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Mrs McGrath

From oral tradition,
and from the singing of Three Kinds of Folk, Hampshire, England, ca. 1960.
MIDI


    Now, Mrs McGrath, the captain said,
    Would you like to make a soldier out of your son Ted ?
    With a scarlet coat and a big cocked hat,
    Now Mrs McGrath, wouldn't you like that ?
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    Now Mrs McGrath lived on the seashore
    For the space of seven long years or more,
    Till she saw a ship sail into the bay,
    Says, It's my son Ted, will you clear the way,
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    Oh captain, dear, where have you been,
    Have you been sailing in the Meditereen,
    And have you any news of my son Ted,
    Is the poor boy alive or is he dead ?
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    Well, up comes Ted, without any legs,
    And in their place he's got two wooden pegs.
    She kissed him a dozen times or two,
    Saying, Holy God, it isn't you,
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    Now was you drunk, or was you blind,
    When you left your two fine legs behind,
    Or was it walking on the sea,
    Wore your two fine legs from the knees away ?
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    No, I wasn't drunk, and I wasn't blind
    When I left my two fine legs behind,
    But a big cannon ball on the fifth of May,
    Took me two fine legs from the knees away,
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    Oh Teddy, my boy, the widow cried,
    Your two fine legs were your mammy's pride.
    The stumps of a tree won't do at all,
    Why didn't you run from the big cannon ball ?
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    All foreign wars, I do proclaim,
    Between Don Juan and the King of Spain,
    And I'll make them rue the time,
    They took two legs from a child of mine,
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.

    Well then, if I had you back again,
    I'd never let you go to fight the King of Spain,
    For I'd rather have me Ted as he used to be,
    Than the King of France and his whole navy,
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa
         Wi your too-ri-aa, folly diddle-aa
         Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-aa.