Newry Highwayman


In Newry town I was bred and born
In Stephens Green, I die in scorn
I served me time at the saddler’s trade
But I turned out to be a roving blade

At seventeen I took a wife
I loved her dearer than I loved me life
And for to keep her both fine and gay
I went out robbing on the king’s highway

‘Tis when my money, it did grow low
Upon the highway, I was forced to go
I robbed both lords and ladies bright
And rought it home to my heart’s delght

I robbed Lord Goulding, I do declare
And Lady Mansfield in Grovenors Square
I closed me shutters; bade them good night
And home I went to my heart’s delight

To Covent Garden, I made my way
With me dear wife for to see the play
Lord Fielding’s men, did me pursue
And I was taken by that cursed crew

My father cried “Oh my darling son”
My wife, she cried, “I am undone”
My mother tore her gray locks and cried
It’s in the cradle he should have died

When I am dead, going to my grave
A flashy funeral pray let me have
Six highwaymen for to carry me
Give them good broadswords and sweet liberty

Six pretty maidens to bear my pall
Give them white garlands and ribbons all
And when I’m dead, they will speak the truth
He was a wild and wicked youth

Down 1

Songs of Down


A traditional folk song about a criminal’s life, deeds, and death.  The earliest known copy of this song on broadsheet is from about 1830 (Bodleian Harding B 25(2054)).  Mention of  “Lady Mansfield”  is sometimes taken to be the wife of William Murray, first Earl of Mansfield (1706-1793).

Clip – Reg Keating



Song Themes