Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home

Lyr Req/Add: The Valiant Soldier (Pete Seeger)

GUEST,Lynn Koch 16 Feb 08 - 09:50 PM
Joe Offer 16 Feb 08 - 11:14 PM
Joe Offer 17 Feb 08 - 01:37 AM
GUEST,Lynn Koch 17 Feb 08 - 06:53 AM
Susan of DT 17 Feb 08 - 09:15 AM
Share Thread
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:

Subject: Lyr Req: The Valiant Soldier (Pete Seeger's vers)
From: GUEST,Lynn Koch
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 09:50 PM

Here's another one. I'm transcribing Pete Seeger's version of "The Valiant Soldier" from "Champlain Valley Songs" (Folkways), and I can't figure out one word in the first verse:

"'Tis of a valiant soldier who lately came from war.
He courted a baron's daughter of honor *duke* and fair..."

It sure sounds like he's singing 'duke'there. Does anyone know for sure?

Lynn Koch

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Add Version: The Valiant Soldier (Hinton)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 16 Feb 08 - 11:14 PM

Well, I found Sam Hinton's version, from his album titled The Song of Men:


Oh, I'll tell you of the soldier, that lately cane from war,
He courted a lady so rare and so fair,
Her riches was so great, they scarcely could be told
But still she loved her soldier because he was so bold.

As they vent to the church, and returned home again
There they saw her father and seven armed men
"Oh," cried the lady, "I fear we'll both be slain!"
"Fear nothing at all," said the soldier again.

Up rode her old father and says, "Is this the way
You bring a scandal to my family?
You might have been some young gentleman's wife
But no in yonders valley I aim to end your life!"

The soldier drew his pistol, he hung it by his side
And swore that "We'd get married no matter what betide"
He drew out his sword, he cause it for to rattle
And the lady held the horses while the soldier fought the battle.

The first one he come to he run it through his brain,
The next one he come to he served him the same
"Let's run," cried the others "for I fear we'll all be slain!"
"To fight a valiant soldier I see it's all in vain."

"Hold on," says the old man, "now don't you be so bold,
And you shall have my daughter and 5,000 lbs. of gold."
"Fight on," cried the lady, "the sum it is too small."
"Hold your band" says the old man, "and you can have it all."

He took the soldier with him, he called him his heir.
T'wasn't from a willin' mind but only out of fear.
"Here's my land and money and here's my house and home
It shall all be at your command when I am dead and gone."

Come all the young ladies that has gold laid up in store,
And never slight a soldier because he is so poor,
For a soldier he's a gentleman both handsome, strong and free,
And he'll fight for his true love as well as liberty.

Notes: Although “The Valiant Soldier” (also called “The Bold Soldier,”“The Dragoon and the Lady” and other names) is usually considered an offshoot of the tragic ballad of “Earl Brand” (Child no.7), the written record concerning the former is quite a bit older than that of the latter. This is probably because “The Valiant Soldier” was born in print, while “Earl Brand” lived in the oral tradition for a couple of hundred years before it saw publication. “The Valiant Soldier” is a good example of a “broadside” ballad, probably written by a professional ballad—monger in the 1800’s (perhaps as a conscious parody on “Earl Brand”) for printing and sale. Now it’s widely sung on both side, of the Atlantic, and scores of versions have been collected. This one is from Arkansas.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: The Valiant Soldier (Pete Seeger's vers)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 01:37 AM

Oh, the Pete Seeger version is in the liner notes:

The Valiant Soldier

'Tis of a valiant soldier
Who lately come from war,
He courted a baron's daughter
Of honor do compare.
He courted her for love,
And her love he did obtain,
And I think that they'd no reason
At all to complain.

As they had been to church
And returning home again,
She met her old father and seven armed men.
Then up stepped the old men
And unto her did say,
"Is this your good behavior?
Is this your wedding day?"

And since you've been so foolish
As to become a soldier's wive,
Down in this lonesome valley
I'll end your pleasant life.
Then up steps the soldier
Saying, "I do not like your prattle,
Although I am a bridegroom,
I am prepared for battle."

He drew his sword and pistol
And caused them to rattle,
And the lady held the horse
While the soldier fought the battle.
Well the first one he came to
He ran him through again.
The second one he came to
He served him the same.
"Hold on!" said the old man,
"You make my blood run cold.
It's you shall have my daughter
And 500 pounde of gold."

Then up steps the lady
Saying "The portion is too small.
Fight on and win the battle
And you shall have it all.
Then up steps the old man
And acknowledged him his heir.
'Twas not because he loved him
'Twas out of dread and fear

There never was a soldier
That was fit to carry a gun,
Who would ever flinch a given inch
Till the battle he had won.

Source: liner notes from the Pete Seeger Folkways Album, Champlain Valley Songs from the Marjorie L. Porter Collection of North Country Folklore. Notes by Marjorie L. Porter and Kenneth S. Goldstein. Folkways Records FH 5210

This ballad has become a battleground for various folklorists intent upon determining its relationship to the Child Ballads Nos. 7 (Earl Brand) and 8 (Erlinton). At best, this ballad can be considered only a secondary version of either. It has proven popular throughout the United States in a form more or less similar to the one given here, which appears to have been reworked by some 17th century hack broadside scrivener from an older ballad, perhaps "Earl Brand" or "Erlinton."
This version was collected by Marjorie Porter from Merton Delorme of Salmon River, Clinton County (New York). Mr. Delorme, a hard-working farmer, and a member of the famous Delorme singing family of the Adirondacks, learned meny of his songs from his mother, Lily Delorme, but took special pains to point up the fact that "The Valiant Soldier" was learned from a neighbor and not his immediate family.

For additional texts and information, see:
Coffin, T., THE BRITISH TRADITIONAL BALLAD IN NORTH AMERICA, American Folklore Society, Bibliographical Series, Vol. II, 1950. Pp. 37-38.
Greene, D.M., The Lady and the Dragoon: A Broadside Ballad in Oral Tradition," Journal of Amer. Folklore, Vol. LXX (1957). Pp. 221-230.
Cazden, N., "The Bold Soldier of Yarrow", JAF, Vol. LXVIII, (1950), Pp. 201-209.
AFS Bibliographical Series, Vol. VIII, 1957. Pp. l93-l9.

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD: The Valiant Soldier (Pete Seeger's vers)
From: GUEST,Lynn Koch
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 06:53 AM

Thanks, Joe! That helps greatly! I didn't have the recording itself; I suspected the text might have been in the liner notes. Again, thanks.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Req/ADD: The Valiant Soldier (Pete Seeger's ve
From: Susan of DT
Date: 17 Feb 08 - 09:15 AM

There are 5 versions in the DT - search for Child #7

Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")

Mudcat time: 20 April 10:43 AM EDT

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.