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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Track 1 = In High Germany
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Song TitleIn High Germany
Roud No.904
Collected FromSawyer, David [Phoebus]
LocationOgbourne St. Andrew
CountyWiltshire
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Tune
Date
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 447
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 23rd October 1915, p 2, Part 4, No. 10
RecordingRecorded in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Batcombe, Somerset with the kind permission of the Church Wardens, 30th August 2011.
 
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

"Oh Polly, love, Oh Polly, love! The route is now begun,
And we must march away to the beating of the drum.
Go, dress yourself all in your best and come along with me,
I'll take you to the wars, love, in High Germany."

Verse 2

"Oh Willie, love! Oh Willie, love! You mark what I do say,
I am a feeble woman, I cannot march away.
Besides my dearest Willie, I'm not married yet to thee,
I'm not fitting for the wars my love, in High Germany."

Verse 3

"Oh, I'll hire you a horse love, and on it you shall ride,
For all my delight is to march by your side.
We'll call at every ale house and drink when we are dry,
We'll sweetheart on the road, love, and get married by and by."

Verse 4

"I wish the wars were over, or they never had begun,
For out of old England, they pressed many a bright son.
They pressed my Willie from me, likewise my brothers three,
And sent them to the wars, love, in High Germany."
 
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Notes
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: “Obtained of David Sawyer. The song dates from the time of Marlborough’s campaign in Germany in the year 1704. Unheard of in Gloucestershire and on the Thames banks.”

Note 2

In each verse where the name Willie is used the original text used Billy.

The WGS text differs slightly in every verse and is:

Verse 1

“Oh Polly, love, Oh Polly, love! The route is now begun,
And we must march away to the beating of the drum.
Go, dress yourself all in your best and come along with me,
I’ll take you to the cruel wars in High Germany.”

Verse 2

“Oh Willie, love! Oh Willie, love! You mark what I do say,
I am a feeble woman, I cannot march away.
Besides my dearest Willie, I’m not married yet to thee,
I’m not fitting for the wars, love, in High Germany.”

Verse 3

“Oh, I’ll hire you a horse love, and on it you shall ride,
For all my delight is to march by your side.
We’ll call at every ale house and drink when we are dry,
We’ll sweetheart on the road, love, and marry by and by.”

Verse 4

“I wish the wars were over, or never had begun,
For out of old England, they pressed many a bright son.
They pressed my Willie from me, likewise my brothers three,
And sent them to the wars, love, in High Germany.”

Note 3

The tune used for the recording is fairly common.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.

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