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The Beggar Man

Scotland ca. 1724
MIDI


    A beggar man came o'er yon lea
    With many good e'ens and good days to me
    Saying Good-wife for your charity
    Will you lodge a beggar man?

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    The night was cold, the carl was wet
    And down ayont the ingle he sat
    The daughter's shoulders he 'gan to clap    [clap:  caress]
    And cadgily ranted and sang.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    And O, quoth he, if you were as black
    As e'er the crown of my daddy's hat
    Tis I would lay thee on my back
    And away with me thou should gang.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    And O, quoth she, if I were as white
    As e'er the snow lay on the dyke
    I'd clothe me braw and ladylike
    And away with thee I'd gang.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    O lassie, lassie, you're far too young
    And you haven't the cant of the begging tongue
    You haven't the cant of the begging tongue
    And with me you cannot gang.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    I'll bow my back and crook my knee
    And draw a black clout on my eye
    And for a beggar they'll take me
    And we shall be merry and sing.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    Between the two they made a plot
    To rise an hour before the cock
    And wilily they slipped the lock
    And through the fields they ran.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    Up in the morn the old wife rose
    And leisurely put on her clothes
    Then to the servant's bed she goes
    To speer for the silly poor man.      [speer:  inquire]

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    She went to the bed where the beggar lay
    The straw was cold and he was away
    She clapped her hands crying Welladay
    For some of our gear'll be gone.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    Some ran to the coffers and some to the kists     [kists: chests]
    But nought was stolen that could be missed
    She danced her lane, cried Praise be blessed
    I've lodged an honest man.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    Since nothing's away that we can learn
    The kye are to milk and the milk's to churn
    Go but the house, lass, and waken the bairn [but: in the kitchen]
    And bid her come quickly ben.               [ben: in the parlour]

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    The servant went where the daughter lay
    The sheets were cold and she was away
    And fast to the good wife she did say
    She's away with the beggar man.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    Some rode on horse, some ran on foot
    The wife was wood and out of her wit     [wood: mad]
    She could not gang nor yet could she sit
    And aye she cursed and she banned.       [banned: swore]

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    When years had passed some two or three
    The same old beggar came o'er the lea
    Says, Good-wife for your charity
    Will you lodge a beggar man?

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    A beggar I'll ne'er lodge again
    For I never had a daughter but ane
    And away with a beggar she has gane
    And I cannot tell where nor when.

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray

    O yonder she's coming o'er yon lea
    With many a fine tale to tell to thee
    And she's got a baby on her knee
    And another in her wame.                [wame:  womb]

    Chorus:
         Lassie to my tow roo ray