News  |  Sign Up  |  Sign In

Arthur McBride

Irish: Traditional,
Written by: Unknown, Copyright: Unknown

I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride,
He and I went a walkin' down by the seaside;
In search of good fortune and what might betide,
It was just as the day was a'dawnin'.

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.

[alternative lyrics: Twas me and me cousin one Arthur McBride,
As we went a walkin' down by the seaside;
We met Sergeant Upper and Corporal Pride,
The day bein' Christmas morning.

"Good mornin', good mornin'" the Sergeant did cry;
"And the same to you gentlemen" we did reply;
Intendin' no harm, we just meant to pass by;
The day bein' pleasant an charmin'.]

"Well" says he "me young fellows if you will enlist,
It's ten guineas in gold I will slip in your fist.
A crown in the bargain, to kick up 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 charming young wife,
And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife,
And always lives happy and charming.

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."

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.

And although we seem now to be 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.

And we have no desire to take your advance,
All hazards and danger, we'll not take the chance,
That ye'd have no scruples to send us to France,
Where ye know we'd be shot in the mornin'."

Now the Sergeant say "If I hear one more word,
I instantly now will out with me own sword,
And into your bodies as strength will afford,
And so my gay devils take warning."

[Alt: "Oh now," says the Sergeant, "I'll have no such chat,
and neither will take it from spailpín nor brat.
If you insult me with one other word,
I'll chop off your heads in the morning."]

But Arthur and I we counted the odds,
And we barely gave them chance to draw their own blades,
With our trusty shillelaghs came over their heads,
And we paid them right smart in the morning.

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

As for the old rapiers that hung by their sides,
We flung them as far as we could in the tide,
"To the Devil I pitch you", cries Arthur McBride,
[or: "Now take that ye Devils," cries Arthur McBride,]
"And temper your steel in the morning."

And we, having no money, paid them off in cracks,
And we paid no respect to their two bloody backs,
For we lathered them there, like a pair of wet sacks,
And left them for dead in in the morning.

And so, to conclude and to settle disputes,
we obligingly asked if they wanted recruits,
For we were the fellows who would give them hard clouts,
And bid them look sharp in the morning.

Twas me and me cousin one Arthur McBride,
As we went a walkin' down by the seaside;
In search of good fortune and what may betide,
The day was Christmas morning.

privacy policy