Roving Gypsy (MacEdward Leach)

See also: Gypsy Laddie-O (Kenneth Peacock)

And also: The Whistling Gypsy (Leo McGuire)

And also: Raggle-Taggle Gypsy (Irish Descendants)

Standing by her window one day,
Gazing out at those Gypsies gay,
When a silly thought ran in her mind,
To follow those rovin' Gypsies true.

Her husband came home late that night,
Inquiring for his lady gay;
I'm afraid, I'm afraid, said the gay kitchen maid,
She has followed those rovin' Gypsies true.

Come saddle my horses, get ready my cane,
Come saddle my horses, and l will go see;
With a brace of pistols hang'd to his side,
As he followed those rovin' Gypsies true.

He rode east and he rode west,
Finding out of those Gypsies gay;
Oh, farmer, farmer, come tell me true,
Did you see any rovin' Gypsies there?

You go down to yonder valley green,
You go down to yonder valley, go;
It is you will see your own wedded love,
In the arms of a rovin' Gypsy true.

Will you forsake your houses and lands?
Will you forsake your children, too?
Will you forsake your own wedded love,
And follow those rovin' Gypsies true?

Yes, I'll forsake my houses and lands,
Yes I'll forsake my children, too;
Yes I'll forsake my own wedded love,
And I'll follow those rovin' Gypsies true.

Last night you lay on a warm feather bed,
With a blanket warm about you spread;
And tonight you must lie on the cold, cold ground,
In the arms of a rovin' Gypsy true.

I would eat of the grass, I would drink of the dew,
I would eat of the grass, I would drink of the dew;
I would eat of the grass, and I'd drink of the dew,
And I'd follow the rovin' Gypsy true.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of an 18th-century British ballad, Gypsy Laddie [Child ballad #200] The English And Scottish Popular Ballads (1882-1898) edited by Francis James Child (Dover, 1965). Also a variant of a British broadside ballad, Gypsy Laddie, published by W Stephenson (Gateshead) sometime between 1821 and 1838, and archived at the Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads, shelfmark: Harding B 11(1446) ....####
This variant was collected in 1951 from Mrs Thomas (Anastasia Ryan) Ghaney [1883-1959] of Fermeuse, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

A variant was also collected in 1958 by Kenneth Peacock from Isaac Freeman Bennett [1896-1981] of St Paul's, NL, and published as Gypsy Laddie-O in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 1, pp.194-195, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was recorded by the Irish Descendants as Raggle-Taggle Gypsy.

An imitation ballad was composed c.1950 as The Whistling Gypsy by Patrick Leo Maguire (1903-1985) of Dublin, IE, an Irish singer, songwriter, and radio broadcaster.

See more NL Child Ballad variants.


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