A Son of a Gambolier

(1894)

"A Son of a Gambolier" is the third song of Ives' Five Street Songs song cycle. The song is 54th in Ives's song collection 114 Songs.

A Gambolier is someone who decides to have fun irresponsibly (usually through gambling and drinking). The song includes an expansive, tongue-in-cheek postlude, which Ives entitles "Kazoo Chorus," to which he progressively adds instruments, including flutes, fiddles, flageolets, piccolos, ocarinas, fifes, and trombones.

--Christie Finn

A Son of a Gambolier
by Charles Ives


Come join my humble ditty,
From Tippery town I steer,
Like ev'ry honest fellow,
I take my lager beer,
Like ev'ry honest fellow,
I take my whiskey clear.
I'm a rambling rake of poverty,
And a son of a Gambolier.


I wish I had a barrel of rum,
And sugar three hundred pound,
The college bell to mix it in,
The clapper to stir it round;
I'd drink the health of dear old Yale,
And friends both far and near.
I'm a rambling rake of poverty,
And a son of a Gambolier.


Audio PLaylist