King Laoghaire - Irish Ballads & Tunes

The Raggle Taggle Gypsy

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There were three gypsies a come to my door
And downstairs ran this lady, O!
One sang high and another sang low
And the other sang bonny, bonny, Biscay, O!

Then she pulled off her silk finished gown
And put on hose of leather, O!
The ragged, ragged, rags about our door
She's gone with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!

It was late last night, when my lord came home
Enquiring for his a-lady, O!
The servants said, on every hand
She's gone with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!

O saddle to me my milk-white steed
Go and fetch me my pony, O!
That I may ride and seek my bride
Who is gone with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!

O he rode high and he rode low
He rode through woods and copses too
Until he came to an open field
And there he espied his a-lady, O!

What makes you leave your house and land?
What makes you leave your money, O?
What makes you leave your new wedded lord?
To go with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!

What care I for my house and my land?
What care I for my money, O?
What care I for my new wedded lord?
I'm off with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!

Last night you slept on a goose-feather bed
With the sheet turned down so bravely, O!
And to-night you'll sleep in a cold open field
Along with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!

What care I for a goose-feather bed?
With the sheet turned down so bravely, O!
For to-night I shall sleep in a cold open field
Along with the raggle taggle gypsies, O!

This song, although popular in Ireland, is of Scottish origin. The song tells of a lady living in comfort and leisure who absconds with the gypsies. The event is thought to have been an actual one. Here is a slightly different version of The Raggle Taggle Gypsy.


On This Day

in 1999:

Irish Government abandon all plans to transform Great Blasket Island into a State Park and the 1,132 acre island is to remain in private ownership.

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