The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #82243   Message #1508672
Posted By: Wolfgang
24-Jun-05 - 04:19 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Napoleon's Defeat (from Frank Harte)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Napoleon's defeat
The note to this song on the Irish songs from old New England CD (written by Dan Milner)):

(Laws J4) In this classic example of a folk adaptation Northeast lumbermen puposefully whittled down a jingoistic 18-verse piece British military piece, transforming it into an Irish-American ballad. None of the basic facts are lost but gone are references to a host of Eurpoean nobles including the Prince of Brunswick, the Duke of Wellington and the Marquis of Angelsey. Sir William Ponceby (sic) reamins only because he led the famed Enniskillen Dragoons at the battle of Waterloo. Likewise missing is a reference to 'French dogs' found in the original broadside. French-Canadian loggers were plentiful in New England's forests and denigrating words were neither sociable nor prudent. An architect by profession and the deanof Dublin singers, the great Frank Harte made a few alterations himself when he recorded this ballad originally sung by Hanford Hayes of Stacyville, Maine. Mr. Hayes was a woodsman, a foreman of the logdrive on the East branch of the Penobscot River in Maine. At the time Mrs. Flanders met him, he was elderly but still a great ballad singer. He lived alone, made axe handles and trapped bears for bounty. (End of note)

The 'car' makes a lot of sense to me. In all the accounts I have found of the battle the chariot was mentioned (you can find a picture of it when following my link above and clicking on the respective link on that site) that Napoleon left in haste (on horseback) when the battle was obviously lost.