Il testo, trovato stampato in un libro: The American Songster. Si tratta di una stampa avvenuta negli Stati Uniti da WA Leary nel 1845 e diffusa in Scozia dal movimento della Temperanza. C’è un’altra versione stampata negli USA nel “Forget-Me-Not Songster” (c 1850), pubblicato da Locke. Tra l’latro, la canzone è catalogata al numero 1153 nel Rood Folk Song Index, che ne elenca 200 versioni.
I’ve played the Wild Rover for many a year
And I’ve spent all my money on whiskey and beer
But now I’m returning with gold in great store
And I never will play the Wild Rover no more.
And it’s no, nay, never
No nay never no more
Will I play the Wild Rover
No never, no more. (RIT.)
I went to an alehouse I used to frequent
And I told the landlady my money was spent
I asked her for a Red Stripe, she answered me “nay”
She said, “Patrons like you, I can get any day!”
From out of my pockets I took moneys bright
And the landlady’s eyes opened wide with delight
She said, “I have Red Stripes, and wines of the best,
And the words that I said, son, were only in jest!”
I’ll go back to Jamaica and lie in the sun
But I will play the part of the prodigal son
And if my girl loves me, as oft’ times before
Then I never will play the Wild Rover no more.