Raggle Taggle Gypsy - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Although often thought of as Irish, Raggle Taggle Gypsy is actually a border ballad from Scotland.  Some believe, perhaps a touch romantically, that the song is based on true events, the story being that in 1642 a Scottish gypsy named John Faw ran away with Lady Jane Hamilton, the wife of the Earl of Cassilis.  The Earl, being less than totally impressed, gave pursuit.  Having caught the couple, he had Faw hanged, and his wife imprisoned.  Whilst this story may or may not be true, it's certainly easy to see why a song about a handsome gypsy making off with a nobleman's wife became popular.  There is an interesting article about the song here

Chords

                     Em
There were three old gypsies came to our hall door
 

Em             D                 Bm
They came brave and boldly-o


        D                                     Em
And one sang high and the other sang low


                       Em                                         C  D    Em  
And and the other sang a raggle taggle gypsy-o

Lyrics

There were three old gypsies came to our hall door
they came brave and boldly-o
And one sang high and the other sang low
and the other sang a raggle taggle gypsy-o

It was upstairs downstairs the lady went
put on her suit of leather-o
And there was a cry from around the door
she's away wi' the raggle taggle gypsy-o

It was late that night when the Lord came in
enquiring for his lady-o
And the servant girl she said to the Lord
"She's away wi' the raggle taggle gypsy-o"

"Then saddle for me my milk white steed
- my big horse is not speedy-o
And I will ride till I seek my bride
she's away wi' the raggle taggle gypsy-o"

Now he rode East and he rode West
he rode North and South also
Until he came to a wide open plain
it was there that he spied his lady-o

"How could you leave your goose feather bed
your blankeys strewn so comely-o?
And how could you leave your newly wedded Lord
all for a raggle taggle gypsy-o?"

"What care I for my goose feather bed
wi' blankets strewn so comely-o?
Tonight I lie in a wide open field
in the arms of a raggle taggle gypsy-o"

"How could you leave your house and your land?
how could you leave your money-o?
How could you leave your only wedded Lord
all for a raggle taggle gypsy-o?"

"What care I for my house and my land?
what care I for my money-o?
I'd rather have a kiss from the yellow gypsy's lips
I'm away wi' the raggle taggle gypsy-o!"

Other Scottish Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs