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
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