Kids' Music Town: Children's Songs, Lyrics, Sheet Music & Downloads

Arthur McBride
Children's Song Lyrics and Sound Clip
Michael Mitchell

In earlier days, when recruits were hard to find, press-ganging was resorted to. Once the King's shilling was pressed into the palm of some unsuspecting citizen, he was therein impressed into military service for an unspecified period. In this particular case, this action met with some unexpected resistance..

I had a first cousin
Named 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 daylight was dawning
And after resting we both took a tramp
We met Sgt Harper and Cpl Cram
Besides a wee drummer
Who beat out our camp
With his rowdy-dow-dow in the morning

He said "Me young fellows
If you will enlist
"A guinea you quickly will have
In your fist
"Besides a crown for to kick up the dus t
"And drink the King's health
"In the morning"
Had we been such fools
As to take the advance
With the wee bit 'o money
We'd have to run chance
Do you think it no scrupple
To send us to France
Where we would be killed
In the morning
He said "Me young fellows
"If I hear but one word
"I instantly now will out with my swor d
"And into your bodies
“A strength will afford
"So now my gay devils takew arning"
But Arthur and I we took in the odds
We gave them no chance
To launch out their swords
Our whacking shilaleighs
Came down on their heads
And we paid them right fine
In the morning

As for the wee drummer
We rifled his pouch
And we made a footbal l
Of his rowdy-dow-dow
And into the ocean to rock and to ro ll
And bade him a tedious returning
As for the old rapier
Which hung by his side
We flung 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"

© Michael Mitchell. All rights reserved. Used with permission.


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