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Arthur McBride

Traditional, arranged by Bob Dylan

(Official lyrics @ www.bobdylan.com)

July/Aug 1992

  Bob Dylan's Garage Studio, Malibu, CA - late july -- early august 1992  

Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside
Now mark what followed and what did betide
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'.
Now for recreation we went on a tramp
And we met sergeant Harper and corporal Ramp
And the little wee drummer intendin' to camp
For the day bein' pleasant and charmin'.

"Good morning, good morning", the sergeant did cry
"And the same to you gentlemen", we did reply
Intendin' no harm as meant to pass by
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'.
"But," says he, "My fine fellows, if you will enlist
Ten guineas in gold, I will slip in your fist
And a crown in the bargain for to kick up the dust
And drink the King's health in the morning."

"For a soldier he leads a very fine life
An' he always is blessed with a charmin' young wife
An' he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife
An' he always lives pleasant and charmin'.
An' a soldier he always is decent and clean
In the finest of clothing he's constantly seen
While other poor fellows look dirty and mean
An' sup on thin gruel in the morning."

"But," says Arthur, "I wouldn't be proud of your clothes
For you've only the lend of them, as I suppose
And you dare not change them one night for you know
If you do you'll be flogged in the mornin'.
And although that we are single and free 
We take great delight in our own company
We have no desire strange faces to see
Although that your offers are charming."

"And we have no desire to take your advance
All hazards and dangers we barter on chance
For you would have no scruples for to send us to France
Where we would get shot without warning."
"Oh no", says the sergeant, "I'll have no such chat
And I never will take it from snappy young brats
For if you insult me with one other word
I'll cut off your heads in the morning."

And Arthur and I we soon drew our hogs
We scarcely gave them time to draw their own blades
When a trusty shillelagh came over their heads
And bade them take that as fair warnin.
And their old rusty rapiers that hung by their sides
We flung them as far as we could in the tide
"Now take them out, devils", cried Arthur McBride
"And temper their edge in the morning".

And the little wee drummer, we flattened his bow
And we made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow
Threw it in the tide for to rock and to roll
And bade it a tedious returnin'.
And we having no money, paid them off in cracks
And we paid no respect to their two bloody backs
But we lathered them there like a pair of wet sacks
And left them for dead in the mornin'.

And so to conclude and to finish disputes
We obligingly asked if they wanted recruits
For we were the lads who would give them hard clouts 
And bid them look sharp in the mornin'.

Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside
Now mark what followed and what be betide
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'. 

Recording dates & record list

July/Aug 1992 1 GOOD AS I BEEN TO YOU