Mrs. McGrath

Melody -

Written between 1913 and 1916

Oh, Mrs. McGrath! the sergeant said,
Would you like to make a soldier out of your son, Ted,
With a scarlet coat and a big cocked hat,
Now Mrs. McGrath, wouldn't you like that?
Wid yer too-ri-aa, fol-the-diddle-aa,
Wid yer too-ri-aa
Fol-the-diddle-aa, Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa.
Láv beg, the Cracker-O.

2. So Mrs. McGrath lived on the sea shore,
For the space of seven long years or more,
Till she saw a big ship sailing into the bay
Here's my son Ted, wisha, clear the way.

3. Oh, Captain dear, where have you been
Have you been sailing on the Mediterreen
Or have ye any tidings of my son Ted
Is the poor boy living or is he dead?

4. Then up comes Ted without any legs
And in their place he has two wooden pegs
She kissed him a dozen times or two
Saying, Holy Moses 'tisn't you.

5. Oh then were ye drunk or were ye blind
That ye left yer two fine legs behind
Or was it walking upon the sea
Wore yer two fine legs from the knees away?

6. Oh I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
But I left my two fine legs behind
For a cannon ball on the fifth of May
Took my two fine legs from the knees away.

7. Oh then Teddy me boy, the widow cried,
Yer two fine legs were yer mammy's pride
Them stumps of a tree wouldn't do at all
Why didn't ye run from the big cannon ball?

8. All foreign wars I do proclaim
Between Don John and the King of Spain
And by herrins I'll make them rue the time
That they swept the legs from a child of mine.

9. Oh then, if I had you back again
I'd never let ye go to fight the King of Spain
For I'd rather my Ted as he used to be
Than the King of France and his whole Navy.

At the time, it was a popular marching song of the Irish volunteers. In today's Ireland, it is now sung as an anti-war song.

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