The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #118078   Message #2550020
Posted By: Ruth Archer
27-Jan-09 - 05:14 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: A Beggar A Beggar
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Beggar A Beggar
From Mustrad:

1-7 The Beggarman (The Gaberlunzie Man) (Roud 119, Child 280 + 279 App, G/D 2:274/5)
Recorded by Peter Hall at the Jeannie Robertson Memorial Concert, 1977

A beggar, a beggar cam ower the lea
He was asking lodgings for charity
He was asking lodgings for charity
"Wid ye loo1 a beggar man-o,
Lassie, wi ma tow row ray?"

"A beggar, a beggar, I'll never loo again.
I had a dochter2 and Jeannie was her name.
I had a dochter and Jeannie was her name;
She's run awa with the beggar man-o,
Laddie, wi ma tow row ray."

"I'll bend my back an I'll boo my knee
An I'll pit3 a black patch oer my ee4
And a beggar, a beggar they'll tak me to be
An awa wi you a'll gang5o,
Laddie, wi ma tow row ray."

"Oh lassie, oh lassie, yer far too young
An ye hannae got the cant6 o the beggin tongue.
Ye hannae got the cant o the beggin tongue
An wi me ye winnae gang-o,
Lassie, wi ma tow row ray."

She's bent her back and she's booed her knee
An she's put a black patch oer her ee.
She has kilted her skirts up aboun her knee
An awa wi him she's gan-o,
Laddie, wi ma tow row ray

"Yer dochter Jean is comin ower the lea;
She's taken hame her bairnies three
She has yin on her back, ay, another on her knee
An the other yin is toddlin hame-o,
Lassie, wi ma tow row ray."

1 love; 2 daughter; 3 put; 4 eye; 5 go; 6 way.

Very widely sung in Scotland, and all but one of Roud's 67 instances are from here. [Extraordinarily, though, Lizzie is the only singer of whom he has a recording]. Cilla Fisher and Artie Tresize sing a version in Cilla and Artie Greentrax CDTrax 9050 (1979).

The lively tune first appear in the Balcarres Lute Book (1690-1700), with tune plus words in Thomson's Orpheus Caledonius in 1725 (see the remarkably detailed accounts in Nick Parkes and John Purser's 2006 CD-Rom of James Oswald's Caledonian Pocket Companion). The words alone also appeared in Allan Ramsay's highly influential Tea Table Miscellany in 1724, and together with the equally popular thereafter, Jolly Beggar, has been attributed to James V (1512-1542), the hanger of Johnny Armstrong, who reputably wandered his kingdom in disguise, often as a beggar, as The Guidman of Ballangeich, in his sympathy with the common people, (although this may have been simply a liking for low life). His short life and troubled reign would not have left him much spare time for such sojourning, nor his marriages to two wives, the second bearing him the future, tragic Mary Queen of Scots (and France). Lizzie said this was the first song she learned from her father, when she was aged 4, and was a genuine 'pipe folksong'.