On a bright summer's evening I chanced to go roving
Down by the clear river I rollicked along.
I heard an old man making sad lamentation;
He was rocking the cradle and the child not his own.
Hi ho, hi ho, my laddie lie aisy
For perhaps your own daddy might never be known.
I'm sitting and sighing and rocking the cradle,
And nursin' the baby that's none of my own.
When first that I married your inconstant mother
I thought myself lucky to be blessed with a wife.
But for my misfortune, sure I was mistaken
She's proved both a curse and a plague on my life.
She goes out every night to a ball or a party
And leaves me here rockin' he cradle alone.
The innocent laddie he calls me his daddy
But little he knows that he's none of my own.
Now come all ye young men that's inclined to get married
Take my advice and let the women alone.
For by the Lord Harry, if ever you marry
They'll leave you with a baby that's none of your own.
(Or "and swear it's your own".)