The Roving Irishman

Singer: 

Michael Cassius Dean

Recorder: 

Robert Winslow Gordon

Recording Date: 

Sep. 1924

Location of Recording: 

Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA

Duration: 

1:04

Transcription: 

(Alright)
I am a roving Irishman that roves from town to town,
I lately took a notion to view some foreign ground,
So with my knapsack on my shoulder and shillala in my hand,
I sailed away to America to view that happy land.

When I landed in Philadelphia the girls all laughed with joy,
Says one unto another, "There comes a roving boy."
One treated to a bottle and another to a dram,
And the toast went 'round so merrily, "Success to the Irishman."

Rights: 

Duplication of sound recordings may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Language: 

en-US

Type: 

Music Recording

Format: 

mp3

Publisher: 

Brian Miller, Emma Dowd, Diane Giebink-Skoglind

Original Format: 

Wax Cylinder

Is Part Of: 

AFS Preservation Reel: AFS 19011A
G87
Misc. 147

Folk Song Index Numbers: 

Roud #360

Alternative Titles: 

The Roving Journeyman

Song Summary: 

The singer arrives in Philadelphia from Ireland and sets out to ramble. The girls rejoice at his presence. A landlady's daughter is left heartbroken as he continues west to "Dutch" Wisconsin where he expects there won't be much conversation. He plans to marry.

Tags: 

First Line: 

I am a roving Irishman that roves from town to town

Full Song Text: 

I am a roving Irishman that roves from town to town,
I lately took a notion to view some foreign ground,
So with my knapsack on my shoulder and shillala in my hand,
I sailed away to America to view that happy land.

When I landed in Philadelphia the girls all laughed with joy,
Says one unto another, “There comes a roving boy.”
One treated to a bottle and another to a dram,
And the toast went ’round so merrily, “Success to the Irishman.”

The very first night at the house where I was going to stay,
The landlady’s daughter grew very fond of me;
She kissed me and she hugged me and she took me by the hand,
And she whispers to her mother, “How I love this Irishman.”

It was early next morning when I was going away,
The landlady’s daughter those words to me did say,
“How can you be so cruel or prove so very unkind,
As to go away a-roving and leave me here behind?”

Oh, I am bound for Wisconsin, that’s right among the Dutch,
And as for conversation it won’t be very much,
But by signs and by signals I’ll make them understand
That the spirits of good nature lies in this Irishman.

Now it’s time to leave off roving and take myself a wife,
And for to live happy the remainder of my life;
Oh, I’ll hug her and I’ll kiss her, oh, I’ll do the best I can
For to make her bless the day that she wed with this Irishman.

Full Song Text Source: