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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleOff to Flanders
Roud No.1260
Collected FromPillinger, John
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 2 - Gloucestershire: Williams, A: MS collection No Gl 108
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 15th January, 1916, p 2, Part 14, No. 11: Williams, A: Folk songs of the upper Thames, 1923, p 131
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

"Dear brother, farewell! I am now going to Flanders,
Amongst bold commanders,
Once more for to bid old England adieu;
I've a while for to stay and then march away,
I'm an officer noble;
Dear brother, go with me, and leave off your plough."

Verse 2

"I would rather stay at home, reaping and mowing,
A-ploughing or sowing,
Or else in some barn, a-threshing of corn,
Than to leave Joan my wife, she's the joy of my life,
For to go a-fighting,
What I never took delight in. Dear brother, farewell!"

Verse 3

"Duke William, you know, stood in front of the battle,
Where the loud cannons rattle,
He ventured his life and why should not I?
At the Royal Crown Inn our army was staying;
Without dread or fear, my boys,
Our army shall fire from the front to the rear."
Print Song Lyrics
Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS / FSUT: 'This quaint old song seems to have been penned about the time of the wars of William of Orange, in the Netherlands, 1690. I obtained it of John Pillinger, the wooden legged veteran of Sevastopol, formerly of Lechlade.'

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2010.



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