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  1. #1
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    The Jolly Beggar

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ0vRnwUfGQ
    Please give it a listen, especially the part starting at 2:52. In this stanza, I find two things hard to understand for me. Here's what I hear
    Now you are no beggar, you are some gentleman,
    For you have stole(n?) my maidenhead, and I am quite undone.
    I am no lord, I am no squire, of beggars I be one;
    And beggars, they be robbers all so you were (are?) quite undone.
    1. What are the meanings of the word "undone" used here? I guess the two utterances have different meanings, but I get neither. I understand the girl got deflowered, but I think "undone" doesn't mean deflowered here. Is it "not entirely dressed"? That also doesn't make sense. Neither does "destoyed" I think...

    2. Why "be"? I see no reason to use bare infinitive here. "I be one", "they be robbers"...

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: The Jolly Beggar

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJ0vRnwUfGQ
    Please give it a listen, especially the part starting at 2:52. In this stanza, I find two things hard to understand for me. Here's what I hear
    1. What are the meanings of the word "undone" used here? I guess the two utterances have different meanings, but I get neither. I understand the girl got deflowered, but I think "undone" doesn't mean deflowered here. Is it "not entirely dressed"? That also doesn't make sense. Neither does "destoyed" I think...

    2. Why "be"? I see no reason to use bare infinitive here. "I be one", "they be robbers"...

    Thank you!
    It means deflowered, ruined, disgraced. This is 18th/19th century Irish English "I be" "they be" is normal in the context.

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The Jolly Beggar

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    It means deflowered, ruined, disgraced. This is 18th/19th century Irish English "I be" "they be" is normal in the context.
    Hi bhaisahab, thanks for your reply!
    As for the "be" question, I'm not sure what context you mean. I understood that it was regional and now is archaic, but still don't understand what its use was. I can see they use standard inflexion everywhere else...

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: The Jolly Beggar

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    Hi bhaisahab, thanks for your reply!
    As for the "be" question, I'm not sure what context you mean. I understood that it was regional and now is archaic, but still don't understand what its use was. I can see they use standard inflexion everywhere else...
    I mean in the context of Irish English of the period.
    It's basically the simplification of the verb "to be":
    I be (I am)
    You be (you are)
    We be (we are)
    etc.

  5. #5
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: The Jolly Beggar

    Thanks, I get it now!

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