Waterloo (MacEdward Leach) video

See also: Lonely Waterloo (Kenneth Peacock)
#2529: YouTube video by Paolo Calvi
℗2014 ~ Used with permission ~

A maiden fair was walking
down by the riverside,
The crystal tears fell from her eyes
as I walked by her side;
I saw her wavering bosom,
these words being kind and true;
She said, "Friends, I'm afraid
my Willy's slain at lonely Waterloo."

"What were the clothes your Willy wore?"
one soldier there replied,
"He wore the highland bonnet
with a feather standing high,
With a glittering sword hung by his side
o'er his dark coat of blue;
Those were the clothes my Willy wore
at lonely Waterloo."

"If that's the clothes your Willy wore,
I saw his dying day,
Five bayonets pierced his tender breast
before that he down lay;
He held me at his dying hand, saying,
'Some Frenchman did me slew',
It was I that closed your Willy's eyes
at lonely Waterloo."

"Oh, Willy, lovely Willy,"
and she could say no more,
She threw herself down on her knees,
those dreadful tidings bore;
"Oh, if I had wings of little birds,
with eagles I would fly,
I would fly to lonely Waterloo,
where my true love does lie.

I'd alight all on his bosom,
all sorrows to remove,
I'd kiss my Willy's cold,
clay lips at lonely Waterloo;
May the gates of Death swing open wide,
and swallow me down through,
Since my Willy lies a mouldering corpse,
at lonely Waterloo.

####.... Author unknown. Variant of a 19th-century British broadside ballad, Waterloo II [Laws N31] American Balladry From British Broadsides (G Malcolm Laws, 1957) ....####

Sung by Mrs Mary Dunphy [1907-1984] of Tors Cove, NL, and published in MacEdward Leach And The Songs Of Atlantic Canada, ©2004 Memorial University of Newfoundland Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA).

MacEdward Leach also collected a variant published as #127, Lonely Waterloo, in Folk Ballads And Songs Of The Lower Labrador Coast by the National Museum of Canada (Ottawa, 1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved.

A variant was collected by Kenneth Peacock and published as Lonely Waterloo in Songs Of The Newfoundland Outports, Vol 3, pp.1007-1008, by The National Museum of Canada (1965) Crown Copyrights Reserved, and recorded on Peacock's album Songs And Ballads Of Newfoundland, Folkways FG 3505, LP (1956) Cut #B.04.

A variant was collected in 1978 by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best from Phillip Pius Power, Sr [1912-1993] of South East Bight, NL, and published as #67, Lonely Waterloo in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.117-118, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press ©1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that Mr Power described this as a heave-up shanty that he learned from Doug Haynes of Prowston, NL.

The video above features a variant performed live by Laura Torterolo and Birkin Tree from Savona, Italy. During their thirty-year career the Birkin Tree have held more than 1800 concerts in Italy and Europe and are the only Italian trained - and one of the very few in the world - to perform regularly in Ireland, where they have played in some of the most important festivals.


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