Bonnie Light Horseman (3)
Come ye maids, wives, and widows, I would have you pay attention
Unto these few words I am now going to mention
Of a female distracted who is now to wander --
She relies upon George for the loss of her lover
cho: Broken-hearted I'll wander for the loss of my lover;
My bonnie light horseman, in the wars he lies slain.
When Boney commanded his troops where to stand,
He proud held his banner both glorious and grand;
He fixed the cannons, the victory to gain,
And my bonnie light horseman, in the wars he lies slain.
I will dress in man's apparel; to his reg'ment I will go.
I will be a true soldier, to fight all his foes,
And I'd think it an honour, if I could obtain,
To die in those fields where my true love lies slain.
Had I the wings of an eagle, through the air I would fly,
I would fly to the place where my true love doth lie,
And with my fond wings, I would bear on his grave,
And I'd kiss those sweet lips that lie cold as the clay.
note: "Boney" in this song is, of course, Napoleon Bonaparte. "George" is
George III, who was English king during the Napoleonic Wars, though
by this time he was usually mad. The regent was his son, also
George (later George IV). One of Napoleon's favoured tactics was
to line up his artillery just outside musket range and use canister
(casings containing many small projectiles) to tear the opposing
infantry or cavalry to shreds (see the second verse). The theme of
dressing in man's apparel found in the third stanza of this version
is lacking in other versions of the song. This version recorded by
Lisa Null with Bill Shute on "American Primitive." RW