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Updated 11/21/2019


The Little Beggarman

The Little Beggarman, also known as An Carrowath, An Giolla Ruadh, The Auld Rigadoo, The Beggar Man, The Beggarman, Danny Pearl’s Favorite, Danny Pearl’s Favourite, Gilderoy, Guilderoy, Injun Ate A Woodchuck, The Jolly Beggar, The Journeyman, The Little Beggar Man, The Little Beggerman, The Old Rigadoo, The Old Soldier With The Wooden Leg, The Red Haired Boy, The Red Haired Lad, The Red Headed Irishman, The Red-Haired Boy, The Redhaired Boy, The Rigadoo, and Thy Redhaired Lad is a well-known Irish ballad that one songbook proclaims "was learned by Colm O'Lochlainn in 1925 from a one-legged accordion player in Harcourt Street."  Poor old Johnny Dhu is a fellow who toils mightily at not working at all. 



I am a little beggarman and begging I have been
For three score or more in this little isle of green
I'm known from the Liffey down to Segue
And I'm known by the name of old Johnny Dhu
Of all the trade's that's going, sure begging is the best
For when a man is tired, he can sit down and rest
He can beg for his dinner, he has nothing else to do
Only cut around the corner with his old rig-a-doo

I slept in the barn, down at Caurabawn
A wet night came on and I slept 'till the dawn
With holes in the roof and the rain coming through
And the rats and the cats, they were playing peek-a-boo
When who did I waken but the woman of the house
With her white spotty apron and her calico blouse
She began to frighten and I said "boo
Aarah, don't be afraid mam it's only Johnny Dhu"

I met a little flaxy-haired girl one day
"Good morning little flaxy-haired girl" I did say
"Good morning little beggarman, a how do you do
With your rags and you tags and you old rig-a-doo"
I'll buy a pair of leggings, a collar and a tie
And a nice young lady I'll fetch by and by
I'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll colour them blue
And an old fashioned lady I will make her too

Over the road with my pack on my back
Over the fields with my great heavy sack
With holes in my shoes and my toes peeping through
Singing skinny-me-rink a doodle o and old Johnny Dhu
I must be going to bed for it's getting late at night
The fire's all raked and out goes the light
So now you've heard the story of my old rig-a-doo
It's good-bye and God be with you says old Johnny Dhu