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Arthur McBride
Traditional.
notes: This is an old song that has made wide travels, undergone many
versions and enjoyed fair popularity. I once read a lyric to it that had no
fewer than 12 brilliantly conducted verses. (This was in a small shop in
Yaughal, Co. Cork).
Arthur McBride

D                                                     A
I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride
          G          D                 A
He and I took a stroll down by the seaside
D                                                        A
Seekin’ adventure and what might betide
         G              D                  G    A
‘Twas just as the daylight was dawnin’
      D                      G                D
And after restin’ we both took a tramp
    G                   D                A
We met Sergeant Harper and Corporal Cramp
  D                                                           A
Besides a wee drummer who beat up our camp
            G                 A              D
With his row-te-tow-tow in the morning

Says he: me young fellows, if you will enlist
A guinea you quickly shall have in your fist
Besides a crown for to kick up some dust
And drink the King’s health in the morning
Were we but such fools as to take that advance
Bitter the morning and deadly the chance
For you’d think it no scruples to send us to France
Where we would be killed in the morning

Says he: me 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, me gay devils, take warning
But Arthur and I, we took in the odds
We left them no chance for to launch out their swords
Our whackin’ sheleighleighs came over their heads
And we paid them right smart in the morning

As to the wee drummer, we riffled his pouch
And we made a football of his row-te-tow-tow
And into the ocean to rock and to roll
We bade it a tedious returnin’
And as to the sword that hung at his side
We threw it as far as we could in the tide
To the devil I pitch you, says Arthur McBride
To temper your steel in the morning