Arthur McBride

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Lyrics

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

“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”

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
“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

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