spréach anois
Sin luinne ghlé san spéir anoir
'S an bíodhbha i raon na bpiléar agaibh
Seo libh, canaidh amhrán na bhFiann

[English translation]A Soldier's Song

We'll sing a song, a soldier's song
With cheering rousing chorus
As round our blazing fires we throng
The starry heavens o'er us
Impatient for the coming fight
And as we wait the morning's light
Here in the silence of the night
We'll chant a soldier's song

Soldiers are we
whose lives are pledged to Ireland
Some have come
from a land beyond the wave
Sworn to be free
No more our ancient sire land
Shall shelter the despot or the slave
Tonight we man the gap of danger
In Erin's cause, come woe or weal
'Mid cannons' roar and rifles peal
We'll chant a soldier's song

In valley green, on towering crag
Our fathers fought before us
And conquered 'neath the same old flag
That's proudly floating o'er us
We're children of a fighting race
That never yet has known disgrace
And as we march, the foe to face
We'll chant a soldier's song

Chorus Repeat

Sons of the Gael! Men of the Pale!
The long watched day is breaking
The serried ranks of Inisfail
Shall set the Tyrant quaking
Our camp fires now are burning low
See in the east a silv'ry glow
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe
So chant a soldier's song

Chorus Repeat

Return to the song lyrics index.

Let grasses grow and waters flow in a free and easy way
But give me enough of the rare old stuff
that's made near Galway Bay
And policemen all from Donegal, Sligo and Leitrim too
We'll give them the slip and we'll take a sip
of the real old mountain dew

There's a neat little still at the foot of the hill
Where the smoke curls up to the sky
By a whiff of the smell you can plainly tell
That there's poteen boys close by
For it fills the air with a perfume rare
and betwixt both me and you
As home we roll, we can drink a bowl
Or a bucketful of mountain dew

Now learned men as use the pen have writ' the praises high
Of the rare poteen from Ireland green
Distilled from wheat and rye
Away with your pills, it'll cure all ills
Be ye pagan, Christian, or Jew
So take off your coat and grease your throat
With a bucket of the mountain dew.

Return to the song lyrics index.

From a county Mayo town came a man of great renown
As a sailor and a soldier was none bolder
He went to America at an early age they say
As a cabin boy to sail the wide world over

Then adventure took him south to the De La Plata mouth
San Martin was on the route in Argentina
So three whaling ships he bought and Brazil and Spain he fought
And freedom then he sought for Argentina

Now Admiral William Brown you're a man of courage shown
And in battles fought the odds were all against you
But your Irish heart was strong and in memory still lives on
And in Ireland there are some that don't forget you

On St. Patrick's day it's told you had many victories bold
You defeated all invaders thugs and bullys
Then through the Pampas rose and you found a happy home
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

He had heard of Irish hands in noble gallant bands
That helped to free the land called Argentina
He had heard with great acclaim the Patricios name and fame
When in 1806 the British came for slaughter

And to this very day in the Argentine they say
The English ran away from Buenos Aires
To the islands further down and they took them for the crown
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

We remember William Brown and his land of great renown
He, invader of the islands from your country
When in 1833 were by pirates forced to flee
And in Ireland sure we know the story fully

And the people that went too to the Argentine when new
To escape the English laws and wars and famine
They had proved a loyal crew just like all the Irish do
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

The old colonial days and cruel English ways
With her thunder plunder we will teach the natives
For the Brits are going to war just like Whitelocke did  before
With her ships and guns and drums and flags and banners

In the Empire days of old when they murdered for gold
And paraded it around the streets of London
Oh no human rights were given to the natives dead or living
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

In the Argentine he died Father Fahey by his side
'57 was the year his country mourned him
A hero of the nation he's remembered with elation
Throughout the world where freedom still abounds

And the Southern Cross take note where bold Willie Bullfin wrote
The Irish still support you Argentina
With the Empire tumbling down let no Paddies back the crown
"Las Islas Malvinas, Argentinas"

Return to the song lyrics index.

