The was a jolly beggar, and a-begging he was bound,
And he took up his quarters into a land'art town.
And we'll gang nae mair a roving,
Sae late into the night,
And we'll gang nae more a roving,
Let the moon shine ne'er sae bright,
And we'll gang nae mair a roving.
He wad neither ly in barn, nor yet wad he in byre,
But in ahint the ha' door, or else afore the fire.
The beggar's bed was made at e'en wi' good clean straw and hay,
And in ahint the ha' door, and there the beggar lay.
Up raise the goodman's dochter, and for to bar the door,
And there she saw the beggar standin' i' the floor.
He took the lassie in his arms, and to the bed he ran,
"O hooly, hooly wi' me, Sir, ye'll waken our goodman."
The beggar was a cunnin' loon, and ne'er a word he spake,
Until he got his turn done, syne he began to crack.
"Is there ony dogs into this town, Maiden, tell me true?"
"And what wad ye do wi' them, my hinny and my dow?"
"They'll rive a' my mealpocks, and do me meikle wrang."
"O dool for the doing o't, are ye the poor man?"
Then she took up the mealpocks and flang them o'er the wa',
"The deil gae with the mealpocks, my maidenhead and a'.
"I took ye for some gentleman, at least the Laird of Brodie;
O dool for the doing o't! are ye the poor bodie?"
He took the lassie in his arms, and gae her kisses three,
And four-and-twenty hunder mark to pay the nurice fee.
He took the horn frae his side, and blew both loud and shrill
And four-and-twenty belted knights cam skipping o'er the hill.
And he took out his little knife, loot a' his duddies fa',
And he was the brawest gentleman that was amang them a'.
The beggar was a cliver loon, and he lap shoulder height,
"O ay for sicken quaters as I gat yesternight."
Milner D and Kaplan P, 1983, Songs of England, Ireland and Scotland
, Oak, New York
Milner reported he had taken this song from The Scots Musical Museum
by J Johnson.
There are two main branches of this song, identical except for the ending where the beggar is, or is not, a gentleman.
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six
The Beggar Man