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The Red Bloomers
Vincie Boyle
Mount Scott, Mullagh
Recorded November 2003

Carroll Mackenzie Collection

Vincie Boyle

I’m a shy red-haired woman called Bridget McCann,
And for years I have wanted to marry a man.
I don’t care if he’s fat, if he’s tall or he’s slight,
I just long to keep warm on a cold winter’s night.

I’m sick in the heart and I’m sad and forlorn,
My bloomers are old and my petticoat torn.
Feed the hens, feed the pig, put the cow in the shed,
Sure all that I want is a man in my bed.

I’ve chased them at hooleys, at dances and fairs,
From Cork to Tipperary through Limerick and Clare.
Sure I swear that I’ll bust or go quare in the head,
If I don’t find some auld man to warm my bed.

A shy black-haired tinker came calling one day,
A fine strapping man with a swaggering way.
I put two pounds of powder all over my dial,
And I asked him to rest and sit down for a while.

‘Yerra no, mam,’ said he ‘sure I must cut along.’
‘Yerra nonsense,’ says I ‘sure the night it is young.
I’ve a fine feather bed away up in the room,
And the older the fiddle the sweeter the tune.’

I could see he was game as I stripped by the fire,
His eyes they went crazy with love and desire.
When I came to my bloomers he let out a big roar,
He jumped through the window, I saw him no more.

I’m sick in the heart and I’m sad and forlorn,
And when will I ever get a man of my own?
Sure I won’t give up hopes till I‘m grey in the head,
Sure all that I want is a man in my bed.

So all ye young ladies who are cosy at night,
Keep your hand on your man and be snuggled up tight.
Keep him warm and satisfied, happy and fed,
Sure I’d swap my red bloomers for an auld man in bed.


"Songs about lonely women yearning for male companionship are common in the song tradition. This one is typical of the genre and, while it is fairly popular with modern singers and groups, there seems to be no information as to its origins. Vincie calls it ‘The Red Bloomers', elsewhere it is known as ‘Bridget McCann’ or ‘A Man in My Bed’."
Jim Carroll

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