Arthur McBride


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
It was just as the day was a-dawning
Then after restin’ we both took a tramp
We met Sergeant 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 shall have in your fist
Besides a crown for to kick up the dust
And drink the king’s health in the morning”
Had we been such fools as to take the advance
The wee bitter morning we had to run chance
“For you’d think it no scruple 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 will afford
So now my gay devils take warning”
But Arthur and I we took in the odds
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 to rock and to roll
And bade it a tedious returning
As for the old rapier that hung by his side
We flung it as far as we could in the tide
To the devil I pit you says Arthur McBride
To temper your steel in the morning

As sung by Andy Irvine. See also Arthur McBride And The Sergeant.