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The Kerry Recruit
Traditional Irish Songs


About four years ago, I was digging the land
with my brogues on my feet and my spade in my hand
says I to myself what a pity to see
Such a fine strapping lad footing turf in Tralee

Chorus:
Wid me toora na nya, and me toora na nya
Wid me toora na noora na noora na nya

So I buttoned my brogues and shook hands with my spade
and I went to the fair like a dashing young blade
When up comes the sergeant and asks me to 'list
"Arra, Sergeant, a gra, put the bob in my fist"

And the first thing they gave me it was a red coat
with a wide strap of leather to tie round my throat
They gave me a quare thing, I asked what was that
and they told me it was a cockade for my hat

The next thing they gave me, they called it a gun
with powder and shot and a place for my thumb
And first she spit fire and then she spit smoke
Lord, she gave a great lep and my shoulder near broke

The next place they sent me was down to the sea
On board of a warship bound for the Crimea
Three sticks in the middle all rowled round with sheets
Faith, she walked thro' the water without any feet

We fought at the Alma, likewise Inkermann
but the Russians they whaled us at the Redan
In scaling the walls there myself lost my eye
and a big Russian bullet ran off with my thigh

It was there I lay bleeding, stretched on the cold ground
heads, legs and arms were scattered all around
Says I, if my man or my cleaveens were nigh
they'd bury me decent and raise a loud cry

They brought me the doctor, who soon staunched my blood
and he gave me an elegant leg made of wood
They gave me a medal and tenpence a day
contented with Sheela, I'll live on half-pay


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