The Beggar's Song

This song seems to have travelled all round the British Isles - perhaps not surprising given its subject matter. Among the artists recording versions worth listening to are Martin Carthy and the Battlefield Band. You can download a 1kb MIDI file of the melody here.

Beggar's Song Score (55kb)

Of all the trades in Melderyn, the begging is the best
For when a beggar's tired he can lay him down and rest,
And a-begging I will go, will go, a-begging I will go.

I am a merry beggar, I have a wooden leg
Lame from the cradle, and forcéd for to beg
And a-begging I will go, will go, a-begging I will go.

I've a little sack for my oatmeal, another one for my rye
I've a bottle by my side, boys, to drink when I am dry
And a-begging I will go, will go, a-begging I will go.

I've a little bag for me wheat, sir, another one for me salt.
With my two wee wooden crutches you should see me limp and halt,
And a-begging I will go, will go, a-begging I will go.

In a hollow tree I live, sir, and there I am content
Providence provides for me, and I pay no rent
And a-begging I will go, will go, a-begging I will go.

I've been blind a hundred times and deaf a score or more
And many's the lovely willing lass I've bedded in the straw
And a-begging I will go, will go, a-begging I will go.

Of all the trades in Melderyn, the begging is the one
For we live a life of "going to do" and die with nothing done
And a-begging I will go, will go, a-begging I will go.

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