"Oh, Mrs. McGrath," the sergeant said,
"Would you like a soldier of your son, Ted?
With a scarlet coat, and a big cocked hat,
Now Mrs. McGrath would you like that?"
With your too-ri-aa, fol did-dle-di-aa,
too-ri-aa, fol did-dle-di-aa, too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa,
Now Mrs. McGrath lived on the shore
And after seven long years or more
She spied a ship come into the bay,
With her son from far away.
"Oh, Captain, dear, where have ye been?
You been sailing the Mediterraneaen?
Have you news of my son Ted?
Is he living or is he dead?"
Then came Ted without any legs
And in their place two wooden pegs
Well she kissed him a dozen times or two,
And said: “My God, Ted, is it you?
Oh were ye drunk or were ye blind
That ye left your two fine legs behind?
Or was it walkin' upon the sea
That wore your two fine legs away?"
"Now I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind.
A cannon ball on the fifth of May,
Tore my two fine legs away."
"My Teddy boy," the widow cried,
"Yer two fine legs were yer mother's pride,
Stumps of a tree won't do at all,
Why didn't ye run from the big cannon ball?"
“All foreign wars I do proclaim
Live on blood and a mother’s pain
I’d rather have my son as he used to be
Than the king of America and his whole Navy.”