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The Auld Beggarman

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

Oh, as I was a-linking o'er the lea
The finest weel that ever I 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

With a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Right ton nooran fol a doo-a-dee
Tooran nooran nooran nee
And a tooran nooran-i-do

He sat him down in the chimbley nook
The bonnie young daughter gave him a look
He's thrown his bags behind a crook
And merrily he did sing

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

With a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Fol a doo-a-dee
As they sat sae thrag

“Oh, if I was as black as I am white
Just like the snow on yon fell-dyke
I'd dress myself so beggar-like
And away with you I'd gang”

“Oh, lassie, lassie, you're far too young
And you haven't got the lilt of the begging tongue
You haven't got the lilt of the begging tongue
So with me you cannot gang”

With a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Fol a doo-a-dee
Tooran nooran nooran nee
With me you cannot gang”

“I'll burden my back and I'll bend my knee
Put a black patch on my e'e
And for a beggar they'll take me
And away with you I'll gang”

With a tooran nooran nan tan nee
With a tooran nooran nooran nee
And away with you I'll gang”

For all that the doors were locked quite tight
The old woman rose in the middle of the night
The old woman rose in the middle of the night
But to find the old man gone

Oh, 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?"

With a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Fol a doo-a-dee
Wasn't he an honest old man?"

Oh, the breakfast was ready and the table laid
The old woman went for to waken the maid
The bed was there but the maid was gone
Away with the lame poor man

And a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Fol a doo-a-dee
Tooran nooran nooran nee
Away with the lame poor man

Now seven years were passed and gone
This old beggar come back again
Looking for his charity
“Would you lodge a lame poor man?”

“Oh, I never lodged any but the one
And with him my one daughter did gang
And I choose you to be the very one
And I'll have you to be gone”

With a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Tooran nooran nooran nee
I'll have you to be gone

“If your one daughter you want to see
She has two bairnies on her knee
She has two bairnies on her knee
And a third one coming round

“Yonder she sits, yonder she stands
The fairest lady in all Scotland
She has servants at her command
Since she went with the lame poor man”

And a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Fol a doo-a-dee
Nan tan nee
Since she went with the lame poor man”

And a tooran nooran nan tan nee
Right ton nooran fol a doo-a-dee
Tooran nooran nooran nee
Tooran nooran-i-do

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