The boat rides south o' Ailsa Craig, in the waning of the light,
There's thirty men in Lendalfit, tae mak our burden light.
There's thirty horse at Hazelholm, with the halters on their heads,
All set this night upon yon hieght, if wind and water speed.
Smugglers drink of the Frenchman's wine,
And the darkest night is the smuggler's time,
Away we run from the exciseman,
It's a smuggler's life for me,
It's a smuggler's life for me.
O lass ye hae a cosy bed, and cattle ye hae ten,
Can ye no live a lawful life, and live wi' lawful men.
But must I live with hamely goods, while there's foreign gear sae fine,
Must I drink at the waterside, and France sae full of wine.
O weel I like tae see ye Kate, with the bairnie on thy knee,
But my heart is now wi' the gallant crew, that plough thro' the angry sea,
The bitter-gales, the tightest sales, the sheltered bay our goal.
It's the wayward life, it's the smuggler's strife, it's the joy of the smuggler
And when at last the sun comes up and the cargoe safely stored
Like sinless saints to church we go, God's mercy to afford,
And it's Champagne fine for communion wine and the parson drinks it to
With a sly wink prays'forgive these men for they know not what they do!'