Lyrics

Missus McGrath lived near the seashore
For the space of seven long years or more
When she spied a ship coming into the bay
"This is my son Teddy, d'ye clear the way"

Wisha ring dong da, ringa dongada
Ring dong daddy, wisha ring dong da

When Ted he landed without any legs
And in their place there was two wooden pegs
And when she kissed him a dozen or two
Saying: "Blood, now, Ted, can this be you?"

Wisha ring dong da, ringa dongada
Ring dong daddy, wisha ring dong da

"Oh, Ted a graw, were you drunk or blind
When you left your two fine legs behind?
Or was it walking across the sea
You threw your two fine legs away?"

Wisha ring dong da, ringa dongada
Ring dong daddy, wisha ring dong da

"Oh, no, I was not drunk or blind
When I left my two fine legs behind
But a cannonball in the fourth of May
Swept me two fine legs away"

Wisha ring dong da, ringa dongada
Ring dong daddy, wisha ring dong da

"Oh, Ted a graw, why weren't you cute
And run away from the Frenchman's shoot?
'Tisn't my son Ted is in it at all
Because he'd run from a cannonball"

Wisha ring dong da, ringa dongada
Ring dong daddy, wisha ring dong da

"Now foreign wars I do proclaim
Between Don John and the king of Spain
I'd rather have my Teddy as he used to be
Than the king of France and his whole navy"

Wisha ring dong da, ringa dongada
Ring dong daddy, wisha ring dong da

This is a version of Mrs McGrath, which in 1913-1916 was the most popular marching song of the Irish Volunteers. It is probably the first antiwar song.

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