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

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


Origins: Bonny / Bonnie Light Horseman

DigiTrad:
BONNIE LIGHT HORSEMAN (3)
BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN (4)
BROKEN HEARTED I WANDERED
THE BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN


Related threads:
Lyr/Chords Req: Bonny Light Horseman (9)
Chords Req: Bonnie Light Horseman (7)


GUEST,Mr Happy 02 Nov 05 - 09:41 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Jun 99 - 02:07 PM
SueH 22 Jun 99 - 11:03 AM
Joe Offer 22 Jun 99 - 08:07 AM
Wally Macnow 22 Jun 99 - 07:25 AM
declan 22 Jun 99 - 06:47 AM
Richard Bridge 16 May 99 - 06:56 PM
Art Thieme 16 May 99 - 05:14 PM
Art Thieme 16 May 99 - 04:34 PM
Graham Pirt 15 May 99 - 11:03 AM
15 May 99 - 10:01 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:





Subject: RE: Where is the text for Bonnie light Horseman?
From: GUEST,Mr Happy
Date: 02 Nov 05 - 09:41 PM

one of Mr Happy & fiends latest big hits, seems this song's related:


@displaysong.cfm?SongID=949


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: bonny light horsemen
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 02:07 PM

It seems to be a popular sing at a number of clubs in Kent right now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: bonny light horsemen
From: SueH
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 11:03 AM

We also have recordings by Kate Rusby (on the Sharpe CD, 'Sharpe', and by Planxty.

SueH


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Origins: Bonny/Bonnie Light Horseman
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 08:07 AM

Here's the Traditional Ballad Index Entry on this song:

    Bonnie Light Horseman, The

    DESCRIPTION: The singer calls on listeners to hear of a "maid in distress" who wanders forlorn; "She relies upon George for the loss of her lover." She tells how he went to fight Napoleon and was slain. (She wishes she could join her lover at his grave, and die there)
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: before 1820 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 25(1107))
    KEYWORDS: soldier death separation burial bird Napoleon
    HISTORICAL REFERENCES:
    1760-1820 - reign of George III (the George of the song)
    June 18, 1815 - Battle of Waterloo
    FOUND IN: Ireland Britain(Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Mar) US(MA)
    REFERENCES (6 citations):
    GreigDuncan8 1584, "Broken Hearted I Wander" (4 texts, 4 tunes)
    SHenry H122a, pp. 88-89, "The Bonny Light Horseman" (1 text, 1 tune, with many variations in the source texts)
    Moylan 181, "The Bonny Light Horseman" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Creighton-NovaScotia 69, "Bonny Light Horseman" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Thompson-Pioneer 28, "The Bonny Light Horseman" (1 text)
    DT, BONLGHT* BONLGHT3 BONLGHT4*

    Roud #1185
    RECORDINGS:
    Martin Howley, "The Young Horseman" (on Voice08)
    BROADSIDES:
    Bodleian, Harding B 25(1107), "The Light Horseman Slain in the Wars ," J. Pitts (London), 1802-1819; also Harding B 25(260), Harding B 28(165), Firth c.14(182), Firth c.14(183), Firth c.26(266), "[The] Bonny Light-Horseman"; Harding B 18(55), Harding B 16(34a), 2806 c.16(249), Johnson Ballads 1914, Harding B 20(174), "[The] Bonny Light Horseman"; Firth b.25(230), Harding B 11(413), Harding B 15(29b), "Bonny Light Horseman Slain in the Wars"; Harding B 11(3413), "Bonny Light Horseman Slain in the Wars!"; Harding B 11(1106), "The Light Horseman Slain in the Wars" or "The Lamenting Maiden"
    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "The Bonny Light Horseman" (adult version, per GreigDuncan8)
    NOTES: Napoleon was famous for his handling of artillery (he was the one who gave a crowd the "whiff of grapeshot"), so it is no surprise to find a reference to "Boney" "[fixing] his cannon the victory to gain." - RBW
    The ballad is recorded on one of the CD's issued around the time of the bicentenial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. See:
    Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "The Bonny Light Horseman" (on Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte," Hummingbird Records HBCD0027 (2001)) Hall, notes to Voice08: "'The Young Horseman' is the story of a British soldier who dies in the Egyptian campaign, 1798-1802"; "I once loved a soldier ... To the dark plains of Egypt he was forced for to go.... It was brave Napoleon ... slew brave MacDonald coming over from Spain." - BS
    Though, to be nitpicky, Napoleon didn't himself fight the British in any significant way in Egypt. After the British beat the French fleet in Aboukir Bay, Napoleon fooled around a little in Palestone, then left the area, leaving his army in Egypt to be defeated and captured. - RBW
    Probably should not be split. See Henry pp. 88-89 to help decide. - BS
    Last updated in version 2.8
    File: HHH122a

