It was an old Beggarman

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IT WAS AN OLD BEGGERMAN. Irish, Air (6/8 time). Ireland, Donegal. B Flat Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). One part.

It was an old Beggarman weary and wet
And down by the fireside he sat
He threw down his bags and his broken staff
And merrily he did sing.

My dear, said he, if I were as free
As when I first came to this countrie,
I'd dress you up, all beggarly,
And away with me you should gang-oh.

Chorus:
With his pipe in his jaw
And his jaw full of smoke,
And the dribbles hang down
To the breast of his cloak;
His bag on his back
And his staff in his hand,
He's a jolly old Beggarman-oh.

See also the re-working of the melody in Francis O'Neill's Music of Ireland (1903) as "Old Beggarman (The)," probably the work of James O'Neill.

Source for notated version: "From Mr. Allingham" [Stanford/Petrie]. According to Caoimhin Mac Aoidh (1994), Petrie's source was William Allingham, a fiddler and customs officer of Donegal Town, Donegal, who collected this local tune in the Ballyshannon area. Allingham died in 1889.

Printed sources: Stanford/Petrie (Complete Collection), 1905; No. 678, p. 170.

Recorded sources:




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