Lyrics

The night being dark and very cold
A woman took pity on a poor old soul
She took pity on a poor old soul
And asked him to come in

With a too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
A too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
Too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
And hi for the beggarman

He sat him down in a chimney nook
He hung his coat upon a hook
He hung his coat upon a hook
And merrily he did sing

With a too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
A too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
Too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
And hi for the beggarman

In the middle of the night the old woman rose
She missed the beggarman and all his clothes
She clapped and clapped and clapped again
Says, "He has me daughter gone"

With a too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
A too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
Too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
And hi for the beggarman

Three long years have passed and gone
When this old man came back again
Asking for a charity:
"Would you lodge a beggarman?"

"I never lodged any but the one
And with that one me daughter's gone
With that one me daughter's gone
So merrily you may gang"

With a too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
A too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
Too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
And hi for the beggarman

"Would you like to see your daughter now
With two babies on her knee
With two babies on her knee
And another one coming on?"

"For yonder she sits and yonder she stands
The finest lady in all the land
Servants there at her command
Since she went with the beggarman"

With a too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
A too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
Too-roo roo-roo rantin hi
And hi for the beggarman

This is a version of the very popular story of the beggarman who makes off with the daughter of the house and then turns out to be a lord or nobleman (as in The Whistling Gypsy).

The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem got this from their sort of second mother, Annie Roche. Annie had a store of old traditional songs which she never considered of interest to anyone until the ballad revival of the 1960s made her rack her brain for half-forgotten songs she remembered her mother singing.

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