Digital Tradition Mirror

The Banks of the Nile

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Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

The Banks of the Nile

Oh, hark -- the drum still beats, my love: no longer can we stay
The bugle horn is sounding clear, and we must march away
We're ordered down to Portsmouth and it's many's the weary mile
To join the British Army on the banks of the Nile

Oh, Willie, dearest Willie, don't leave me here to mourn
Don't make me curse and rue the day that ever I was born
For the parting of our love would be like parting with my life
So stay at home, my dearest love, and I will be your wife

Oh, my Nancy, dearest Nancy, sure, that would never do
The government has ordered, and we are bound to go
The government has ordered, and the Queen, she gives command
And I am bound on oath, my love, to serve in a foreign land

Oh, but I'll cut off my yellow hair, and I'll go along with you
I'll dress myself in uniform, and I'll see Egypt too
I'll march beneath your banner while Fortune, it do smile
And we'll comfort one another on the banks of the Nile

Your waist, it is too slender, and your fingers, they are too small
And the sultry suns of Egypt your rosy cheeks would spoil
Where the cannons, they do rattle and the bullets, they do fly
And the silver trumpet sounds so loud: to hide the dismal cries

Oh, cursed be these cruel wars, wherever they began
For they have robbed our country of many's the handsome man
They've robbed us of our sweethearts, while their bodies, they feed the lines
   (feed the lions?)
On the dry and sandy deserts which are the banks of the Nile

   Learned this from the record Fotheringay, from the singing of
     Sandy Denny, may she rest in peace.
DT #442
Law N9

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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