The Roving Irishman

I am a roving Irishman that roves from town to town,
I lately took a notion to view some foreign ground,
So with my knapsack on my shoulder and shillala in my hand,
I sailed away to America to view that happy land.

When I landed in Philadelphia the girls all laughed with joy,
Says one unto another, “There comes a roving boy.”
One treated to a bottle and another to a dram,
And the toast went ’round so merrily, “Success to the Irishman.”

The very first night at the house where I was going to stay,
The landlady’s daughter grew very fond of me;
She kissed me and she hugged me and she took me by the hand,
And she whispers to her mother, “How I love this Irishman.”

It was early next morning when I was going away,
The landlady’s daughter those words to me did say,
“How can you be so cruel or prove so very unkind,
As to go away a-roving and leave me here behind?”

Oh, I am bound for Wisconsin, that’s right among the Dutch,
And as for conversation it won’t be very much,
But by signs and by signals I’ll make them understand
That the spirits of good nature lies in this Irishman.

Now it’s time to leave off roving and take myself a wife,
And for to live happy the remainder of my life;
Oh, I’ll hug her and I’ll kiss her, oh, I’ll do the best I can
For to make her bless the day that she wed with this Irishman.

Gordon, Robert Winslow, 1888-1961
Date Recorded: 
September, 1924
Track Duration (h:m:s): 
Original Medium: 
wax cylinder
American Folklife Center, Library of Congress
Call Number/Physical Location: 
AFS 19011A: G87 Misc 147

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