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I am a jovial ranger,
I fear no kind of danger;
To sorrow I'm a stranger,
And so let mirth abound
I once had a fit of loving,
But, that contrary proving,
It set my mind a-roving
To travel the country round.

When first of all I started,
From all my friends I parted,
All almost broken hearted,
Alas! What grief I found!
Till London had fairly touched me,
No part of comfort reached me,
The devil had surely bewitched me
To travel the country round!

When up to London I wandered
A deal of money I squandered,
I masters tried a hundred,
No work was to be found.
And as I wandered up and down,
Some called me "a fool", some "country clown",
And bade me get out of their fine town
To travel the country round!

Now I grew quite dejected,
As well might be expected,
Myself I then directed
To Reading, and was "bound".
As soon as I arrived there,
Some work for me was contrived there,
And I for awhile was depriv'd there,
From trav'lling the country round!

Six months or more, I tarried,
Till of Reading, I grew wearied,
My roaming fancy fired
To see some other town.
To Oxford then I hasted,
A week or more I wasted,
As long as money lasted
I travelled the country round.

So now in Oxford my station;
And here, to my vexation,
A foolish new temptation
To rest awhile I found.
A maid I met so pretty,
So good, so wise, so witty,
I thought it were surely a pity
To travel the country round.

Now I the case must alter,
For fear that I should falter,
And be led in a halter
To church (a dismal sound!)
I made a resolution
Which I put in execution,
It suited my constitution
To travel the country round.

So now at home* I'm seated,
My travels are all completed,
These words U have repeated,
So awhile I'll sit me down;
Quite cured of all my moving,
As well as all my loving,
I'll go no more a-roving
To travel the country round



[*  The singer substitutes the name of the nearest town for 'at home']

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Source: Broadwood, L, 1908, English Traditional Songs and Carols, London, Boosey

Sung by Mr H Burstow, 1893.

Roud: 1067 (Search Roud index at VWML)

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