American Old Time Song Lyrics: 38 Why Cant Paddy Be A Gentleman

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 38

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Why Can't Paddy Be a Gentleman?

Being told Pat couldn't be a gentleman, I've set myself the task,
That I to-night the reason why of you my friends would ask;
Hasn't Ireland got her colleges, that have for centuries stood.
To teach the people-and you know their teaching's mighty good;
Haven't Irishmen got heads and hearts- by dad, I know they've so.
Then why can't Paddy be a gentleman? That's what I want to know.

Some look down on an Irishman, as if they thought that we
Could not but helpless dolts or fools e'er have a hope to be
What matters where a man is born. I see in Erin's isle
There's lots of native gentlemen to greet you with a smile;
For there's other kind of gentlemen, besides a dandy bean.
Then why can't Paddy be a gentleman? That's what I want to know.

You cannot give the reason why, I see it in your face;
That Paddy's not a gentleman, because you know he is.
He's always good to help a friend, although his means are scant;
And if he's fond of blarney, he hates deceit and cant;
His coat may be of common frieze, his heart won't freeze-oh, no!
Then why can't Paddy be a gentleman? That's what I want to know.

If an Englishman's a gentleman, oh, worrah, then it's true;
As Pat is John Bull's brother, then he must be one, too.
Just read the Irish history, and in that same you'll find
Great deeds of Irish gentlemen-St. Patrick's one, d'ye mind;
And don't forget this-ye who sneer at honest Paddy's worth-
That actions make a gentleman, no matter what the birth.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III