> Folk Music > Songs > The Ramblin' Rover

The Ramblin' Rover

[Andy M. Stewart]

Andy M. Stewart sang his own song The Ramblin' Rover at the Silly Wizard concert at Sanders Theatre, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, in October 1983. This recording was included in 1985 on their REL (UK) and Green Linnet (USA) album Live in America, in 1988 on their Green Linnet CD Live Wizardry, and in 2012 on their CD ‘Live’ Again.

Bob Fox sang The Ramblin' Rover on his 2000 CD Dreams Never Leave You and on his and Billy Mitchell's 2015 live CD, Five Star B&B.

Siobhan Miller sang The Ramblin' Rover in 2017 on her CD Strata. This video shows her at the Year of Scotland Australia showcase at the 2020 Cygnet Folk Festival:

Claire Hastings sang The Ramblin' Rover on Top Floor Taivers' 2017 CD A Delicate Game. They noted:

This is one of our favourite songs to perform live, especially when everyone sings along! We have included this on our album as a tribute to the inspirational Andy M. Stewart, who once told folk magazine Dirty Linen in 1991: “It would be nice for them to remember me in a positive way. It would be nice for my songs to survive.”

Young Scot Rose Byers sang Ramblin Rover on her home farm in April 2020:


Siobhan Miller.sings The Ramblin' Rover

Chorus (after each verse):
Oh there's sober men in plenty and drunkards barely twenty,
There are men of over ninety who have never yet kissed a girl.
But give me a ramblin' rover frae Orkney down to Dover
And we'll roam the country over and together we'll face the world.

I have roamed through all the nations t'an delight in all creation
And enjoyed a wee sensation when the company did prove kind.
And when parting was no pleasure I drunk another measure
To the good friends that we treasure for you're always are in my mind.

There's many who feign enjoyment from merciless employment,
Their ambition was this deployment from the minute they left the school.
And they save and scrape and ponder while the rest go out and squander,
See the world and rove and wander and they're happier as a rule.

If you're bent with arthritis, your bowels have got colitis,
You've galloping' bollockitis and you're thinking' it's time you died.
If you've been a man of action as you're lying there in traction,
You will gain some satisfaction thinking, “Jesus, at least I tried.”