Tramps and Hawkers
Traditional

Audio

This example of "Tramps and Hawkers" is sung by Donal Hegarty, traditional singer from Cork City, Ireland. Recorded at the St. Louis, Missouri Tionol, April 2001.
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Notes: In the example recording, singer Donal Hegarty sings it with the words below. Further down, find another version of the lyrics in Scots.

O come all ye tramps and hawker-lads and give your ears a blow
I tramped the country round and round come listen ane and all
I'll tell to you a roving tale of sights that I have seen
And far up to the snowy north and through by Gretna Green

At times I've laughed unto myself while trodging on the road
My toe rags around my blistered feet, my face as brown as a toad
With lumps of cake and tatty scones, we wanged the brack sea home
Nr giving a thought to where I've come but bless me where I've gone.

I've done my share of hunting with the hawker on the clyde
I've helped on bucky trawlers, the herring o'er the side
I helped to build the mercy bridge that spans the busy port
And with many an angus, fame or thig I slew the bonny air

I'm happy in the summertime beneath the bright blue sky
No thinking in the morning where at night I have to lie
In barn or byre or anywhere dosing out among the hay
And if the weather treats me right I'm happy every day.

Another version, this in Scots.

O come a' ye tramps and hawker-lads an' gaitherers o' bla' 
That tramp the country roun' and roun', come listen one and a'
I'll tell tae ye a rovin' tale, an' sites that I hae seen
Far up into the snowy north, or sooth by Gretna Green.

I've seen the high Ben Nevis that gangs towerin' tae the moon
I've been roun' by Crieff an' Callander an' by Bonny Doon
I've been by Nethy's silvery tide an' places ill tae ken
Far up into the stormy north lies Urquart's fairy glen

Sometimes noo I laugh tae mysel' when dodgin' alang the road
Wi' a bag o' meal slung upon my back, my face as broun's a toad
Wi' lumps o'cake and tattie-scones or breid an' braxie ham
Nae thinking whar' I'm comin' but bless me whar I'm gang.

I'm happy in the summer-time beneath the dark blue sky
Nae thinkin' in the mornin' at nicht where i'm gang to lie
Bothies or byres or barns, or oot amangst the hay
And if the weather does permit, I'm happy a' the day.

Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond, they've oft been seen by me
The Dee, the Don, the Devron, that a' flows tae the sea
Dunrobin Castle, by the way, I nearly had forgot
And the reckless stanes o'cairn that mairks the hoose o' John
o' Groat.

I've been by bonny Gallowa', an' often roun' Stranraer
My business leads me anywhere, I travel near an' far
I've got that rovin' notion I wouldna like tae loss
For It's my daily fare an' as much'll pay my doss.

I think I'll gang tae Paddy's Lan', I'm makin' up my mind
For Scotland's greatly altered noo, I canna raise the wind
But if I can trust in Providence, if Providence should prove true
I'll sing ye's a' of Erin's Isle when I come back to you.