13. THE GYPSY ROVER
The Whistling Gypsy, sometimes known simply as The Gypsy Rover, is a well-known ballad composed and copyrighted by Dublin songwriter Leo Maguire in the 1950s.
There are a number of similar traditional songs about a well-off woman’s encounter with gypsies, dating back at least as far as the early 19th century, known as “The Raggle Taggle Gypsy”, “The Raggle Taggle Gypsies”, “The Gypsy Laddie”, “Nine Yellow Gypsies”, “Gypsie Davie” and “Black Jack Davie”.
The story-line usually revolves around a woman leaving her home and her “wedded lord” to run off with one or more Gypsies, to be pursued by her husband. In some songs the lady is pursued by her father, and when he catches the pair the “Gypsy” reveals himself to be the “lord of these lands all over”.
The Gypsy Rover has been recorded by numerous artists, including The Clancy Brothers, The Kingston Trio, The Highwaymen (who had a Top 40 hit with the song) and The Wiggles, among others.
GYPSY ROVER Traditional in the Key of C