Freeborn Man of the Travelling People

Words & Music : Ewan MacColl
©Stormking Music
Lyric as sung by Dick Gaughan

I'm a freeborn man of the travelling people
Got no fixed abode, with nomads I am numbered
Country lanes and byways were always my ways
I never fancied being lumbered

O we knew the woods and the resting places
And the small birds sang when winter days were over
Then we'd pack our load and be on the road
They were good old times for the rover

There was open ground where a man could linger
Stay a week or two for time was not your master
Then away you'd jog with your horse and dog
Nice and easy, no need to go faster

Now and then we'd meet up with other travellers
Hear the news or else swap family information
At the country fairs, we'd be meeting there
All the people of the travelling nation

I've known life hard and I've known it easy
And I've cursed the times when winter days were dawning
But I've danced and sang through the whole night long
Seen the summer sun rise in the morning

All you freeborn men of the travelling people
Every tinker, rolling stone and Gypsy rover
Winds of change are blowing, old ways are going
Your travelling days will soon be over


Song Notes

Written by Ewan MacColl for the Radio Ballad, "The Travelling People" (1964)


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