The Roaring Baby

Traditional

Audio

This example of "The Roaring Baby" is performed by Chris Caldwell, singer and musician from County Tyrone.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Ah when I was young, a bachelor, the brightest ever seen
My friends all said I looked so very miserable and mean
And then at last I took myself a darling wife, alas
And all my friends said Ah jack old boy you must have been an ass

[spoken]
I was like the man and the donkey,
Whenever the donkey carried him it was wrong
Whenever he carried the donkey it was wrong
Whenever I got married it was wrong, 
Whenever I was single it was wrong
What do you want a wife for? Yes what do I want a wife for?

Last night as I got into bed, there came a knock at our front window and I says
Who's there? me. who's me? Me's your father in law come to get his daughter
'cause her mother's sick in bed and wants her home at once
So of course up gets my wife and on with her bonnet and shawl, off to see her dear mother, leaving me in care of the baby only just weaned with not a soul in the house but me
and the serving girl just left that day too big for her boots
Well he began to roar and I began to sing....

Chorus:
Ah my darling cheeker Billy chum
wait until your mummy comes
Wouldn't you like to suck your thumb as ever a man so born
But the more I kitchy-kitchied so, and walked him up, down, to and fro
And I give him everything, ya know, but the more the darlin roared.

Well oh my lord to my surprise, and I searched it all about
For to find a box of matches for the candle had gone out
And I tripped over a pail and took most of the bark off my shins
And this is what I sang as I was rubbin my leg

Chorus

At last I found a lucifer a solitary one,
And oh my lord to my surprise when I first saw my son
His cheeks were of a beet root red and the tears came down like rain
And when I picked him up, well, he started out again
ya, ya, ya ya...
And this is what I sung when I put the bolster over his head

Chorus

Well I give him toys and I give him food and I give him everything
And without my clothes I lept about and I danced the highland fling
Ah but he wouldn't have it at'al, and he yelled and cried the more 
And whenever I gave it up for lost, my wife came in the door

[spoken]
His mother, my wife, and whenever he heard her, he was quiet as a mouse, the wretch
And she says I hope the baby's been good and I says yes
Here have I been leppin about these last three hours in this cold oilcloth 
jumpin around as if I was mad

Chorus