Eighteenth of June All you people who live at home easy And are far from the trials of war Never knowing the dangers of battle But are safe with your families secure Know you, the long scythe of destruction Has been sweeping the nations all round But it never yet cut with the keenness That it did on the eighteenth of June And what a sad heart had poor Boney To take up instead of the crown And to canter from Brussels to Paris Lamenting the eighteenth of June It began about five in the morning And it lasted till seven at night All the people stood round in amazement They had never yet seen such a sight And the thunder of five hundred cannon Proclaimed that the battle was on And the moon in the sky overshone all Recording the eighteenth of June All you young girls with sweethearts out yonder That go daily to buy the black gown It's one thousand to one I will lay you Your love fell on the eighteenth of June Sixty thousand stout-hearted brave soldiers Who died made an awful pall tune And there's many's the one will remember With sorrow the eighteenth of June Listen to Eighteenth of June from: Gráda Watch Eighteenth of June from: Martin Carthy, Eric Starr
Songs That Made History: This year marks the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, which as you all know occured on the 18th of June in 1815. The 7th Coalition was triumphant and Napoleon and his forces were defeated on the famous field which lies 15 km south of Brussels.
Her Mantle So Green As I went out walking one morning in June, To view the fair fields and the valleys in bloom, I spied a pretty fair maid she appeared like a queen With her costly fine robes and her mantle so green. Says I, "My pretty fair maid, won't you come with me We'll both join in wedlock, and married we'll be, I'll dress you in fine linnen, you'll appear like a queen, With your costly fine robes and your mantle so green." Says she now, "You Young man, you must be excused, For I'll wed with no man, you must be refused; To the green woods I will wander to shun all men's view, For the lad that I love fell in famed Waterloo." "O, then, if you won't marry, tell me your love's name, For I being in battle, I might know the same." "Draw near to my garment and there will be seen, His name is embroidered on my mantle so green." In raising her mantle there I did behold His name and his surname in letters of gold; Young William O'Reilly appeared in my view He was my chief comrade back in famed Waterloo. "But when he was dying I heard his last cry 'If you were here, Lovely Nancy, contented I'd die;' Now Peace is proclaimed, and the truth I declare Here is your love token, the gold ring I wear." "O, Nancy, dear Nancy, 'tis I won your heart In your father's garden that day we did part. Now the wars are all over, no trouble is seen And I'll wed with my true love in her mantle so green." Listen to Her Mantle So Green from: Matt & Shannon Heaton, Sinéad O'Connor Watch Her Mantle So Green from: Mothers of Intention, Sinead O'Connor
The Bonny Light Horseman Broken Hearted I Will wander (Roud 1185) Ye maids, wives and widows, I pray give attention, Unto these few lines, tho' dismal to mention I'm a maiden distracted, in the desert I'll rove, To the gods I'll complain for the loss of my love. Broken hearted I'll wander, Broken hearted I'll remain Since my bonny light horseman In the wars he was slain. Well now Bonaparte he has commanded his troops for to stand And he levelled up his cannon all over the land; Yes he levelled his cannon, the whole victory to gain, And he slew my light horseman returning from Spain. Oh if I were a blackbird and had wings for to fly I would fly to the spot where my true love does lie It is with my little fluttering wings his wounds I would heal And 'tis all for teh night long on his breast I would lie. Two years and two months since he left this bright shore, My bonny light horseman that I did adore, O why was I born this sad day to see, When the drum beat to arms and did force him from me. You should see my light horseman on a cold winter's day, With his red and rosy cheeks and his curly black hair. He's mounted on horseback, the whole victory to gain, And he's over the battlefield for honour and fame. Not a lord, duke or earl could my love exceed, Not a more finer youth for his king e'er did bleed; When mounted on a horse he so gay did appear, And by all his regiment respected he were. Oh Boney, oh Boney, I have done you no harm, Tell me why then, tell me why do you cause me such alarm? We were happy together, my true love and me, But now you have stretched him in death o'er the sea. Like the dove that does mourn when it loseth its mate, Will I for my love 'til I die for his sake; No man on this earth my affection shall gain, And a maid live and die for my love that was slain. Listen to The Bonny Light Horseman from: Margaret Bennett, Mark Evans, Craig Herbertson, Lynch The Box, Socks in the Frying Pan, Dáithí Sproule, The Voice Squad, Ewan Wilkinson Watch The Bonny Light Horseman from: Maranna McCloskey, John Faulkner and Dolores Keane, Socks in The Frying Pan, The Voice Squad
