Soldier Boy (Greenleaf & Mansfield)

As I roved out one evening
in the springtime of the year,
Through flowering fields and sweet latels
my courses I did steer;
There I see all the young soldiers
and a pretty maid,
Sat gazing on each other's company
in the shade.

I was struck all in amazement
when I saw the damsel fair,
Her jet black locks was hanging down
all over her shoulder bare;
Her fair fine face enticed me,
which caused me to delay,
I sat awhile in ambush
to hear what they did say.

The soldier broke the silence,
these words to her did say,
"Cheer up, my lovely Sally,
and do not be dismayed;
The regiments are gathering,
in short I will away,
For I hear the bugle sounding
and that call I must obey.

"O Sally, lovely Sally,
you best mind what I do say,
For Englishmen are always brave,
wherever that they go;
And a thousand more young Irish boys
must join so well as me,
And we must fight, conquer, or die,
before the enemy.

"Cheer up, my lovely Sally,
and do not be dismayed,
While on the plains of India
we show what we can do;

When this young couple had to part,
down her cheeks the tears did roll,
They did embrace each other,
their hearts then filled with woe;
"I hope kind fortune will favor you
and vict'ries crown your joy,
My earnest prayer for your welfare,
my brave young soldier boy."

####.... Author unknown. Fractured variant of a British broadside ballad, Soldier Boy [Laws O31] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####
From a 1928 recording by Jane Quackenbush of John Henry Gueunuex of Barr'd Harbour, NL, published as #80 on p.164 in Ballads And Sea Songs Of Newfoundland, by Elisabeth Bristol Greenleaf and Grace Yarrow Mansfield (Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, 1933; Folklore Associates, Hatboro, PA, 1968).


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