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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleBonny bunch of roses o
Roud No.664
Collected FromIles, Elijah
LocationInglesham
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 391; WSRO: 2598/28: Williams, A: Round about the Upper Thames Ms Vol. 2 p 2/18
Source SecondaryWilliams, A: Round about the upper Thames, Duckworth, 1922 p 306
Recording
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

By the dangers of the ocean,
One morning in the month of June,
The feathered warbling songsters,
Their charming notes so sweet did tune.
There I espied a female,
Seemingly in grief and woe,
Conversing with young Bonaparte,
Concerning the bonny bunch of roses o.

Verse 2

Oh then, said young Napoleon,
And grasped his mother by the hand,
'Do mother pray have patience,
Until I'm able to command;
I will raise a terrible army,
And through tremendous dangers go,
And in spite of all the universe,
I will gain the bonny bunch if roses o.'

Verse 3

When first you saw great Napoleon,
You fell down upon your bended knee,
And asked your father's life of him,
He granted it right manfully.
'Twas then he took a terrible army,
And o'er the frozen realms did go,
He said, 'I'll conquer Moscow,
Then wear the bonny bunch of roses o'

Verse 4

He took three hundred thousand men,
And likewise kings to join the throng,
He was so well provided
He'd enough to sweep the world along.
But when he came near to Moscow,
Nearly overpowered by driving snow,
All Moscow was a-blazing,
Then he lost the bonny bunch of roses 0.

Verse 5

'Now son, never speak so venturesome,
For England is the heart of oak.
England, Ireland and Scotland,
Their unity has never been broke.
And son, look at your father,
In Saint Helena his body it lies low,
And you will soon follow after,
Beware the bonny bunch of roses o.'

Verse 6

'Oh mother, adieu for ever!
Now I am on my dying bed.
If I had lived I should have been clever,
But now I droop my youthful head.
But while our bones do moulder,
And weeping willows o'er us do grow,
The deeds of brave Napoleon,
Will sting the bonny bunch of roses o.
 
Print Song Lyrics
 
Notes
Williams, Alfred: Ms: no notes

Williams, Alfred: RAUT, Duckworth, 1922, p 306: there is a brief reference to the song being sung by Iles.

Williams, Alfred: RAUT Ms Vol. 2 p 2/18: the text differs slightly in layout and minor textual variations from that in the song manuscript.

Verse 1

By the dangers of the ocean, One morning in the month of June,
The feathered warbling songsters their charming notes so sweet did tune.
It was there I espied a female seemingly in grief and woe,
Conversing with young Bonaparte concerning the bonny bunch of roses o.

Verse 2

"Oh then," said young Napoleon, and grasped his mother by the hand,
"Do mother pray have patience, until I am able to command;
I will raise a terrible army and through tremendous dangers go,
And in spite of all the universe I will gain the bonny bunch if roses o."

Verse 3

When first you saw great Napoleon you fell down upon your bended knee,
And asked your father's life of him, he granted it right manfully.
'Twas then he took a terrible army and o'er the frozen realms did go,
He said, "I'll conquer Moscow then wear the bonny bunch of roses o'

Verse 4

He took three hundred thousand men and likewise kings to join the throng,
He was so well provided he'd enough to sweep the world along.
But when he came near to Moscow nearly overpowered by driving snow,
All Moscow was a-blazing, then he lost the bonny bunch of roses 0.

Verse 5

"Now son, never speak so venturesome England is the heart of oak.
England, Ireland and Scotland their unity has never been broke.
And son, look at your father, in Saint Helena his body it lies low,
And you will soon follow after So beware the bonny bunch of roses o."

Verse 6

"Oh mother, adieu for ever, now I am on my dying bed.
If I had lived I should have been clever but now I droop my youthful head.
But while our bones do moulder weeping willows o'er us do grow,
The deeds of brave Napoleon will sting the bonny bunch of roses o.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.

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