Arthur McBride

As sung by Danny Spooner with Mick Farrell, In Limbo and Other Songs and Places

Me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside
Ah mark what followed and what did betide
For it being on Christmas mornin'

Now for recreation we went on a tramp
And we met Sergeant Napper and Corporal Vamp
And a little wee drummer intendin' to camp
For the day being pleasant and charmin'

"Good morning, good morning" the Sergeant did cry
"And the same to you gentlemen" we did reply
Intendin' no harm but meant to pass by
For it being on Christmas morning

But says he "My fine fellows if you will enlist
It's ten guineas in gold I will slip in your fists
And a crown in the bargain for to kick up the dust
And drink the King's health in the morning

For a soldier he leads a very fine life
And he always is blessed with a charmin' young wife
And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife
And he always lives pleasant and charming

And a soldier he always is decent and clean
In the finest of clothing he's constantly seen
While other poor fellows look 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 change them one night for you know
If you do you'll be flogged in the mornin'

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 that your offers are charming

And we have no desire to take your advance
All hazards and dangers we've by our own chance
For you would have no scruple for to send us to France
Where we would get shot without warning"

"Oh no," says the Sergeant, "I'll have no such chat
And neither will take it from snappy old brat
For if you insult me with one other word
I'll cut off your heads in the morning"

And Arthur and I we soon drew our odds
And we scarce gave them time to draw their own blades
When a trusty shillelagh came over their heads
And bade them take that as fair warning

And their old rusty rapiers that hung by their sides
We flung them as far as we could in the tide
"Now take them out, devils," cried Arthur McBride
"And temper their edge in the mornin'"

And the little wee drummer we flattened his ball
And we made a foot-bowl of his rowdy-dowd-dowd
Threw it in the tide for to rock and to roll
And bade it a tedious returning

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

And so to conclude and to finish disputes
We obligingly asked them if they wanted recruits
For we were the lads who would give them our clubs
And bid them look sharp in the morning

Garry Gillard | New: 10 May, 2008 | Now: 8 August, 2016