One fine summer’s morning, both gallant and gay,
Twenty-four ladies went out on the quay,
And a regiment of soldiers it did pass them by,
A drummer and one of them soon caught his eye.
He went to his comrade and to him did say,
“Twenty-four ladies I saw yesterday,
Oh, but one of them ladies she has me heart won,
And if she denies me, I’m surely undone.”
“Go to this lady and tell her your mind
Tell her she’s wounded your poor heart inside.
Go and tell her she’s wounded your poor heart, full sore,
And if she denies you what can she do more?”
So early next morning the young man arose,
Dressed himself up in a fine suit of clothes,
With a watch in his pocket and a cane in his hand,
Saluting the ladies he walked down the strand.
He went up to her and he said “Pardon me,
Pardon me lady for making so free,
Oh me fine honoured lady, you have me heart won,
And if you deny me, I’m surely undone.”
“Be off little drummer, now what do you mean?
For I’m the lord’s daughter of Ballycasteen.
Oh, I’m the lord’s daughter that’s honoured, you see,
Be off little drummer, you’re making too free.”
He put on his hat and he bade her farewell
Saying “I’ll send my soul down to heaven or hell.
For with this long pistol that hangs by my side,
Oh, I’ll put an end to my own dreary life.”
“Come back little drummer, and don’t take it ill,
For I do not want to be guilty of sin,
To be guilty of innocent blood for to spill.
Come back little drummer, I’m here at your will.”
“We’ll hire a car and to Bansheer we’ll go.
There we’ll be married in spite of our foes.
Oh, but what can they say when it’s over and done,
But I fell in love with the roll of your drum?”