I'm a man that's in trouble and sorrow,
That once was light-hearted and gay;
Not a coin in this world can I borrow,
Since my own I have squander'd away
I once wronged my father and mother,
Till they turned me out from their door,
To beg, starve or die, in the gutter to lie,
And ne'er enter their dwellings no more.
I'm a man that's done wrong to my parents,
And daily I wander about,
To earn a small mite for my lodging at night,
God help me, for now I'm cast out!
Then my father will say when he meets me
"You beggar, you still are at large,
And mind, Sir, that you don't come near me,
Or by heaven I will give you in charge."
My mother, poor thing, 's broken-hearted,
To meet me she ofttimes will try,
For to give me a crown with her head hanging down
And a tear rolling out of her eye.
I'd a sister that married a squire,
She'll ne'er look, nor speak unto me;
Because in this world she's much higher
And rides in her carriage so free.
Then the girl that I once loved so dearly,
Is dying broken-hearted, they say,
And there on her bed she is lying, near dead,
And now for her outcase doth pray.
Kind friends, now from me take a warning,
From what I have just said to you;
And I hope in my dress you won't scorn me,
For you don't know what you may come to;
And I try to be honest and upright,
And do all the good that I can,
And I try all I know to get on in this world
And prove to my friends I'm a man.
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Source: Lucy Broadwood and J A Fuller Maitland. 1893, English County Songs, Leadenhall Press, London
Dorsetshire. Words and tune from H. Strachey, Esq.
Lucy Broadwood wrote:
The tune was heard whistled by a labourer at Shillingham, Dorsetshire, in 1889, ans was afterwards taken down from a collier at Bishop Sutton, Somerset. "Come down, the and open the door, love" is often sung to this tune in both counties, but the words of this song have not been procurable. Compare the tune witn "Old Rosin the Beau" in Barrett's English Folk Songs, the editor of which claims that it is a modification of an older song and that Whtye Melville's "Wrap me up in my old stable jacket" is an adaptation of a more modern form. Compare also "The Old Farmer" and "The Gallant Hussar" in the same collection, also "Adam and Eve" in Baring Gould's Songs of the West and "Green Mossy Banks of the Lea", a song well known to the oldest singers in SUssex and Surrey. J Markordt, in his ballad opera of Tom Thumb has a similar air. "In hurry post-haste for the license."
The F sharp in the above is sometimes sung natural throughout, which is probably right.
Roud: 1386 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six