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Lyr Add: Rambling Soldier

DigiTrad:
THE RAMBLING SAILOR


Scurra 03 Feb 08 - 06:40 PM
The Walrus 04 Feb 08 - 01:10 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 08 - 01:22 PM
RTim 04 Feb 08 - 01:26 PM
GUEST,Jim I 04 Feb 08 - 06:40 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Feb 08 - 07:15 PM
Malcolm Douglas 05 Feb 08 - 02:34 AM
RTim 05 Feb 08 - 08:26 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: RAMBLING SOLDIER
From: Scurra
Date: 03 Feb 08 - 06:40 PM

The tune for this is fairly popular...
Here's the version sung by john Tams et al:

I am a soldier,I will say,
That rambles for promotion.
I've laid the French and Spaniards low
Some miles across the ocean.
So now me jolly boys, I'll bid you all adieu:
No more to the wars will I go with you;
But I'll ramble the country through and through...
And I'll be a rambling soldier.

The king he has commanded me
To range this country over.
From Woolwish up to Liverpool,
From Plymouth back to Dover.
A courtin' all the girls, both old and young
With me ramrod in me hand, and me flattery tongue;
To court them all, but marry none...
And I'll be a rambling soldier.

And when these wars are at an end,
I'm not afraid to mention.
The King will give me my discharge,
A guinea and a pension.
No doubt some lasses will me blame,
But none of them will know my name:
And if you want to know the same...
It's - the rambling soldier!


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Subject: Lyr Add: RAMBLING SOLDIER (from Roy Palmer)
From: The Walrus
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 01:10 PM

Roy Palmer prints a slightly different version:

The Rambling Soldier

I am a soldier blythe and gay,
That's rambled for promotion.
I've laid the French and Spaniards low;
Some miles I've crossed the ocean.
I've travelled England and Ireland too,
I've travelled bonny Scotland through,
I have caused some pretty girls to rue,
I'm a roving, rambling soldier.

When I was young and in my prime
Twelve years I was recruiting
Through England, Ireland, and Scotland, too,
Wherever it was suiting.
I led a gay and a splendid life,
In every town a different wife;
And seldom was there any strife
With the roving, ramblng soldier.

In Woolwich town I courted Jane,
Her sister and her mother;
I mean to say, when I was there,
They were jealous of each other.
My orders came, I had to start,
I left poor Jane with a broken heart,
Then straight to Colchester did depart,
The roving, rambling soldier.

Thwe King permission granted me
To range the country over.
From Colchester to Liverpool,
From Plymouth down to Dover;
And in whatever town I went,
To court all damsels I was bent,
And marry none was my intent,
But live a rambling soldier.

And with the blooming lasses in each town
No man was ever bolder;
I thought that I was doing right,
For the King did want young soldiers.
I told them tales of fond delight,
I kept recruiting day and night,
And when I had made all things right,
Off went the rambling soldier.

And now the wars are at an end
I am not afraid to mention
The King has given me discharge
And granted me a pension.
No doubt some lasses will me blame,
Butnever once they can me shame,
And if you want to know my name,
It's Bill, the rambling soldier.

Copied from: The Rambling Soldier Ed Roy Palmer (Kestrel Books, London, 1977).

Any use?

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rambling Soldier
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 01:22 PM

Another version in the DT.

There seems to be no thread on this song, so later today I will post one of the older versions from Bodleian Ballads early 19th c.).


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Subject: Lyr Add: RAMBLING SOLDIER (from Gardiner)
From: RTim
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 01:26 PM

THE RAMBLING SOLDIER.
As collected by Dr. George Gardiner from - George Digweed of Micheldever, Hampshire in 1905

I am a soldier, blythe and gay,
That's rambled for promotion.
I've laid the French and Spaniards low;
Some miles I've crossed the ocean.
I've travelled England and Ireland, too,
I've travelled bonny Scotland through,
I've caused some pretty girls to rue,
I'm a gay & roving soldier.

When I was young and in me prime,
Twelve years I went recruiting
Through England, Ireland, and Scotland too,
Wherever I was suiting.
With a lady gay and spendful life,
In every town a different wife;
Seldom was there any strife
With a gay & a roving soldier.

In Woolwich town I courted Jane,
Her sister and her mother;
And all the time that I was there,
They were jealous of each other.
Our orders came, I had to start.
I left poor Jane with a broken heart.
From Woolwich town we soon did part,
With a gay & a roving soldier.

The Queen she has commanded me
To range the country over,
From Woolwich town to Liverpool,
From Plymouth back to Dover.
And in whatever town that I went,
To court all damsels I was bent,
And to marry none was my intent,
But still be a roving soldier.

