Lissa Schneckenburger: New England fiddler and folk singer


The Old Beggar Man

source: “British Ballads From Maine: The Development of Popular Songs with Texts and Airs” by Phillips Barry, Fannie Hardy Eckstorm, and Mary Winslow Smyth, 1929

He gave his love a gay gold watch that she might rule in her own country
She gave him a gay gold ring, and the virtue of that ring was above all things

If this ring is bright true know your love is true to you
But if this ring is pale and wan your true love is in love with another one

He set sail and off went he until he came to strange country
He looked at the ring it was pale and wan, his true love was in love with another one

So he set sail and back came he until he came to his own country
And as he was riding along the plain who should he meet but an old beggar man

You lend me your begging rig that begging rig it must go on
So come tell me as fast as you can what’s to be done with the begging rig

You may beg from pitt you may beg from paul beg from the highest to the lowest of them all
But from them all you need take none until you come to the bride’s own hand

She came trembling down the stairs rings on her fingers and gold in her hair
A glass of wine all in her hand which she gave to the old beggar man

He took the glass and drank the wine and in the glass he slipped the ring
Oh where got you this by sea or by land, or did you get it off of a drowned one’s hand

I did not get it by sea or land I did not get it off a drowned one’s hand
I got it in my courting gay, and gave it to my love on her wedding day

Rings from her fingers she did pull off gold from her hair she did let fall
I’ll go with you forever more and beg for my bread from door to door

Between the kitchen and the hall the begging rig he did let fall
Shining in gold amongst them all and he was the fairest in the hall

© 2008 :: Lissa Schneckenburger | website :: irislines, LLC