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The Auld Beggarman

This song is by June Tabor and appears on the album Apples (2007).

As I was a-linking o'er the lea,
The finest weel that I ever did see
Looking for his charity,
"Would you lodge a lame poor man?"

For the night being wet and it being cold
She took pity on the poor old soul,
She took pity on the poor old soul
And she bade him to sit down.

Chorus (after every other verse):
With his tooren ooren an tan ay
Right an ooren fal la doo a day
Right an ooren ooren ay
With his tooren ooren aye doe

Chorus (after every other verse):
With his tooran nooran nan tan nee
Right ton nooran fol the doo-a-dee
Toraan nooran noraan nee
With his tooran nooran-i-do

He sat himself by the chimney nook
Wi' all his bags about his crook,
All his bags about his crook,
And so merrily he did sing.

Now he grew canty and she was fain,
But little did her mother ken
Just what the two of them were saying
As they sat sae thrag.

"Well, if I was black as I was white
As the snow that falls on yon fell-dyke,
Dress meself some beggar-like
And along with you I'd gang."

"Lassie, lassie, you're over young,
You hannae got the can't o' the begging tongue,
Hannae got the can't o' the begging tongue,
So along ye cannae gang."

"But I'll bend my back and beck my knee,
And I'll put a black patch on my e'e,
And for a beggar they'll take me,
So along wi' you I'll gang."

All the doors being locked quite tight,
The old woman rose in the middle of the night,
The old woman rose in the middle of the night
To find the old man gone.

Well, she ran to the cupboard, like wise to the chest,
All things there and nothing missed.
Clasped her hands, saying, "God be blessed,
I've lodged an honest old man."

She's run to the cupboard, likewise to the chest,
All things there and nothing missed.
Clapping her hands and the dear be blessed,
Wasn't he an honest old man?

The breakfast was ready and the table was laid
And the old woman went for to look for the maid:
The bed was there but the maid was gone,
She's away wi' the lame poor man.

Now seven years were passed and gone,
And this old beggar came back again
Looking for his charity,
"Will you lodge a lame poor man?"

"Well, I never lodged any but the one,
He with me only daughter's gone,
And I chose you to be the very one
AndI'll have you to be gone."

"If it's your daughter ye want to see,
She's got two bairnies on her knee,
Got two bairnies on her knee
And a third one comin' round.

"Yonder she sits, yonder she stands,
The fairest lady in all Scotland.
She has gold at her command
Since she went wi' the lame poor man."

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