Breedloves's Folk Songs


Although widely known, the widely known version of this song is usually somewhat
expurgated. The song with tune was printed about 1740 as a single sheet issue, copies of
which are in the British Library and the Bodleian Library, Oxford. The “Rakes” were the
young gentlemen of the last century who frequented the “waters” of Mallow.” Mallow
(Co. Cork in Ireland) was a well-known spa town at that time. Mallow is located at the
western end of the ‘Golden Vale’ which stretches across Ireland into Meath and Dublin.
Beauing, belleing, dancing, drinking,
Breaking windows, cursing, sinking
Ever raking, never thinking,
Live the Rakes of Mallow;
Spending faster than it comes,
Beating waiters bailiffs, duns,
Bacchus’ true begotten sons,
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
One time naught but claret drinking,
Then like politicians, thinking
To raise the “sinking funds” when sinking.
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
When at home, with da-da dying,
Still for mellow water crying;
But, where there’s good claret plying
Live the Rakes of Mallow.
Racking tenants, stewards teasing,
Swiftly spending, slowly raising,
Wishing to spend all their days in
Raking as at Mallow.
Then to end this raking life,
They get sober, take a wife,
Ever after live in strife,
And wish again for Mallow

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