Waterloo (Kenneth Peacock)

It was on one Monday morning
in that lovely month of June,
I went forth to convince my love
all in her youthful bloom;
But the press-gang lay in ambush
and up to me they drew,
And the very next day we marched away
to fight at Waterloo.

It happened on the eighteenth,
the day that I was pressed,
It was on the twenty-second,
I first put on my dress;
My waistcoat of the scarlet,
my hat and feather, too,
And the very next day we marched away
to fight at Waterloo.

The day we fought at Waterloo
it being a heavy blast,
It was early the next morning
we were ordered to Belfast;
And when we came near Belfast town
our captain he did say,
"I am very much in doubt, my boys,
that we won't gain the day."

It was early the next morning
we were signaled on the plain,
Our captain cried, "My hero boys,
don't let your courage wane;
I hope you are victorious
and keep your colours true,
I hope to God you will gain
the day we fight at Waterloo."

It was eight o'clock in the morning,
the battle it did commence,
And every man with sword in hand
to stand his own defence;
The first shot came, my arm swung,
so loudly I did bawl,
And the next one took my leg from me
which caused for me to fall.

And when my limbs were gone from me
I fell down on the plain,
All for to rest my wounded limbs
in heavy wracks of pain;
And when my comrades work was done
'twas up to me they flew,
I have often cried and wished
I'd died that day at Waterloo.

We ranged along till nine o'clock
till the going down of the sun,
Each one of us a husband dear
or a loving mother's son;
Out of eighteen hundred noble slaves
we only lost but two,
They had to yield and quit
that field we gained at Waterloo.

It was by our honorable captain
we were ordered on the course,
The distance being so far home
we were all brought back on horse;
I was both tall and strong-limbed
when I first left my dear,
But now receive a pension
of thirty pounds a year.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a British broadside ballad [Laws J2] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Collected in 1959 by Kenneth Peacock from Mrs Charlotte Decker [b.1884-1967] of Parson's Pond, NL, and published in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.1020-1021, by the National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was also sung in 1929 by Daniel W Endacott [1875-1940] of Sally's Cove, NL, and published as #81 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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