Before BEHAN began this was one of the first songs we put together. At a family gathering in the parents living room, Barney had his guitar and a Clancy Bros songbook.  I sang along with the book and had a great time.  That evening I thought to meself "...maybe we could do a band thing!"  


I am a little beggarman and begging I have been
For three score or more on this little isle of green
I'm known along the Liffey from the basin to the zoo
And everybody calls me by the name of Johnny Dew
Of all the trade's a going, sure a begging is the best
For when a man is tired, he can sit him down and rest
He can beg for his dinner, then there's nothing else to do
Till he slips around the corner with his old rig-a-doo

I slept in the barn down on the Caurabawn
A shocking night it was so I slept untill the dawn
There was holes in the roof and the raindrops coming through
And the rats and the cats were a playing peek-a-boo
Then who did I waken but the woman of the house
With her white spotty apron and her calico blouse
She began to frighten and I said "BOO!
Don't be afraid at all now it's only Johnny Dew"

I met a little flaxy-haired girl one day
"Good morrow little flaxy-haired girl" I did say
"Good morrow little beggarman and how do you do
With your rags and you tags and your old rig-a-doo"
I'll buy a pair of leggings and a collar and a tie
And a nice young girl I'll be courtin by and by
I'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll colour them blue
And an old fashioned lady I will make her too

Over the road with my pack on my back
Over the hills with my great heavy sack
Holes in my shoes and me toes a peeking through
Singing skin-a-me-rink-a-doodle with me old Johnny Dew
It's off for me to bed for it's getting late at night
The fire's all raked and now 'tis out of light
For now you've heard the story of me old rig-a-doo
Sure good night and God be with you from old Johnny Dew

Aye deedle aye dee deedle i dil doe deedle eet die diddle i deedle i-dil-doe. Dah deet die diddle i deeddle i dil doe diddle eet die diddle aye duh dee die doe!