The Croppy Boy/ Cath Maree

The Croppy Boy
When I was scarcelye eighteen years of age,
In the army I did engage;
To join the army were my intent,
To join the Royal Forty regiment.
As sung by Harry Brazil, Gloucester 1 October 1967 (Springthyme 67.6.51,52) (The Croppy Boy and McCafferty here muddled). In: Shepheard, Peter. Folk Songs and Ballads of the Brazil Family of Gloucester (1967).


When I was scarcelye eighteen years of age,
In the army I did engage;
To join the army were my intent,
To join the Royal Forty regiment.

As I was out on guard one day,
Three little children ran out to play;
From the quartermaster’s my order came,
To take the name of those children three.

I took one name in the stead of three,
I took one name it was enough for me;
From judge and trials I were never free,
My life was born for the gallusee.

As I was marched on the barrack square,
With my rifle loaded I was perpared;
It was my captain I meant to kill,
I shot my colonel against my will.

I done the deed and I shed his blood,
At Liverpool assizes my trial stood;
My sentence passed and my courage were low,
Unto the gallus I were ’bliged to go.

For I had no mother to break her heart,
I had no father to take my part;
I had one friend and a girl was she,
She’d lay her life down for young Cath Maree.
My sister Mary she heard the full extent,
She run down stair in her mornings dress;
“Five hundred guineas then I’d lay down,
To see my brother march through Wexford town.”

As I were mounting the platforms high,
My ageing mother was standing by;
My ageing father did me deny,
And the name he give me was the Croppy Boy.

So I choose the dark and I choose the blue,
I choose the pink and the orange too;
I’ll forsake them all those colours I’ll deny,
I’ll wear the green unto the day I die.

As I was marched ’cross those boggy moor,
With a guard behind me and a guard before;
With a guard behind me and a guard before,
My old ageing mother I won’t see no more.

It’s in Dungannon there I’ll die, [he died
And in Dungannon his body lies;
You yeomen cavalry as you all pass by,
You would say a prayer for the Croppy Boy.







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