The rakes of poverty, song

Tom Anderson, singing in English
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Lyrics

Oh, come all your rambling fellows, oh, from town to town I steer,
I’m like many’s the honest fellow, sure I like a pint of beer,
I’m like many’s the honest fellow, sure I drink my whisky clear,
I’m the rambling rakes of poverty and a son of a gamble-eer.

2
The oul hat that I’m wearing I give two pence for it
And when I go out on Sunday, sure they say I cut it fit
And when I go out on Sunday, sure they say I do it grand,
I sit up at the head of the table like another gentleman.

3
The oul coat that I’m wearing come from the gambling store
And when it’s that it do get wet, oh, I hang it outside the door
And when it’s dry I put it on, the people gathers around,
They say that I’m a duke or lord, not the son of a gamble-eer.

4
The oul shoes that I’m wearing come from the Crimea war
And it was an oul soldier wore them and he died by wounds and scars;
The heels of them are going back and soles going back to see
And the toes of them cocks up their nose at the rakes of poverty.

5
Oh, if I had ten gallons of rum or sugar five hundred pounds,
A great big tub to put it in and a stick to stir it round,
I would drink a health to my comrades both near and far away,
So I’ll bid farewell to the company, I’m the son of a gamble-eer.

Notes

From an urban origin in the late nineteenth century this text brings little traditional style, but it has been set in Ireland to thoroughly traditional airs. No doubt composed in Britain, it is known in Scotland (B) and probably in America: Bronson IV 122 mentions the title ‘Son of a gambolier’. So far it hardly seems to have earned itself a place in folk-song collections.