Soldier Of Fortune

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This song was inspired by my favourite Paul Brady songs from the time when his repertoire was mainly a traditional one. All of his songs told of great adventures with our rascally hero never failing to land on his feet no matter what the odds.

I’ll sing you a song of a soldier of fortune
I’ll take you away to some far distant shores
Where ne’er a man travels without his shillelagh
There are fine dark haired maidens wherever he goes
In all of his travels he’s ne’er far from danger
From cheeky young scamps and from loose cannonballs
If he needs a roof there are always kind strangers
To bind up his warwounds wherever he falls

He’s often been threatened to take the King’s shilling
When he goes a walkin’ down by the seaside
And the cruel army sergeant will ask if he’s willing
Then offer gold guineas and much else besides
But he’s never fooled by the offers of strangers
He’s learned how to tell who is false and who’s true
His blade and shillelagh will deal with the killing
And noisy wee drummers will get what they’re due

When his money is spent and he has the misfortune
To be lost in the woods in the depths of Creole
He’s frightened to sleep for he knows alligators
Would bite off his head if they’d not eat him whole
But the girls of Creole are not known for their shyness
What use is a lover who’s gone off to sea
So they take the lost wanderer home to their mammy
To tell him that marriage it never could be

He knows that if ever he enters an alehouse
He’s bound to end up in the landlady’s bed
He knows that if ever he wakes in the morning
An almighty headache will thump in his head
He knows that his pockets will always be empty
But for a few coins for the hair of the dog
When he leaves the tavern he knows that he’s meant to
Regret what he’s done and to swear it on oath

When he left Derry key bade farewell to old Ireland
When he shed a sad tear for the Green Shamrock Shore
With thoughts on his comrades, his parents behind him
He knew fortune lay on Amerikay’s shore
So raise up your glass to the soldier of fortune
Let’s drink a good health to the girls of Creole
Let’s toast the landladies whose taverns we’ve entered
Let’s drink a good health to the Green Shamrock Shore