The Mullingar recruit, song

Tom Munnelly, singing in English
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Lyrics

It was on one sultry summer’s day when tired of working at the hay
I lay and watched a regiment marching by to foreign wars
And I don’t know how it came about I must have slept without a doubt
I dreamt I took the shilling that day in Mullingar.

Oh sergeant a ghrá my chroí will you swap back again with me
For my old coat and overcoat they were warmer by far
And besides my heart will surely break if friends and neighbours I forsake
And wear the highland petticoat going in to Mullingar.

But the sergeant he spoke sharp to me you might as well contented be
You joined and took the shilling down in Mary Anne Egan’s bar
And as for those you leave behind you might as well make up your mind
You’ve gone and put your foot in it this day in Mullingar.

It was then I wept with grief and pain but all my protests were in vain
We marched through Monasterevin with the general in the car
And when we came to Wexford town straight to the transport we went down
And sailed away for India farewell to Mullingar.

Now the heat was heavy over head we fought ‘til nearly all were dead
From Suttle lake to Kyber Hill ‘til we came to Khandahar
And those Indians are a savage lot they gave it to us hard and hot
And I lost two legs by cannon ball and I sighed for Mullingar.

As on the bloody ground I lay in deep despair I could not pray
I cursed that day I listed and my joy in life did mar
When someone near me gave a shout I woke right up and I looked about
Thank god I was only dreaming I was back in Mullingar.

I gazed around me with delight and I felt my two legs alright
I kissed the sod I lay upon and I thanked my lucky star
And I swore no soldiering I’d try unless for Ireland’s cause to die
King George can stick his shilling up I’m content in Mullingar.