Jolly Beggar

Lyrics Trad. Tune by Paul McKenna, Pub. Grian Music

We learned this song from the great Irish band Planxty, which tells the story of a beggar arriving at a farmer’s door looking for a bed for the night. He wishes to sleep in the house near the kitchen fire, and as the daughter comes to lock the door… the rest is left to your imagination. It has been said that the beggar was in fact King James V of Scotland in disguise.

Paul: Vocals, Guitar
David: Bouzouki, Backing Vocals
Seán: Flute, Backing Vocals
Ewan: Cahon
Ruaridh: Fiddle

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

He would not lie within the barn nor yet within the byre
But he would in the corner lie down by the kitchen fire
Oh 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”