    Go to the Ballad Search form
    Go to the Ballad Index Song List

    Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
    Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2015 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


The Digital Tradition has four versions of the song:

THE BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN

Ye wise maids and widows, pray listen to me.
To this sad tale I rehearse unto thee
A maid in distress who will now be a rover
She relies on King George for the loss of her lover

cho: Broken-hearted I'll wander, broken-hearted I'll remain
For my bonny light horseman, in the wars he was slain.

Three years and six months since he left England's shore,
My bonny light horseman, will I ne'er see him more?
He's mounted on horseback, so gallant and gay
And among the whole regiment respected was he.

When Boney commanded his armies to stand,
He leveled his cannon right over the land,
He levelled his cannons his victory to gain
And he slew my light horseman on the way coming hame.

The dove she laments for her mate as she flies;
"Oh where, tell me where is my darling? " she cries
And where in this world is there one to compare
With my bonny light horseman who was slain in the war ?"

Recorded by Planxty on After the Break
@war @soldier @death @parting
filename[ BONLGHT
TUNE FILE: BONLGHT
CLICK TO PLAY
RG



BROKEN HEARTED I WANDERED

1.
Broken hearted I wandered,
For the loss of my true lover,
He's a jolly, jolly horseman,
In the battle he was slain.

He had but one sixpence,
And he broke it in two,
And he gave to me the half o't
Before he went away.

He wrote me a letter
In the month of November,
And he told me not to worry
As he was coming home.

2.
Broken-hearted we parted
At the loss of my beloved
He was a jolly sailor
And in battle he was killed.

He had a silver sixpence
And he broke it in two
And he gave me the one half
Before he went away.

He wrote me a letter
And sealed it with his hands
And he told me not to worry
For he was coming home.

Oh were I an angel
And had I wings that I might fly
I'd go to yonder valley
Where my beloved lies.

3.
Broken-hearted I wander,
At the loss of my brother;
He's a jolly, jolly fellow,
At the battle he was slain;
He had a silver sixpence,
And he broke it in twae,
And he gave me the half o't
Before he went away.
If I were an angel
I would fly to the skies,
And far beyond the mountains
Where my dear brother lies.
________________________________________________________

(1) Skipping song; MacColl, Streets of Song, no. 24. "Both
feet together and turning a half circle at each skip.
Learned in Glasgow as a child. The song is also used
for a ring game in Scotland."
Ritchie Singing Street (1964), 29, has a version from
Edinburgh, c. 1918, very close to this. Differs: 1.2 At the
loss of my beloved: 1.3 soldier 1.4 And to battle he must go.
2.1 He gave me a silver sixpence [And an addendum:] Sweet
home/ Marrow bone/ Treacle scone/ Ice-cream cone/ Uncle John!
(2) Ritchie op. cit.,95.
(3) Rymour Club Misc. I (1906-11), 148, from Gorgie
Public School, Edinburgh. The music "is evidently an
adaptation of `Hallelujah to the Lamb'."

