Sheet Music (and more information about this song)
I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride
He and I took a stroll down by the seaside
A-seeking good fortune and what might betide
'Twas just as the day was a-dawning
And after resting we both took a tramp
We met Seargeant Harper and Corporal Cramp
Besides the wee drummer who beat up our camp
With his rowdy-dow-dow in the morning.
He says: "My young fellows if you will enlist
a guinea you quickly will have in your fist
and likewise a crown 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 charming young wife
And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife
And always lives pleasant and charming."
"A soldier he always is decent and clean,
In the finest of clothing 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, for you know,
if you do you'll be flogged in the morning."
"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.
But had we been such fools as to take the advance
The wee bit of money we'd have to run chance
For you'd think it no scruples for to send us to France
Where we would be killed in the morning."
He says: "My young fellows if I hear but one word
I instantly now will out with my sword
and into your bodies as strength might afford
so now my gay devils take warning."
But Arthur and I we soon took the odds
And we gave them no chance for to launch out their swords
Our whacking shillelaghs came over their heads
And paid them right smart in the morning.
As for the wee drummer we rifled his pouch
and we made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow
and into the ocean for to rock and to roll
And bade it a tedious returning
As for the old rapier that hung by his side
We flung as far as we could in the tide
To the divil I pitch you says Arthur McBride
To temper your steel in the morning.
Discography: Planxty (Andy Irvine)