The Jolly Beggars : I am a son of Mars


I am a son of Mars who have been in many wars, And show my cuts and scars wherever I come; This here was for a wench, and that other in a trench, When welcoming the French at the sound of the drum. My Prenticeship I past where my Leader breath'd his last, When the bloody die was cast on the heights of Abram; And I served out my Trade when the gallant game was play'd, And the Moro low was laid at the sound of the drum. I lastly was with Curtis among the floating batt'ries, And there I left for witness, an arm and a limb; Yet let my Country need me, with Elliot to head me, I'd clatter on my stumps at the sound of a drum. And now tho' I must beg, with a wooden arm and leg, And many a tatter'd rag hanging over by bum, I'm as happy with my wallet, my bottle and my Callet, As when I us'd in scarlet to follow a drum. What tho', with hoary locks, I must stand the winter shocks, Beneath the woods and rocks oftentimes for a home, When the tother bag I sell and the tother bottle tell, I could meet a troop of Hell at the sound of a drum.

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Douglas Henshall

About this work

This is a song by Robert Burns. It was written in 1785 and is read here by Douglas Henshall.

Themes for this song

war death poverty

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