I am a little beggarman, a begging I have been
For three score years in this little isle of green
I'm known along the Liffey from the Basin to the Zoo
And everybody calls me by the name of Johnny Dhu.
Of all the trades a going, sure the begging is the best
For when a man is tired he can sit him down and rest
He can beg for his dinner, he has nothing else to do
But to slip around the corner with his old rigadoo.
I slept in a barn one night in Currabawn
A shocking wet night it was, but I slept until the dawn
There was holes in the roof and the raindrops coming thru
And the rats and the cats were a playing peek a boo.
Who did I waken but the woman of the house
With her white spotted apron and her calico blouse
She began to frighten and I said boo
Sure, don't be afraid at all, it's only Johnny Dhu.
I met a little girl while a walkin out one day
Good morrow little flaxen haired girl, I did say
Good morrow little beggarman and how do you do
With your rags and your tags and your auld rigadoo.
I'll buy a pair of leggins and a collar and a tie
And a nice young lady I'll go courting by and by
I'll buy a pair of goggles and I'll color them with blue
And an old fashioned lady I will make her too.
So all along the high road with my bag upon my back
Over the fields with my bulging heavy sack
With holes in my shoes and my toes a peeping thru
Singing, skin a ma rink a doodle with my auld rigadoo.
O I must be going to bed for it's getting late at night
The fire is all raked and now tis out of light
For now you've heard the story of my auld rigadoo
So good and God be with you, from auld Johnny Dhu