Sure, a little bit o' Heaven fell from out of the sky one day
And nestled on the ocean in a spot so far away
And the angels found it, sure it looked so sweet and fair
They said suppose we leave it, for it looks so peaceful there!
So they sprinkled it with star dust, just to make the shamrocks grow
'Tis the only place you'll find them
No matter where you go
Then they dotted it with silver
To make its lakes so grand
And when they had it finished
Sure they called it Ireland!

Return to the song lyrics index.

Sure I've roamed this wide world over
But of all the lands I've seen
There's no spot I'd rather dwell in
Than my little isle of Green

Only last night I was dreamin'
Of a sight that thrilled me through
But what I saw I'll see no more
'twas too good to be true

Sure the shamrocks were growing on Broadway
Every girl was an Irish colleen
The town of New York was the county of Cork
All the buildings were painted green

Sure the Hudson looked just like the Shannon
Oh, how good and how real it did seem
I could hear me mother singin', sweet Shannon bells ringin'
'twas only an Irishman's dream

Return to the song lyrics index.

In South Armagh there was a man who had a long-range gun
He said I'll show them Army boys there's nowhere they can run
He was the South Armagh sniper

He'd pick a spot and wait the whole day through
Until a brit patrol came into view

The Armagh sniper he never missed his mark
He was lethal in the daytime and deadly in the dark
If he gets you in his sights you'd better say your prayers
So British troops go home or else beware

Soon his reputation spread through Ulster like wildfire
The list of British casualties just kept on getting higher
It was the South Armagh sniper he made the British forces think again
About wandering at night through Crossmaglen

The Armagh sniper the brits were terrified
They could never pin him down no matter how they tried
If he gets you in his sights he'll make widows of your wives
So brits go home while you still have your lives

In London and in Dublin they pretend to speak of peace
They say give us your weapons and we'll make this bloodshed cease
But the south Armagh sniper he's heard their lies and double-talk before
He won't be fooled or cheated anymore

The Armagh sniper he hasn't gone away
His rifles oiled and loaded he's just waiting for the day
So if the British government should break their word well then
The sniper will go back to work again
I'm a-comin back boys

Return to the song lyrics index.

I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride
and we went a-walking down by the seaside
Seeking good fortune and what might betide
for it being on Christmas morning

For recreation we went on a tramp
where we met Sergeant Harper and Corporal Crump
And a little wee drummer intending to camp
for the day being pleasant and charming
"Good morning, good morning" the sergeant did cry
"And the same to you gentlemen" we did reply
Intending no harm, we made to pass by
For it being on Christmas mornin'

Says he, "My fine fellows, if you will enlist
it's ten guineas I quickly will shove in your fist
And a crown in the bargain to kick off the dust
and to drink the king's health in the morning
For a soldier he leads a very fine life
and he always is blessed with a pretty young wife
And he pays all his debts without worry or strife
and always is pleasant and charming

And a soldier, he always is decent and clean
in the finest of clothes he is constantly seen
While other poor fellows are dirty and mean
and sup on thin gruel in the morning"

But says Arthur, I wouldn't be proud of your clothes
for you've only the lend of them, as I suppose
And you dare not remove them at night
for you know if you do, you'll be flogged in the morning

And although that we are single and free
we take great delight in our own company
And we have no desire strange faces to see
although your offers are charming
And we have no desire to take your advance
of hazards and dangers we'll barter our chance
For you have no scruples and will send us to France
where we'll surely be shot without warning

Oh now, says the sergeant, if I hear one more word
I instantly then will draw out my sword
And run through your bodies as strength can afford
So now you gay devils take warning!
But Arthur and me we took in the odds
and we gave them no chance for to lunge out their swords
Our trusty shillaleahs come over their heads
and bade them take that as fair warning

As for the wee drummer, we rifled his pouch
We made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow
Threw it in the tide for to rock and to roll
and bade it a tedious returning
And as for the rapiers that hung at their sides
we flung them as far as would could in the tide
To the devil I bid you, cried Arthur McBride
and temper their steel in the morning

I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride
and we went a-walking down by the seaside
Seeking good fortune and what might betide
For it being on Christmas morning

Return to the song lyrics index.