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O' a' the trades I do ken.
The beggin' is the best,
For when a beggar's weary
He can aye sit doon an' rest,
Chorus - Tae the beggin' I will go, will go,
              tae the beggin' I will go.
It's I'll gyang tae the cobbler
An' gar him sort my shoon ;
An inch thick tae the boddam
An' clooted weel abune.
An' I will tae the greasy cook,
Frae him I'll buy a hat,
Weel press'd and weather-beaten,
An' glitt'rin ower wi' fat.
An' I will tae the tailor,
Wi' a wab o' hodden gray,
An' gar him mak' a cloak for me,
Will hap me nicht and day.
An' yet ere I begin my trade,
I'll let my beard grow strang ;
Nor pare my nails this year or day
For the beggars wear them lang.
I'll pit nae watter on my hands
As little on my face ;
For still the lowner like I am,
The mair my trade I'll grace.
When I come tae a fairm-toon
I'll say wi' hat in hand ;
"Will the beggar-man get quarters here ?
Alas, I canna stand."
An' when they're a' come in aboot
It's then I'll start tae sing.
An' dae my best tae gar them lauch
A' roon aboot the ring.
If there's a wedding in the toon ;
I'll airt me tae be there ;
An' pour my kindest benisons
Upon the happy pair.
An' some will give me beef an' breid,
An' some will give me cheese ;
An' oot an' in amang the folk,
I'll gaither the bawbees.
If beggin' be as good as trade
An' as I hope it may,
It's time that I was oot o' here
An' haudin doon the brae.
Footnote : A popular song during the Scottish folk Revival - this version is taken from Ford's 'Vagabond Songs'.


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