Paddy On The Turnpike/Rakish Paddy

Lyrics: [none]
Music: Traditional

A traditonal fiddle tune played by the New Riders of the Purple Sage as an introduction to "Henry" in several concerts. I have sometimes seen it listed as "Paddy On The Turnpike" and sometimes as "Rakish Paddy" and I'm not sure which tune it is they played.

Also played by Jerry Garcia with the Hart Valley Drifters in 1962.

Although traditionally played as an instrumental, some versions (e.g. The Irish Rovers) are sung with lyrics:

He's Paddy on the Turnpike, the man with the muddy boots
The boy with the drum and the flute and the gun that never learned to shoot
He's a poet and a chancer and he rings the Freedom Bell
To preach the gospel half-possessed in a pushcart bound for hell

Paddy on the Turnpike and he's tearing through the land
A drink of rum and a Thompson gun and a bible in his hand
Don't be talking to him for you'll never be the same
Before you know you'll go and join his patriotic game

He's Paddy out in Boston with the whiskey in his hand
He's a rover, he's a joker, and the son of a highway man
He's a sailor down in Melbourne, and a priest in Bethlehem
And he'll give you his all if you happen to fail, he'll knock you down again


You'll find him in the jungle teaching boys the art of war
You'll hear him in Calcutta reading Kipling at the bar
He's your man for every season with both feet and his gun
He'll read your stars and show you his scars if you're buying in the pub

Forever 'till tomorrow, good as gold that's made of brass
You can trust him with your life or your secrets 'til the last
But you better lock your women up or hide your whiskey neat
For he's the Paddy on the Turnpike that you'll never want to meet

Jerry Garcia Recordings
     Date Album Recorded By
     fall 1962 Folk Time Hart Valley Drifters (note 1)
      6 Mar 1964 Before The Dead Black Mountain Boys

(1) also released on Before The Dead


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