The Spailpín Fánach

In Denny Street in sweet Tralee
One day in the month of August,
Who should I meet going up and down
But a bold recruiting sergeant.

He said, young man if you take on
And Mars to be your guardian
"Tis better than be digging dykes
And be a Spailpín Fánach.

I'd rather sow and plough and mow
And till a fruitful garden
And spend a crown amongst my friends
And be a Spailpín Fánach.

He said, come in and take a drink
For the day is very warm,
We'll drink enough and quench our thirst
With whiskey, wine and cordial.

I gave consent and in we went
And then shook hands to Bacchus
He placed a shilling in my fist
Saying pay for what was called for.

He said my boy be of good cheer
For the trumpet sounds to call you,
Victoria's cash you've took in your hands
You must obey her orders.

We raised a row around the house
And made a great alarm,
He said your schemes willnot avail
For Justice I will call on.

Me marched me then to Mr. Smith
Who said that I should march it,
When I took the shilling in my fist
I should go to headquarters.

Then when I heard my sentence passed
I begged for his Honour's pardon
I placed a shilling in his fist
Saying here is how it happened.

And the laws you make you cannot break
So your Honour need not falter
I said you're listed now by me
And bound for Gibraltar.

His Honour then made no delay
But said himself he'd ransom
He reached me over one pound one
Saying you have done me handsome.

I'd rather sow and plough and mow
And till a fruitful garden
And spend a crown amongst my friends
And be a Spailpín Fánach.
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