Arthur McBride


Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride,
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside,
Mark now what followed and what did betide,
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'
Now, 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 morning, good morning," the Sergeant he cried.
"And the same to you, gentlemen," we did reply,
Intending no harm but meant to pass by,
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'
"But," says he, "My fine fellows, if you will enlist,
Ten guineas in gold I'll stick to your fist,
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 charming young wife,
And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife,
And he always lives pleasant and charmin',
And 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."

"But," says Arthur, "I wouldn't be proud of your clothes,
For you've only the lend of them, as I suppose,
But you dare not change them one night, for you know
If you do, you'll be flogged in the morning,
And although that we're single and free,
We take great delight in our own company,
We have no desire strange places to see,
Although that your offers are charming.

"And we have no desire to take your advance,
All hazards and dangers we barter on chance,
For you'd have no scruples 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 I take it from snappy young brats,
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 hogs,
And we scarce gave them time to draw their own blades
When a trusty shillelagh came over their head
And bid 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 up, devils!" cried Arthur McBride,
"And temper their edge in the mornin'!"

And the little wee drummer, we flattened his bow,
And we made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow,
Threw it in the tide for to rock and to roll,
And bade it a tedious returning,
And we havin' no money, paid them off in cracks.
We paid no respect to their two bloody backs,
And we lathered 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 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 my cousin, one Arthur McBride,
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside,
Mark now what followed and what did betide,
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'

Specifications

  • Writer(s): Traditional, arr. by Paul Brady

  • (First) Album Release: Good as I Been to You
  • Recording date: 1992
  • Released: 1992
  • Copyright: ©1992 Special Rider Music

paul brady 3Paul Joseph Brady (born 19 May 1947) is an Irish singer-songwriter, whose work straddles folk and pop. He was interested in a wide variety of music from an early age. He initially collaborated with several major bands, prior to launching a successful solo career.

Initially popular for playing traditional Irish music in a duo with Andy Irvine and later with Tommy Peoples and Matt Molloy, he later turned to a more rock-inspired electric style with poignant political lyrics. Some of his most popular songs are: "Crazy Dreams", "Nothing but the Same Old Story", "The Island", "Night Hunting", "Steel Claw", and "Paradise is Here".

(born 19 May 1947)[1] is an Irish singer-songwriter, whose work straddles folk and pop. He was interested in a wide variety of music from an early age. He initially collaborated with several major bands, prior to launching a successful solo career.

Initially popular for playing traditional Irish music in a duo with Andy Irvine and later with Tommy Peoples and Matt Molloy, he later turned to a more rock-inspired electric style with poignant political lyrics. Some of his most popular songs are: "Crazy Dreams", "Nothing but the Same Old Story", "The Island", "Night Hunting", "Steel Claw", and "Paradise is Here".[2]

"Arthur McBride" (also called "Arthur McBride and the Sergeant") is a folk song found in Ireland, Scotland and England with slight variations. The song can be narrowly categorized as an "anti-recruiting" song, a specific form of anti-war song, and more broadly as a protest song.
Reportedly, it was first collected around 1840 in Limerick by Patrick Weston Joyce; also in Donegal by George Petrie.

In the song, the narrator and his cousin, Arthur McBride were taking a walk when they were approached by three British military recruiters, a recruiting sergeant, a Corporal and a young drummer. The recruiters attempt to induce the narrator and Arthur McBride into military service, extolling the virtues of serving the King, having money to spend, and wearing nice clothes. Arthur McBride tells the recruiter, if they joined, the clothes would merely be loaned to them and that they would be made to go to war in France where they would certainly be killed. The recruiter, taking offence at Arthur's disrespect of the offer, becomes angry at Arthur and the narrator, and threatens to use his sword on them. Then, Arthur and the narrator use their shillelaghs to hit the recruiters and the drummer over their heads, and after doing so, in some variations of the lyrics, take their pouch of money,[citation needed] and throw their swords and the drummer's drum into the ocean.

wikipedia compUnless otherwise noted all information about composers was gathered from Wikipedia.

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