And now the wars are at an end,
I'm not ashamed to mention
The Queen has given me discharge,
And granted me a pension.
No doubt some lasses will me blame,
But none of them can tell my name,
And if you want to know the same,
It's - ????? the roving soldier.

????? - sub any name you want!

Tim Radford


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rambling Soldier
From: GUEST,Jim I
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 06:40 PM

...or Sailor!

Rambling Sailor
I am a sailor stout and bold
For long I ploughed the ocean
To fight for my king and my country too
For honour and promotion
But brother sailors I bid you adieu
I will go no more to the seas with you
I will travel the country through and through
And I'll be a rambling sailor.

When first I came to Greenwich Town
There were lassies plenty
I boldly stepped up to one
To court her for her beauty.
I said "My dear, be of good cheer
I will not leave you need not fear"
But I travel the country through and through
And still be a rambling sailor

And when I came to Woolwich Town
There was Jenny and her mother
I could not choose between them two
So I courted one and then the other
I said "My dear what would you do
There's ale and wine and rum punch too
Besides a pair of new silk shoes
To travel with a rambling sailor

And when I awoke all in the morn
I left my love a-sleeping
I left her for an hour or two
While I went to court her mother.
But if she stay till I return
She may stay until the day of doom
I'll court some other girl in her room
And remain a rambling sailor.

And if you want to know my name
My name it is Young Johnson
I have got a commission from the king
To court all girls is handsome
With my false heart and flattering tongue
I court all girls both old and young
I'll court them all but I'll marry none
And I'll still be a rambling sailor


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rambling Soldier
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Feb 08 - 07:15 PM

Guest JimI- Source?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rambling Soldier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 02:34 AM

A standard 'Rambling Sailor' text, with tune, is in the DT: The Rambling Sailor. It is copied from Roy Palmer, The Oxford Book of Sea Songs, but sadly neglects to include the source information: text is from a broadside issued by Disley of London, while the tune was noted by Cecil Sharp from George Wyatt, West Harptree, Somerset, 14 April 1904.

The DT file Rambling Soldier/Trim-Rigged Doxy is from Louis Killen and isn't actually 'The Rambling Soldier' at all, but a completely different song with the first verse of 'Rambling Sailor' stuck on at the beginning. Where this came from prior to him (supposing that the combination wasn't his own idea), we are not told.

The 'Rambling Soldier' text Tim posted isn't quite as collected by Gardiner. Mr Digweed didn't leave a gap in the final line, but sang 'Bill' as in broadside editions of the song; it was Frank Purslow's idea to leave a gap so that singers could insert the name of their choice. Digweed also sang 'queen' instead of the original 'king', having learned the song during Victoria's reign.

It was written, presumably a little before Victoria's accession in 1837, by one John Morgan, who produced a number of songs for the broadside press in the '30s and '40s. He modelled it closely, of course, on the earlier 'Rambling Sailor', and it is usually sung to the same tune. Broadside examples of both songs can be seen at Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

[The] Rambling Soldier

[The] Rambling Sailor

'Rambling Sailor' has been found in tradition reasonably often, but 'Rambling Soldier' rarely. Beside Mr Digweed's set, there is one from Cornwall in Fred Hamer, Garners Gay, London: EFDS 1967, 74; and the Roud Index lists a few in American collections.

My guess would be that John Tams (who, by the bye, has recently been awarded an honorary degree by Sheffield Hallam University) adapted the Digweed set as it appeared in Frank Purslow's Marrow Bones: English Folk Songs from the Hammond and Gardiner Manuscripts (London: EFDS, 1965) complete with Frank's 'insert your name here' option. The new edition of Marrow Bones ( available from The English Folk Dance and Song Society ) contains further background information on the song.

I should add that the text 'Walrus' quotes from Palmer's Rambling Soldier isn't from tradition, but was taken from a broadside edition by Such, which can be seen at the Bodleian website. The tune Palmer set it to is another 'Rambling Sailor' version, noted by Cecil Sharp from John Fry of Tomarton, Gloucestershire, 3 April 1907.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Rambling Soldier
From: RTim
Date: 05 Feb 08 - 08:26 AM

I have always been interested in this song - mainly because I worked for a while with Mr. George Digweed's Grandson way back in the 1960's. It's so long ago I can't even remember my work mate's name, and at that time I was so shy and shallow that I didn't do anything about finding out more about the old guy, much to my current chagrin!!
I seems that George must have been quite a character according to what I have found out since, via the Gardiner manuscripts and people like Malcolm Douglas.

Tim Radford


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