Mrs McGrath


Ah 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 did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

Now Mrs McGrath lived on the sea-shore,
For the space of seven long years or more,
Till she saw a big ship into the bay -
'Here's my son Ted, will ye clear the way?'

Wid yer too ri aa fol the did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

'Oh, Captain dear, where have you been?
Have you been in the Mediterreen?
Will ye tell me the news of my son Ted?
Is the poor boy living or is he dead?'

Wid yer too ri aa fol the did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

Ah well up comes Ted without any legs
And in their place he had two wooden pegs
Well she kissed him a dozen times or two
Saying, 'Glory be to God, shure it wouldn't be you!'

Wid yer too ri aa fol the did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

'Oh then were ye drunk or were you blind,
That you let yer two fine legs behind?
Or was it while walking on the sea,
A big fish ate yer legs from the knee away?'

Wid yer too ri aa fol the did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

'Well I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind,
When I left my two fine legs behind,
But a cannon ball on the fifth of May
Tore my two fine legs from the knees away.'

Wid yer too ri aa fol the did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

'Oh Teddy me boy,' the ould 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?'

Wid yer too ri aa fol the did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

'Well 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.'

Wid yer too ri aa fol the did-dle aa,
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa
Wid yer too ri aa
Fol the did-le aa
Too ri oo ri oo ri aa.

Midi sequenced by Terry Stephens
Used with permission

Between 1913-1916, this was a popular marching song of the Irish volunteers. It is now regarded as an anti-war song.

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