One fine summer's morning both gallant and gay
Twenty-four ladies were out on the quay
And a regiment of soldiers, it did pass them by
A drummer, and one of them soon caught his eye.
He went to his comrade and to him did say,
"Twenty-four ladies I saw yesterday.
Oh and one of them ladies she has me heart won
And if she denies me I'm surely undone."
"Go to this lady and tell her your mind,
Tell her she's wounded your heart inside.
Go tell her she's wounded your poor heart full sore,
And if she denies you what can she do more."
So early next morning this young man arose,
Dressed himself up in a fine suit and clothes.
With a watch in his pocket and a cane in his hand,
Saluting the ladies, he walked down the strand.
He went up to her and he said, "Pardon me.
Pardon me, lady, for making so free.
Oh, me fine honoured lady, you have my heart won
And if you deny me I'm surely undone."
"Be off, little drummer, now what do you mean?
I'm the lord's daughter of Ballykisteen.
Oh, I'm the lord's daughter that's honoured, do you
Go off, little drummer, you're making too free."
He put on his hat and he bade her farewell
Saying, "I'll send me soul down to heaven or hell,
For with this long pistol that hangs by my side.
Oh I'll put an end to me own dreary life."
"Come back, little drummer, and don't take it ill
For I do not want to be guilty of sin,
To be guilty of innocent blood for to spill,
Come back, little drummer, I'm here at your will.
"And we'll hire a car and to Bansha we'll go.
There we'll be married in spite of our foes.
Oh for what can they say when it's over and done
But I fell in love with the roll of your drum."