Digital Tradition Mirror

Mary and the Soldier

Mary and the Soldier

Come all you lads of high renown that will hear of a fair young maiden
And she roved out on a summer's day for to view the soldier's parading

        They march so bold and they look so gay
        The colours fine and the bands did play
        And it caused young Mary for to say
        "I'll wed you me gallant soldier"

She viewed the soldiers on parade and as they stood at their leisure
And Mary to herself did say: "At last I find my treasure

        But oh how cruel my parents must be
        To banish my true love away from me
        Well I'll leave them all and I'll go with thee
        Me bold and undaunted soldier"

"Oh Mary dear, your parents' love I pray don't be unruly
For when you're in a foreign land, believe you rue it surely

        Perhaps in battle I might fall
        From a shot from an angry cannonball
        And you're so far from your daddy's hall
        Be advised by a gallant soldier."

"Oh I have fifty guineas in right gold, likewise a hearth that's burning
And I'd leave them all and I'd go with you me bold undaunted soldier

        So don't say no but let me go
        And I will face the daring foe
        And we'll march together to and fro
        And I'll wed you, my gallant soldier"

And when he saw her loyalty and Mary so true-hearted
He said: "Me darling, married we'll be and nothing but death will part us

        And when we're in a foreign land
        I'll guard you, darling, with my right hand
        And hopes that God might stand a friend
        With Mary and her gallant soldier"

recorded by Paul Brady on "Andy Irvine / Paul Brady" (1976)

"It's the old story of the soldier heading for the wars and leaving the
girl behind him. In some ballads she dressed herself up in men's clothing
and went along with him. Numerous too are the songs about the female
sailors and female soldiers. More often than not she went along as the
pretty drummer boy or the pretty cabin boy. In this particular song, he
is so impressed by her loyalty, that he marries her before he goes away."


Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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