Mudcat Café message #2049524 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #23668   Message #2049524
Posted By: GUEST,Rob King of Carmina
11-May-07 - 06:23 PM
Thread Name: Paul Brady's version of Arthur McBride
Subject: RE: Paul Brady's version of Arthur McBride
I haven't heard PB's version of this song, although the song itself was very formative for me when I was in the process of starting Carmina. Do any of you know this following version - it's much simpler, and seems to fit the tune better, as far as I am concerned - but I suspect it's an English version, imperfectly recalled! This song has always interested me because the tune needs two ballad quatrains - ie the 4-3-4-3 stress verse pattern - for its completion - and at the end of this version, three quatrains are joined to make the finale, which I like. This is the same with 'Lakes of Ponchartrain', and a host of other ballads - the tune needs two stanzas (or quatrains) for its completion. The only song I can think of right now (but there must be others) whose tune completes in four lines, rather than eight, is 'Blackwaterside'. Sorry to sound so academic, but I find ballads fascinating, and they have have formed the basis of my professional musical life! Anyway - here is the version, that I took down in a folk club in Gloucester, ages ago:

I once knew a fellow called Arthur McBride
He and I went a-walking down by the sea-side
A-looking for pleasure, and what may betide
And the weather was pleasant and charming
And pleasant and gallant we went on our tramp
And met Sergeant Harper and Corporal Cramp
And a jolly young fellow, who called up the camp
With his 'Row de dow dow' in the morning

Ah well, says this sergeant, if ye will enlist
Five guineas in gold I will stick in your fist
Besides the fine shilling to kick up the dust
And drink the king's health in the morning
Ah well, says McBride, if we take your advice
'Tis right bloody slender would be our poor chance
For the king wouldn't scruple to send us to France
And get us both shot in the morning

And ye needn't go bragging about your fine pay
As ye go a-marching and tramping away
For all that you get is one shilling a day
To get you some gruel in the evening
And ye needn't go bragging about your fine clothes
For they're only borrowed, or so I suppose
And ye durst not sell them, in spite of your nose
Or you would get flogged in the morning

Ah well, says this sergeant, if you say one more word
I swear by the herrings I'll draw out me sword
And I'll run you both through, if me strength will afford
So now ye young buckos, take warning
We beat that bold drummer as flat as a shoe
And made a foot-ball of his 'Row de dow dow'
And as for the others, we beat them the two
Yes we were the boys in that morning
And as for the weapons that hung by their side
We took them and flung them far into the tide
'May the Devil go with you' says Arthur McBride
'For delaying our walk this fine morning'.