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Wiltshire Community History

Folk Song Information

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Book TitleAuthorDateNotes
Song TitleSweet Peggy o
Roud No.545
Collected FromIles, Elijah
Collected ByWilliams, Alfred
Alternative Title
Source PrimaryWSRO: 2598/36 Packet 4 - Wiltshire: Williams, A: MS collection No Wt 414: WSRO: 2598/28 Williams, Alfred: Round about the Upper Thames Ms Vol. 5 p 34, 35
Source SecondaryWilts and Gloucestershire Standard, 15th April, 1916, p 3, Part 27, No. 1: Williams, Alfred: Round about the upper Thames, Duckworth, 1922, p 302, 304, 305
Song Lyrics
Verse 1

There was once a captain in Derby O,
And he was come recruiting O.
But a pretty chamber maid,
His heart she betrayed,
And she was called sweet Peggy O.

Verse 2

But he had not been in Derby long,
Before sad news came to him very strong -
"You must come to Killarney and must not delay indeed.
You are wanted at Killarney with all speed."

Verse 3

The captain went to the foot of the stairs -
"O come down with your golden hair!
Come down!" cried the captain O.
"For I to Killarney must now haste away,
Then bid me farewell, pretty Peggy O!"

Verse 4

Then over the ocean he soon sailed away,
And soon he arrived at Killarney O:
But so far, far away,
He was often heard to say -
"Here's a health to the pretty girl at Derby O."

Verse 5

And at Killarney he got very helpless,
For his troubles he never would confess;
Love alone filled his breast,
He never could rest,
And he died for the pretty girl at Derby O.

Toast to Peggy

The God of love his wanton power displays,
And oft torments us in a thousand ways;
And yet on Peggy none can lay the blame,
For not complying with the captain's flame.
Print Song Lyrics
Note 1

Williams, Alfred: Ms / WGS: 'A quaint and amusing piece of considerable age. It is doubtful whether the writer really knew anything of Killarney or not; perhaps he imagined the circumstances. The 'ocean' of the Irish Channel sounds something like Homer's Hellespont, that was usually spoken of as 'boundless'. The toast follows the song; that was spoken. Obtained of Elijah Iles, Inglesham.'

Note 2

Williams, Alfred: RAUT: Chris Wildridge: There is a brief reference to this song in p 302 and verses 1, 3 and 5 are printed on p 304, 305 together with the Toast to Peggy.

Transcribed and edited by Chris Wildridge, 2011.



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