As I was a-walking to Newry on day
I met Sergeant Kelly by chance on the way,
Say he, "Johnny Gallagher, will you come along
To the sweet town of Newry for to take a dram?"
As we were a-sitting and taking a dram,
Says he, "Johnny Gallagher, you're a handsome young man,
If you 'list and take the bounty and come along with me,
To the sweet town of Antrim, strange faces you'll see."
I may go where I Will, I have no-one to mourn
My mother is dead and will never return,
My father's twice married and a wife he brought home,
And to me he proves cruel and does me disown.
He put his hand in his pocket, one shilling he drew,
Saying, "Take this, Johnny Gallagher, I hope you'll never run."
I took up the shilling, and the bargain was made,
The ribbons were brought out and pinn'd on my cockade.
"When you get to Waterford, there you must stand,
Before your noble Colonel with you hat in your hand."
Mackay and Pat Reilly were a little too low,
So back to County Antrim from us they must go.
Here's adieu to Country Antrim where I was born and bred
And to sweet Country Leitrim where I've sported and play'd
Where the beautiful fishes come rolling along;
A long day and a short night would bring me to my home.
Here's a curse on my father wherever he be,
For he's been the ruin and the downfall of me;
I he have prov'd honest and learn'd me my trade
I would never have 'listed or worn a cockade.
God help all poor parents that rear a bad son,
They know not the dangers that they have to run,
Locked in a cold guardhouse all night to lie in,
Neither blanket nor sheets for to roll themselves in.
abc | midi | pdf
Source: The Foggy Dew, Ed Frank Purslow, 1974
Hammond Dt.723. Collected from Robert White, Dorchester, Dorset. December 1906
Frank Purslow's notes follow:
The fullest broadside text this side of the Irish Sea seems to be that of Lindsay, of Glasgow,also pirated by another printer, probably Harkness of Preston. There are other versions including Henson, of Northamption, and Such. Both these printings dispense with verses 5 and 6, probably an improvement. The singer had only three verses so I have used mainly the Glasgow text. There is a version printed in the Folk Song Society's Journal no 19, p 159, entitled 'Captain Calligan', collected by Lucy Broadwoodin Hertfordshire. The last two lines of the Such sheet has, instead of what is printed here
Stuck in a cold guard room all night and all day,
And on the field of battle their enemies to slay
There are a number of broadside examples at √?¬†Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads. Those mentioned by Purslow:
Johnny Gallacher √?¬†Printed between 1851 and 1910 by James Lindsay, Wholesale Stationer, &c., 9 King Street, Glasgow. 2806 c.15(263)
Johnny Gallagher √?¬†Printed between 1840 and 1866 by J. Harkness of Preston; Printer's Series: (840). 2806 c.15(242)
Johnny Golicher √?¬†Printed by G. Henson, Bridge St. Northampton; no date. This is the best of three copies. Harding B 11(1659)
Johnny Golicher √?¬†Printed between 1849 and 1862 by H. Such, 123 Union Street, Borough, London. The better of two copies. Harding B 11(1912)
Other editions by Stewart & Dalton of Carlisle & York; M'Intosh; Disley of London; Lindsay again; and a couple of unidentified printers, can be found under various titles: Johnny Gallagher; Johnny Gallocher; Johnny Golicher; Johnnie Gallocher.
The song has been found in tradition under similar titles, and as Pat Reilly (or Riley), in England, Scotland, Ireland and Canada.
Roud: 920 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six