The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #41977   Message #4157813
Posted By: GUEST,Jon Bennett of Moonrakers
16-Nov-22 - 12:16 PM
Thread Name: Origins: Back and Sides Go Bare
Subject: ADD Version: Back and Sides Go Bare
The version we sing may be a hybrid, though it has the merit of being in more modern English that most will understand. We tend to sing this outside during the Winter Wassail since begging songs and ale are par for the course.


I would sooner be a beggar than a king
I’ll tell you the reason why:
A king cannot swagger or walk like a beggar
Or be half so happy as I.
   Let your back and sides go bare, me boys
   Your hands and your feet grow cold.
   But give to your belly, boys, (*!) beer enough
   Whether it be new or old.
   Whether it be new or old
I’ve sixpence sitting in me pocket,
And I begged very hard for that
There isn’t anybody who can offer me work
While I hold out my begging hat.

Now there’s a nobleman’s hall
We can beg for bread and beer.
We’ll pretend to be lame, or pretend to be blind
Or much too deaf too hear.

We can lie like hogs in a sty
Frost and snow on the ground
We’ll eat a crust that’s rolled in the dust
And be thankful for what we found.

I added the title. I hope it's right. -Joe Offer-