The Little Beggarman
Traditional Irish song, learned from the singing of Sarah and Tommy Makem, recorded on Grapevine
I am a little beggarman and beggin' I have been
Aye for three score or more in the little isle of green;
I'm known from the Liffey, down to Seague
And I'm known by the name of old Johnny Dhu.
Of all the trades a-goin', the beggin' is the best,
Ah for when a man is tired, he can sit down and rest
Beg for his dinner, he has nothing left to do
But to cut around the corner with his old rig-a-doo.
I slept in a barn, way down in Currabawn,
A wet night come on and I slept till the dawn,
With holes in the roof and the rain coming through
And the rats and the cats they were playing peek-a-boo.
When who should awaken but the woman of the house
With her white spotty apron and her calico blouse
She began to frighten, and I said: "Boo"
Arrah don't be afraid, now it's only Johnny Dhu."
I met a little flaxy-haired girl on day
"Good morning, little flaxy-haired girl" I did say
"Good morning, little beggarman, and how do you do
With your rags and your tags and your old rigadoo?"
"I'll buy pair of leggins and a collar and a tie
And a nice young lady I will fetch by and by;
I'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll colour them blue
And an old-fashioned lady I will make her too."
Over the road with my pack on my back,
Over the fields with my great heavy sack,
With holes in my shoes and my toes peepin' through,
It's a skinny-ma-rink-a-doodle-O goes old Johnny Dhu.
I must be gon' to bed, for it's gettin' late at night,
The coals all raked, and out goes the light;
It's not you've heard the story of my old rig-a-doo,
It's goodbye and God be with you, says old Johnny Dhu.