Waxie's Dargle
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
This tune is, of course, The Girl I Left Behind Me, this time done as a drinking song.

Much folklore has arisen regarding this tune. One source states the tune was popular as far back as Queen Elizabeth's (Elizabeth I) reign. Another says the tune originated in 1758 when Admiral's Hawke and Rodney were watching the French fleet off the coast.

Theodore Ralph (see citation below) writes that the tune was known in America as early as 1650 and indicates it was a traditional fife tune, imported from England as Brighten Camp. The tune became generally popular during the Revolution.

The tune was known in Ireland as The Rambling Laborer and The Spailpin Fanach and was first published in Dublin in 1791.

Waxies were candlemakers. "Dargle" was a term for their annual trip to Bray. Another source says the Dargle (a popular pub) was also a holiday haunt of the late eighteenth century Dublin candlemaker and grocer, Waxy O'Connor.

There are two other versions of lyrics at:

Auld one: (old one) wife
Auld lad: (old lad) husband
Uncle: some versions use "Young Kill"
Waxies: candlemakers, traditionally women
Dargle: a company or "works" outing (the name apparently derives from the Dargle River)

Says my auld one to your auld one
Will you come to the Waxie's dargle
Says your auld one to my auld one
Sure I haven't got a farthing
I've just been down to Monto town
To see Uncle McArdle
But he wouldn't lend me a half a crown
To go to the Waxie's dargle

Chorus:
What'll you have, will you have a pint
Yes, I'll have a pint with you, sir
And if one of us doesn't order soon
We'll be thrown out of the boozer


Says my auld one to your auld one
Will you come to the Galway races
Says your auld one to my auld one
With the price of my auld lad's braces
I went down to Capel Street
To the pawn shop money lenders
But they wouldn't give me a couple of bob
On my auld lad's red suspenders

Chorus:
What'll you have, will you have a pint
Yes, I'll have a pint with you, sir
And if one of us doesn't order soon
We'll be thrown out of the boozer


Says my auld one to your auld one
We've got no beef nor mutton
But if we go down to Monto town
We might get a drink for nothin'
Here's a piece of good advice
I got from an auld fish-monger
When food is scarce and you see the hearse
You'll know you've died of hunger

Chorus:
What'll you have, will you have a pint
Yes, I'll have a pint with you, sir
And if one of us doesn't order soon
We'll be thrown out of the boozer


Related Links
Lyrics From Barrie McCombs
Information From The American Song Treasury
See Bibliography for full information.