The Jolly Beggar

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birdeen's call

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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!
 

bhaisahab

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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.
 

birdeen's call

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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...
 

bhaisahab

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Staff member
Joined
Apr 12, 2008
Member Type
Retired English Teacher
Native Language
British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
Ireland
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.
 
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