Arthur McBride

Irish folk song

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1. I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride,
He and I took a stroll down by the seaside;
Seeking good fortune and what might betide,
It was just as the day was a'dawnin'.

2. After restin' we both took a tramp,
We met Sergeant Harper and Corporal Cramp,
Besides the wee drummer, who beat up the camp,
With his row-dee-dow-dow in the morning.

3. He says "my young fellows if you will enlist,
A guinea you quickly will have in your fist.
Besides a crown for to kick up the dust,
And drink the King's health in the morning.

4. For a soldier he leads a very fine life,
He always is blessed with a charming young wife,
And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife,
And always lives happy and charming.

5. And a soldier he always is decent and clean,
In the finest of garments he's constantly seen,
While other poor fellows go dirty and mean,
And sup on thin gruel in the morning."

6. 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 change them one night or you know
If you do you'll be flogged in the morning.

7. And although we are single and free,
We take great delight in our own company,
And we have no desire strange countries to see,
Although that your offer is charming.

8. And we have no desire to take your advance,
All hazards and danger, we barter on chance,
and you'd have no scruples to send us to France,
Where we would be shot without warning."

9. And now says the sergeant, "If I hear but one word,
I instantly now will out with my sword,
And into your bodies as strength will afford,
So now my gay devils take warning."

10. But Arthur and I we took the odds,
We gave them no chance to launch out their swords,
Whacking shillelaghs came over their heads,
And paid them right smart in the morning.

11. As for the wee drummer, we rifled his pow,
And made a football of his row-dee-dow-dow,
Into the ocean to rock and to roll,
And bade it a tedious returnin'.

12. As for the old rapier that hung by his side,
We flung it as far as we could in the tide,
"To the Devil I pitch you", says Arthur McBride,
"To temper your steel in the morning."

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