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The Green Garters

[ Roud 29510 ; trad.]

Len Graham sang The Green Garters in 1984 on his Claddagh album with Fintan McManus, Ye Lovers All. He noted:

A song about ‘six-timing’ and its consequences, which came from Malachy Clerkin of Threemilehouse, County Monaghan. I substituted Malachy’s air for one I heard the late Richard Hayward of Belfast sing to The Bonny Wee Window.


Len Graham sings The Green Garters

In the town of Belfast where I went a-sporting,
Myself and a wee lassie first fell a-joking.
I courted six fair maids and some my acquaintance,
And soon they showed me the right way of repentance.

Chorus (after each verse):
Right tor-in and ad it de, tor-in in ad it de
Tor-in in nur in nin nur in na nay.

Oh, out of the six that young Arthur had chosen,
He indeed played a trick on the even half dozen.
He brought them green garters to please them completely,
And under their borders they wore them so neatly.

We went into an alehouse to get us some craythur.
I first rang the bell and in came the waiter.
I sat them down one by one just as I was able,
And ordered more drink to be brought to the table.

I took over my chair and I sat in the middle.
“Come all my wee lassies, I’ll read you a riddle.”
On raising my glass sure I drank to bold Arthur,
Likewise the wee lassie that wore the green garters.

“Well indeed then,” says Jane, “it was me he admired.”
“To hell then,” says Kate, “I will call you a liar.”
On raising their dresses and all in good order,
And each of them wore it right under their border!

Oh, one took my coat and another my beaver,
And one took my shirt and called me a deceiver.
One took my vest and another my britches.
To hell with you all for a parcel of—ladies!

They left me alone in the alehouse lamenting,
They left me alone in the alehouse for the reckoning.
The landlord came in and he said, “Cousin Arthur,
Will you sport any more with your funny green garters?”