The hillman, song

John Fleming, singing in English
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Lyrics

Oh, in comes the hillman and in comes he,
There’s a coat on the peg, that’s where his ought to be;
He says to his living wife, – I’m coming, sir, says she,
– Oh, who brought that coat here without the leave of me?

2
– Oh, you oul blin cripple, yea, and blinner may you be!
Don’t you see that’s a blanket that my mother sent to me?
– It’s miles I have travelled and thousands and more
But buttons on a blanket sure I never seen before.

3
Well, in comes the hillman and in comes he,
A hat on the peg where his own ought to be;
He calls on his living wife, – I’m coming, sir, says she,
Saying – Who brought that hat here without the leave of me?

4
– Och, you oul blin cripple, yea, and blinner may you be!
Don’t you see that’s a chamber that my mother sent to me?
– It’s miles now I’ve travelled and thousands and more
But sure ribbons on a chamber, well,  I never seen before.

5
Well, in comes the hillman and in comes he,
There’s trousers on the bed-peg where his own ought to be;
He calls on his living wife, – I’m coming, sir, said she,
Saying, – Who brought those trousers here without the leave of me?

6
Oh, you oul blin cripple, yea, and blinner may you be!
Can’t you see that’s a bolster that my mother sent to me?
– It’s miles now I’ve travelled and thousands and more
But a double-barrelled bolster, well, I never seen before.

7
Well, in comes the hillman and in comes he,
There’s a horse in the stable where his own ought to be;
He calls on his living wife, – I’m coming, sir, says she,
– Oh, who brought that horse here without the leave of me?

8
– Oh, you oul blin cripple, yea, and blinner may you be!
Can’t you see that’s a breeding sow my mother sent to me?
– It’s miles now I’ve travelled and thousands and more
But a saddle on a breeding sow I never seen before.

9
Well, in comes the hillman and in comes he,
There’s a man in the bed, that’s where he ought to be;
He calls on his living wife, – I’m coming, sir, says she,
– Who brought this man here without the leave of me?

10
– Och, you oul blin cripple, yea, and blinner may you be!
Can’t you see that’s a baby doll my mother sent to me?
– It is miles now I’ve travelled and thousands and more
But a beard on a baby doll I never seen before.

Notes

Probably the best known of early comic ballads, ‘Our goodman’ was adapted into Irish, used in a folktale as an ostensible lullaby, and rejuvenated in the Anglo-Irish day-by-day enumerative version of the ‘Seven drunken nights’ (BCHIOR). It is unlikely, however, that an older adaptation in a different spirit was traditional in Ireland: the Scots ‘Jacobite’ version in which the wife hides her cousin McIntosh ‘a Hielan rebel’ in the bed. Henry nevertheless published a text of it, which he seems to have taken from a Scots printed source, with an air obtained in Magilligan (D). Our North Derry texts are scantily preserved, but the diversity of airs used in the district indicates the ballad’s popularity there: a popularity certainly attributable to Scots influence.