THE IRISH GIRL
The Irish Girl
One night when I was walking down by the riverside,
Gazing all around me when an Irish girl I spied.
Red and rosy were here cheeks, lovely coal black was her hair;
Costly were those lovely robes this Irish girl did wear.
Her shoes were black, her stockings white, all sprinkled with dew.
She wrung her hands and tore her hair and cried, “Alas, what shall I do?
I’m going home, I’m going home, I’m going home,” said she,
“O would you go a-roving to slight your own Polly?”
The very last time I saw my love, he seemed to be in pain,
With heartfelt grief and chilling woe, his heart it seemed near broke in twain.
There’s many a man more true than he, so why should I e’er complain—
Love it is a killing thing; did you ever feel the pain?
I wish I were a butterfly, I would fly to my true love’s breast.
I wish I were a linnet, I would sing my love to rest.
I wish I were a nightingale, I would sing to the morning clear.
I’ll sit and sing for you, Polly, the girl I love so dear.
I wish my love were a red rose bud who in the garden grew,
And I to be the gardener; to her I ever would prove true.
There’s not a month in all the year but my love I would renew,
The lilies I would garnish, sweet William, thyme and rue
I wish I were in Manchester, a-sitting on the grass,
With a bottle of whisky in my hand and upon my knee a lass.
I’d call for liquor merrily and I would pay before I go,
I’ll roll my lass all on the grass, let the wind blow high or low.