Digital Tradition Mirror

Polly Oliver

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Polly Oliver

One night Polly Oliver lay musing in bed,
A comical fancy came into her head;
"Neither father nor mother shall make me false prove
I'll 'list for a soldier and follow my love."

Early next morning this fair maid arose,
She dressed herself in a suit of men's clothes,
Coat, waistcoat and breeches, and sword by her side
On her father's black gelding like a dragoon she did ride.

She rode till she came to fair London town,
She dismounted her horse at the sign of the crown;
The first that came to her was a man from above,
The next that came down was Polly Oliver's true love.

"Good evening, good evening, kind captain" said she,
"Here's a letter from your true love Polly Oliver," said she.
He opened the letter and a guinea was found,
For him and his companions to drink her health round.

Supper being ended, she held down her head
And called for a candle to light her to bed;
The captain made this reply, "I have a bed at my ease,
You may lie with me, countryman, if you please."

To lie with a captain is a dangerous thing,
I'm a new enlisted soldier to fight for my king;
To fight for my king by sea and by land,
Since you are my captain, I'll be at your command."

Early next morning this fair maid arose,
And dressed herself in her own suit of clothes,
And downstairs she came from her chamber above,
Saying, " Here is Polly Oliver, your own true love."

He at first was surprised, but laughed at the fun,
And then they were married and all things were done;
"If I had laid with you the first night, the fault had been mine,
I hope to please you better, love, for now is the time."

From an English broadside, 1840; tune from Kidson, Traditional
DT #446
Laws N14

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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