Teddy McGraw

Singer: 

Michael Cassius Dean

Recorder: 

Robert Winslow Gordon

Recording Date: 

Sep. 1924

Location of Recording: 

Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA

Duration: 

0:33

Transcription: 

[Come,] all of you Hibernian sons, I’ll tell you how the war begun,
It was caused by Mrs. McGraw and son, and that’s the way the war begun,
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

Mrs. McGraw to the Captain did say, my son Teddy is bold and brave,
Put on his head a golden cap, blood and ounds, [Teddy, what do you think of that?
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.]

Rights: 

Duplication of sound recordings may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Language: 

en-US

Type: 

Music Recording

Format: 

mp3

Publisher: 

Brian Miller, Emma Dowd, Diane Giebink-Skoglind

Original Format: 

Wax Cylinder

Is Part Of: 

AFS Preservation Reel: AFS 19011A
G85
Misc. 143

Folk Song Index Numbers: 

Roud #678

Alternative Titles: 

Mrs. McGrath

Song Summary: 

Mrs. McGrath tells a captain that her son Teddy is "bold and brave" and soon Teddy sails off to war as a soldier and fights in many far away places. For seven years she waits for him and at last he returns with both legs gone due to a cannon ball. She curses the wars.

Tags: 

First Line: 

Come, all of you Hibernian sons, I'll tell you how the war begun

Full Song Text: 

Come, all of you Hibernian sons, I’ll tell you how the war begun,
It was caused by Mrs. McGraw and son, and that’s the way the war begun,
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

Mrs. McGraw to the Captain did say, my son Teddy is bold and brave,
Put on his head a golden cap blood and ounds, Teddy, what do you think of that?
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

Teddy sailed across the say and he fought in the war for many a day,
He fought in Spain and Cuba, too, he lost his legs at Timbuctoo,
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

Then Mrs. McGraw went down to the shore and she waited there for seven years or more,
She spied a ship far out at say, blood and ounds, it’s a warning, clear the way,
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

Teddy landed without any legs, in the place of them he had wooden pegs,
When he’d embraced his mother a time or two she says, “Teddy, dear, sure it is not you,
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

Oh, was you drunk or was you blind when you left your two legs far behind,
Or was you wading across the sea and wore your legs off to the knee?
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

I was nather drunk or was I blind whin I left my two legs far behind,
But when a mighty cannon ball, WHOO! it took me legs off, brogues and all,
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

A mighty war I will proclaim again’ the king and queen of Spain,
And I will make them rue the day when they shot the legs off me child away,
With me ran-tan-ah-toor-a-nah—my son was a Teddy McGraw.

Full Song Text Source: