Mrs McGrath lyrics

by Bruce Springsteen

Now, Mrs. McGrath, the sergeant said,
Would you like a soldier of your son Ted?
With a scarlet coat and a big cocked hat,
Now Mrs. McGrath, wouldn you like that?

With your too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ay
Too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-ay.

Now Mrs. McGrath lived on the shore
And after seven years or more,
She spied a ship come into the bay,
With her son from far away.

"Oh captain dear, where have you been,
You been sailing the Mediterranean,
Have you news of my son Ted,
Is he living or is he dead?"

With your too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ay
Too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-ay.

Then came Ted without any legs,
And in their place two wooden pegs.
She kissed him a dozen times or two,
And said, "My God Ted is it you?"

"Now were you drunk or were you blind,
When you left your two fine legs behind,
Or was it walking upon the sea,
That wore your two fine legs away?"

With a too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ay
Too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-ay.

With a too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ay
Too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-ay.

"Now I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind,
A cannon ball on the fifth of May,
Tore my two fine legs away."

"My Teddy boy, the widow cried,
"Your two fine legs were your mother's pride.
Stumps of a tree won't do at all,
Why didn't you run from the cannon ball?"

With a too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ay
Too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-ay.

With a too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ay
Too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-ay.

Instrumental

"All foreign wars, I do proclaim,
Live on blood and a mother's pain,
I'd rather have my son as he used to be,
Than the King of America and his whole Navy!"

With a too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-ay
Too-ri-ay, fol-did-dle-di-ay
Too-ri, oo-ri, oo-ri-ay... x4

Instrumental...

Song Details

Ellen McGrath
Ellen McGrath

Writer: Traditional

Also known as: Mrs. McGraw, My Son Ted, and The Sergeant and Mrs. McGrath

Date: The earliest written account in Ireland - 1876

Brief: The song tells the story of Mrs McGrath, an Irish woman whose son enters the British Army and returns seven years later having lost both legs to a cannonball while fighting against Napoleon during the Peninsular War of the early 19th century. The most popular version of this song was recorded by Bruce Springsteen ... The Stanfields version is similar while earlier versions of the song are perhaps the most accurate in terms of lyrics.

Category: Anti-war

Other Popular Recording Artists: Burl Ives, Clancy Brothers, Pete Seeger, Fiddler's Green, The Dubliners, The Stanfields...

Logo Mrs McGrath by Bruce Springsteen from the album Live In Dublin

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