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Wild Rover

A popular and hackneyed folk song of the 19th Century much loved by audiences who join in with the clapping on the No, Nay, Never part of the chorus.


I've been a wild rover for many a year,
And I spent all my money on whiskey and beer,
But now I've returned with gold in great store,
And I never will play the wild rover no more.


And it's no, nay, never
No, nay, never, no more,
Will I play the Wild Rover
No never, no more.

I went down to an ale house I used to frequent,
And I told the landlady my money was spent.
I asked her for credit, she answered me "Nay.
'Tis custom like yours I could have any day."

I dug into my pocket, pulled out sovereigns bright,
And the landlady's eyes opened wide with delight,
She said, "I have whiskeys and wines of the best,
And the words that I spoke, they were only in jest.

I'll go home to my parents, confess what I've done,
And I'll ask them to pardon their prodigal son.
And if they caress me as oft times before,
I never will play the wild rover no more!

Alternative Lyrics:


And it's no, nay, never, no, nay, never, no more
Will I play the Wild Rover, no, never, no more

I've been a folksinger for twenty-five years
We will sing half the night for the fun and free beers
But now that we're older we both know the score
And I never will play the Wild Rover no more

I know it's a song one that pleases the folk
But I have to admit that it just makes me choke
A night with a sore tooth is more fun to me
Than to sing even one verse, never mind two or three

It's a song that's requested again and again
If I hear it once more it'll drive me insane
The words all sound stupid it just makes me wild
And the tune could be learnt by a two-year old child

I'll go to a folk club, take a shotgun along
And I'll shoot the first bastard who asks for that song
And the hangman will say as I fall through the floor
Now you never will play the Wild Rover no more

Words by Hamish Imlach