For a soldier he leads a very fine life and he always is blessed with a charming young wife


Posted: 2010-07-17 16:01   |  More posts about art ireland music poetry war words

Paul Brady's legendary 1977 recording of the old Irish anti-recruitment song Arthur McBride:

Sheet music available here.

Lyrics:

Oh me and me cousin one Arthur McBride

As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside

Now mark what followed and what did betide

For it bein' on Christmas mornin'.

Out for recreation we went on a tramp

And we met Sergeant Napper and Corporal Vamp

And a little wee drummer intending to camp

For the day bein' pleasant and charmin'.

"Good mornin', good mornin'," the Sergeant did cry

"And the same to you gentlemen," we did reply

Intendin' no harm but meant to pass by

For it bein' on Christmas mornin'.

"But," says he, "my fine fellows, if you will enlist

It's ten guineas in gold I will slip in your fist

And a crown in the bargain for to kick up the dust

And drink the King's health in the mornin'."

"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 pleasant and charmin'.

And a soldier he always is decent and clean

In the finest of clothin' he's constantly seen

While other poor fellows go dirty and mean

And sup on thin gruel in the mornin'."

"Well," 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 charmin'."

"And we have no desire to take your advance

All hazards and dangers we barter on chance

For you would have no scruples for to send us to France

Where we would get shot without warnin'."

"Oh no," says the Sergeant, "I'll have no such chat

And I neither will take it from spalpeen or brat

For if you insult me with one other word

I'll cut off your heads in the mornin'."

And then Arthur and I we soon drew our hods

And we scarce gave them time for to draw their own blades

When a trusty shillelagh came over their heads

And bade them take that as fair warning.

And their trusty of rapiers that hung by their side

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 pow

And we made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow

Threw it in the tide for to rock and to row

And bade it a tedious returning.

And we havin' 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 the mornin'.

And so to conclude and to finish disputes

We obligingly asked if they wanted recruits

For we were the lads who would give them hard clouts

And bid them look sharp in the mornin'.

Oh me and me cousin one Arthur McBride

As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside

Now mark what followed and what did betide

For it bein' on Christmas mornin'.

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