The Little Beggarman

Tommy Makem

I am a little beggarman and begging I have been

For three score or more in this little isle of green

I'm known from the Liffey down to Segue

And I'm known by the name of old Johnny Dhu

Of all the trade's that's going, sure begging is the best

For when a man is tired, he can sit down and rest

He can beg for his dinner, he has nothing else to do

Only cut around the corner with his old rig-a-doo

I slept in the barn, down at Caurabawn

A wet night came on and I slept 'till the dawn

With holes in the roof and the rain coming through

And the rats and the cats, they were playing peek-a-boo

When who did I waken but the woman of the house

With her white spotty apron and her calico blouse

She began to frighten and I said "boo

Aarah, don't be afraid mam it's only Johnny Dhu"

I met a little flaxy-haired girl one day

"Good morning little flaxy-haired girl" I did say

"Good morning little beggarman, a how do you do

With your rags and you tags and you old rig-a-doo"

I'll buy a pair of leggings, a collar and a tie

And a nice young lady I'll fetch by and by

I'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll colour them blue

And an old fashioned lady I will make her too

Over the road with my pack on my back

Over the fields with my great heavy sack

With holes in my shoes and my toes peeping through

Singing skinny-me-rink a doodle o and old Johnny Dhu

I must be going to bed for it's getting late at night

The fire's all raked and out goes the light

So now you've heard the story of my old rig-a-doo

It's good-bye and God be with you says old Johnny Dhu