The Jolly Beggarman

It’s of a jolly beggarman came tripping o’er the plain
He came unto a farmer’s door a lodging for to gain
The farmer’s daughter she came down and viewed him cheek and chin
She says, He is a handsome man. I pray you take him in

We’ll go no more a roving, a roving in the night
We’ll go no more a roving, let the moon shine so bright
We’ll go no more a roving

He would not lie within the barn nor yet within the byre
But he would in the corner lie down by the kitchen fire
o then the beggar’s bed was made of good clean sheets and hay
And down beside the kitchen fire the jolly beggar lay

The farmer’s daughter she got up to bolt the kitchen door
And there she saw the beggar standing naked on the floor
He took the daughter in his arms and to the bed he ran
Kind sir, she says, be easy now, you’ll waken our good man

Now you are no beggar, you are some gentleman
For you have stolen my maidenhead and I am quite undone
I am no lord, I am no squire, of beggars I be one
And beggars they be robbers all, so you are quite undone

She took the bed in both her hands
And threw it at the wall
Says “Go you with the beggar man,
My maidenhead and all.

Traditional

[ Roud 118 ; Child 279 ]

The Jolly Beggar also known as The Gaberlunzieman is Child ballad 279. The song’s chorus inspired lines in Lord Byron’s poem “So, we’ll go no more a roving.”

Planxty recorded this song on their eponymous 1973 album as “The Jolly Beggar”. According to the group, “The Jolly Beggar” in question is believed to be King James V of Scotland, “who was in the habit of wandering the countryside dressed as a beggar.”.

Lord Byron.

SO, we'll go no more a-roving 
 So late into the night, 
Though the heart be still as loving, 
 And the moon be still as bright. 
 
For the sword outwears its sheath, 5
 And the soul wears out the breast, 
And the heart must pause to breathe, 
 And love itself have rest. 
 
Though the night was made for loving, 
 And the day returns too soon, 10
Yet we'll go no more a-roving 
 By the light of the moon.

279A: The Jolly Beggar

279A.1	 ‘THER is a wife in yone toun-end, an she has dothers three,
	 An I wad be a beager for ony of a’ the three.’
279A.2	 He touk his clouty clok him about, his peakstaff in his hand,
	 An he is awa to yon toun-end, leak ony peare man.
279A.3	 ‘I ha ben about this fish-toun this years tua or three,
	 Ha ye ony quarters, deam, that ye coud gie me?’
279A.4	 ‘Awa, ye pear carl, ye dinne kean my name;
	 Ye sudd ha caed me mistress fan ye called me bat deam.’
279A.5	 He tuke his hat in his hand an gied her juks three:
	 ‘An ye want manners, misstres, quarters ye’ll gie me.’
279A.6	 ‘Awa, ye pear carle, in ayont the fire,
	 An sing to our Lord Gray’s men to their hearts’ disire.’
279A.7	 Some lowked to his goudie lowks, some to his milk-whit skine,
	 Some to his ruffled shirt, the gued read gold hang in.
279A.8	 Out spak our madin, an she was ay shay,
	 Fatt will the jolly beager gett afore he gaa to lay?
279A.9	 Out spak our goudwife, an she was not sae shay,
	 He’se gett a dish of lang kell, besids a puss pay.
279A.10	 Out spak the jolly beager, That dish I dou denay;
	 I canne sup yer lang kell nor yet yer puss pay.
279A.11	 Bat ye gett to my supper a capon of the best,
	 Tuo or three bottels of yer wine, an bear, an we sall ha a merry feast.
279A.12	 ‘Ha ye ony siler, carll, to bint the bear an wine?’
	 ‘O never a peney, misstress, had I lang sine.’
279A.13	 The beager wadne lay in the barn, nor yett in the bayr,
	 Bat in ahind the haa-dor, or att the kitchen-fire.
279A.14	 The beager’s bed was well [made] of gued clean stray an hay,
	 . . . . . . . . .
279A.15	 The madin she rose up to bar the dor,
	 An ther she spayed a naked man, was rinen throu the flour.
279A.16	 He tuke her in his arms an to his bed he ran;
	 ‘Hollie we me, sir,’ she says, ’or ye’ll waken our pear man.’
279A.17	 The begger was a cuning carle, an never a word he spake
	 Till he got his turn dean, an sayn began to crak.
279A.18	 ‘Is ther ony dogs about this toun? madin, tell me nou:’
	 ‘Fatt wad ye dee we them, my hony an my dou?’
279A.19	 ‘They wad ravie a’ my meall-poks an die me mukell wrang:’
	 ‘O doll for the deaing o it! are ye the pear man?
279A.20	 ‘I thought ye had ben some gentelman, just leak the leard of Brody!
	 I am sorry for the doing o itt!  are ye the pore boddie?’
279A.21	 She tuke the meall-poks by the strings an thrue them our the waa!
	 ‘Doll gaa we meall-poks, madinhead an a’!’
279A.22	 She tuke him to her press, gave him a glass of wine;
	 He tuke her in his arms, says, Honey, ye’ss be mine.
279A.23	 He tuke a horn fra his side an he blue loud an shill,
	 An four-an-tuenty belted knights came att the beager’s will.
279A.24	 He tuke out a pean-kniff, lute a’ his dudes faa,
	 An he was the braest gentelman that was among them a’.
279A.25	 He patt his hand in his poket an gaa her ginnes three,
	 An four-an-tuenty hunder mark, to pay the nires feea.
279A.26	 ‘Gin ye had ben a gued woman, as I thought ye had ben,
	 I wad haa made ye lady of castels eaght or nine.’


279B: The Jolly Beggar

279B.1	 THERE was a jolly beggar, and a begging he was bound,
	 And he took up his quarters into a landart town.
	 Fa la la, etc.
279B.2	 He wad neither ly in barn, nor yet wad he in byre,
	 But in ahint the ha-door, or else afore the fire.
279B.3	 The beggar’s bed was made at een wi good clean straw and hay,
	 And in ahint the ha-door, and there the beggar lay.
279B.4	 raise the goodman’s dochter, and for to bar the door,
	 And there she saw the beggar standin i the floor.
279B.5	 He took the lassie in his arms and to the bed he ran,
	 ‘O hooly, hooly wi me, sir! ye’ll waken our goodman.’
279B.6	 The beggar was a cunnin loon, and neer a word he spake
	 Until he got his turn done, syne he began to crack.
279B.7	 ‘Is there ony dogs into this town? maiden, tell me true.’
	 ‘And what wad ye do wi them, my hinny and my dow?’
279B.8	 ‘They’ll rive a’ my mealpocks, and do me meikle wrang.’
	 ‘O dool for the doing o’t! are ye the poor man?’
279B.9	 Then she took up the mealpocks and flang them oer the wa:
	 ‘The d--l gae wi the mealpocks, my maidenhead and a’!
279B.10	 ‘I took ye for some gentleman, at least the Larid of Brodie;
	 O dool for the doing o’t! are ye the poor bodie?’
279B.11	 took the lassie in his arms and gae her kisses three,
	 And four-and-twenty hunder merk to pay the nurice-fee.
279B.12	 He took a horn frae his side and blew baith loud and shrill,
	 And four-and-twenty belted knights came skipping oer the hill.
279B.13	 And he took out his little knife, loot a’ his duddies fa,
	 And he was the brawest gentleman that was amang them a’.
279B.14	 The beggar was a cliver loon and he lap shoulder height:
	 ‘O ay for sicken quarters as I gat yesternight!’


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