> Steeleye Span > Songs > The Drunkard

The Drunkard Reformed

[ Roud 1165 ; Master title: The Drunkard Reformed ; Ballad Index RcWIWAYM ; GlosTrad Roud 1165 ; Wiltshire 194 , 932 ; trad.]

Wally Fuller sang The Bold Drunkards to Peter Kennedy at Laughton, near Lewes, Sussex, 11 November 1952. This recording was included in 2012 on the Topic anthology I’m a Romany Rai (The Voice of the People Volume 22).

Steeleye Span sang The Drunkard in 1976 on the last (and one of the finest) album with their “classic” line-up, Rocket Cottage.


Steeleye Span sing The Drunkard

I will walk the streets up and I’ll walk the streets down;
I will see the landlady dressed in a silk gown.
With my elbows all out and my breeches without knees,
You are the biggest vagabond that e’er I did see.

Where I go so raggedy and you go so fine,
It’s of the good money you have took of mine.
Ale and tobacco for you I have paid,
If I ain’t, you’d have gone in your raggedy ways.

If I had a-listened to my old woman at the first,
I might have had silver and gold in me purse
To maintain my wife and my children so small.
But ’tis I, silly drunkard, have ruined them all.

So I’ll cock up my hat as I had on before,
And I’ll go home to me wife and I’ll love her no more.
The more I will beat her, the more she will cry,
And the more silly drunkard and blackguard am I.

(Repeat first verse)


Thanks to Patrick Montague for correcting the lyrics.