Little Beggar Boy, The
DESCRIPTION: The beggar boy's mother is gone and his father is a drunkard who beats him. He misses his mother and wishes to be buried by her. Last verse: "My coffin shall be black/Six white angels at the back/Two to watch, two to pray/Two to carry my soul away"
EARLIEST DATE: 1962 (collected from Emily Baker)
KEYWORDS: poverty abuse death funeral begging nonballad father mother floatingverses playparty
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (2 citations):
MacSeegTrav 122, "The Little Beggar Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
cf. "Go and Dig My Grave" (floating verses)
cf. "Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John (I)" (floating verses)
cf. "The Drunkard's Lone Child" (lyrics)
NOTES: This should not be confused with "The Little Beggarman," an entirely separate song. The last verse is a floater, tacked on from elsewhere; MacColl & Seeger note that it's a children's game, found in Edinburgh. I've heard recordings of it from Americans as well. I use the keyword "playparty" for the final verse because we lack a keyword "game." - PJS
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2016 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.