From the recording Beggerman
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 beenFor three score or more on this little isle of greenI'm known along the Liffey from the basin to the zooAnd everybody calls me by the name of Johnny DewOf all the trade's a going, sure a begging is the bestFor when a man is tired, he can sit him down and restHe can beg for his dinner, then there's nothing else to doTill he slips around the corner with his old rig-a-doo
I slept in the barn down on the CaurabawnA shocking night it was so I slept untill the dawnThere was holes in the roof and the raindrops coming throughAnd the rats and the cats were a playing peek-a-booThen who did I waken but the woman of the houseWith her white spotty apron and her calico blouseShe 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 doWith your rags and you tags and your old rig-a-doo"I'll buy a pair of leggings and a collar and a tieAnd a nice young girl I'll be courtin by and byI'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll colour them blueAnd an old fashioned lady I will make her too
Over the road with my pack on my backOver the hills with my great heavy sackHoles in my shoes and me toes a peeking throughSinging skin-a-me-rink-a-doodle with me old Johnny DewIt's off for me to bed for it's getting late at nightThe fire's all raked and now 'tis out of lightFor now you've heard the story of me old rig-a-dooSure 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!