Free and easy to jog along, song

Tom Anderson, singing in English
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Oh, it’s of my rambles I’m going to sing
Like any blackbird or thrush in spring;
When the sun comes out for to bless the land
I am free and easy to jog along

The first place we landed was on Ballantrae
About three miles distant from Biscay Bay
And they sat me down there to sing a song,
I was free and easy to jog along.

The next place we landed was on Glasgow Green
Where lads and lasses were to be seen
And I was the gayest amongst the throng,
I was free and easy to jog along.

I had not travelled but a very short space
When a bonny wee lassie smiled in my face
And she says to me, – Are you a married man?
– No, I’m free and easy to jog along.

I took my love down into yonder inn
Where we drunk porter, strong ale and gin
And she pressed on me to join heart and hand
And forget ‘Free and easy to jog along’.

– Oh no, my wee lassie, such things couldn’t be,
I have took a notion to cross the sea;
When a man gets married his race is run,
But free and easy to jog along.

[Do you see yon streams how they gently glide?
They can go no further than they are allowed,
They can go no further than they get command,
But I am free and easy to jog along.]


A version in the Northern Constitution is the only printed one I know; The English broadside ‘Free and easy’ in, for example, L: LR 271 a 2, II 72, is a different song. The Northern Constitution gives Tom’s six verses, but the Butchers add a seventh with an image well suited to Magilligan, where ‘The high grounds in the parish are supplied with numerous and excellent springs, which gush out from the mountain’. – OS 1. Mention of Ballantrae and Glasgow is hardly enough to make the song Scottish, while the rhyme alang implied, though not used, by the Magilligan versions in v. 1, 4, 5, 7, is just as acceptable in Ulster as in Scotland. It is evidently a fairly late nineteenth-century song which has adopted a common traditional air.