Arthur McBride and the Sergeant Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride As we went a-walking down by the seaside Now, mark what followed and what did betide For it being on Christmas morning… Out for recreation, we went on a tramp And we met Sergeant Napper and Corporal Vamp And a little wee drummer, intending to camp For the day being pleasant and charming. “Good morning ! Good morning!” the sergeant did cry “And the same to you gentlemen!” we did reply , Intending no harm but meant to pass by For it being on Christmas morning. But says he, “My fine fellows if you will enlist, It’s ten guineas in gold I will slip in your fist And a crown in the bargain for to kick up the dust And drink the King’s health in the morning. For a soldier he leads a very fine life And he always is blessed with a charming young wife And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife And always lives pleasant and charming… And a soldier he always is decent and clean In the finest of clothing he’s constantly seen While other poor fellows go dirty and mean And sup on thin gruel in the morning.“ “But“, says Arthur, “I wouldn’t be proud of your clothes For you’ve only the lend of them as I suppose And you dare not change them one night, for you know If you do you’ll be flogged in the morning. And although that we are single and free we take great delight in our own company And we have no desire strange faces to see Although that your offers are charming And we have no desire to take your advance All hazards and dangers we barter on chance For you would have no scruples for to send us to France Where we would get shot without warning“ “Oh now!“, says the sergeant “I’ll have no such chat And I neither will take it from spalpeen or brat For if you insult me with one other word I’ll cut off your heads in the morning“ And then Arthur and I we soon drew our hods And we scarce gave them time for to draw their own blades When a trusty shillelagh came over their heads And bade them take that as fair warning And their old rusty rapiers that hung by their side We flung them as far as we could in the tide “Now take them out, Divils!“, cried Arthur McBride “And temper their edge in the morning“. And the little wee drummer we flattened his pow And we made a football of his rowdeydowdow Threw it in the tide for to rock and to row And bade it a tedious returning And we having no money, paid them off in cracks And we paid no respect to their two bloody backs For we lathered them there like a pair of wet sacks And left them for dead in the morning. And so to conclude and to finish disputes We obligingly asked if they wanted recruits For we were the lads who would give them hard clouts And bid them look sharp in the morning. Oh me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride As we went a walkin’ down by the seaside, Now mark what followed and what did betide For it being on Christmas morning. Listen to Arthur McBride from: Martin Carthy, Lehto & Wright, Planxty, Skyhook, Ralf Weihrauch Watch Arthur McBride from: Tiernan McBride's film of Paul Brady's 'Arthur McBride, Paul Brady, Planxty, Andy Irvine, Bruce Guthro, Martin Carthy & Dave Swarbrick, Skyhook
Battle of Waterloo Spring comes to Kirrie, all the world¹s in bloom, Winter is forgiven now, fooled by April¹s broom, Kirrie, oh Kirrie, you were aye my hame Till Napoleon¹s bloody cannon hit their aim, Jeanie oh Jeanie, I am surely done, Stricken down in battle, at the mooth o Boney¹s guns, Jeannie oh Jeannie, aye sae dear tae me, Let me hold you in my mind afore I dee For the cold returns in autumn when the wind rakes the trees, And the summer lies forgotten In a cold bed of leaves, As winter begins aye mind Boney, It wasn¹t only you, Who was broken on the field of Waterloo. Surgeon oh surgeon, leave me wi my pain, Save your knife for others, who will surely rise again, Surgeon oh surgeon, leave my blood to pour, Let it drain into the bitter clay once more, Daughter oh daughter, listen dear tae me, Never wed a sodger, or a widow you will be Daughter oh daughter, curse your lad to die, Ere he catches the recruiting sergeant¹s eye, Boney oh Boney, war was aye your game, Bloody field your table, cannon yours to aim, Boney oh Boney, we aye lived the same, Drilling laddies not to fear the muskets¹ flame, Listen to Battle of Waterloo from: Jim Malcolm, Old Blind Dogs Watch Battle of Waterloo from: Jesse Ferguson
Tune traditional; words and arrangement Jim Malcolm.
This song, based on a traditional tune of the same name, tells the story of a man from Kirriemuir who is dying on the battlefield of Waterloo. In his final moments he thinks of the family he has left behind in Angus, rails against the dangers of soldiering, and tells Napoleon: “It wasn’t only you who was broken on the fields of Waterloo”.
Photo Credits: (1)+(4) Frank Harte, (2) "The Green Mossy Banks of the Lea", (3)+(5) Margaret Barry, (6) "Her Mantle So Green", (7) William Holmes Sullivan "Battle of Waterloo, 18th June 1815" 1898, (8) A Private of the 18th Light Dragoons (Hussars) 1812, (9) "The Bonny Light Horseman" (10) Elizabeth Southerden Thompson (Lady Butler) "Listed for the Connaught Rangers - Recruiting in Ireland 1878", (12) Paul Brady, (13) "Arthur McBride and the Sergeant", (15) Jim Malcolm (unknown/website); (11) Andy Irvine, (14) Old Blind Dogs (by Walkin' Tom).