@love @playparty
filename[ BONLGHT2
TUNE FILE: BONLGHT
CLICK TO PLAY
MS



BONNIE LIGHT HORSEMAN (3)

Come ye maids, wives, and widows, I would have you pay attention
Unto these few words I am now going to mention
Of a female distracted who is now to wander --
She relies upon George for the loss of her lover

cho: Broken-hearted I'll wander for the loss of my lover;
My bonnie light horseman, in the wars he lies slain.

When Boney commanded his troops where to stand,
He proud held his banner both glorious and grand;
He fixed the cannons, the victory to gain,
And my bonnie light horseman, in the wars he lies slain.

I will dress in man's apparel; to his reg'ment I will go.
I will be a true soldier, to fight all his foes,
And I'd think it an honour, if I could obtain,
To die in those fields where my true love lies slain.

Had I the wings of an eagle, through the air I would fly,
I would fly to the place where my true love doth lie,
And with my fond wings, I would bear on his grave,
And I'd kiss those sweet lips that lie cold as the clay.

note: "Boney" in this song is, of course, Napoleon Bonaparte. "George" is
George III, who was English king during the Napoleonic Wars, though
by this time he was usually mad. The regent was his son, also
George (later George IV). One of Napoleon's favoured tactics was
to line up his artillery just outside musket range and use canister
(casings containing many small projectiles) to tear the opposing
infantry or cavalry to shreds (see the second verse). The theme of
dressing in man's apparel found in the third stanza of this version
is lacking in other versions of the song. This version recorded by
Lisa Null with Bill Shute on "American Primitive." RW

@Napoleon @battle @death @war
filename[ BONLGHT3
RW



BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN (4)

Ye wise maids and widows, I pray give attention
Unto these few lines I'm now going to mention
Our maid in distraction, I'm now going to wander
She relies upon George for the loss of her lover

cho: Broken-hearted I'll wander for the loss of my lover
My bonny light horseman was slain in the war.

Three years and six months since he left England's shore,
My bonny light horseman I'll never see more.
When he mounted on horseback so gallant and brave,
And among the whole regiment respected he was.

There does she lament for the loss of her mate,
"Oh, where will I wander, my true love ! " she said,
"There is no mortal breathing my favour shall gain
Since my bonny light horseman in war he was slain."

If I had wings of an eagle in the air I would fly,
I would fly o'er the field where my true love does lie,
And with my fond wings I would bear on his grave,
And kiss the cold lips that lie cold in the clay.

When Boney commanded his men how to stand
And proud moved the banners all gayly and grand,
He fixed his cannon the victory to gain,
But my bonny light horseman in the war he was slain.

From Songs and Ballads from Nova Scotia, Creighton
@Canada @war @soldier @death
filename[ BONLGHT4
TUNE FILE: BONLGHT4
CLICK TO PLAY
RG
No. 69. Bonny Light Horseman.
A broadside of Waterloo.
apr97


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: bonny light horsemen
From: Wally Macnow
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 07:25 AM

It's an English song from the Napoleonic era with both a great tune and a fine lyric. I have current CD recordings of it on Brokenhearted I'll Wander by Dolores Keane and John Faulkner and English Songs of Love by Julie Murphy, Lynne Denman & Joanne Acty.

Wally


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: bonny light horsemen
From: declan
Date: 22 Jun 99 - 06:47 AM

hi, friends! I'm looking for the words of the song "the bonny light horsemen" does anybody know anything about it?

declan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where is the text for Bonnie light Horseman?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 May 99 - 06:56 PM

Anent another thread really, my daughter (who now has her own rock band see www.torniquet.freeserve.co.uk (no I'm not going to try to make a blue clicky thing)) when she first started (aged about 8) coming to folk clubs with us and singing really liked this one, but she thought it was about a bonny light husband.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where is the text for Bonnie light Horseman?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 May 99 - 05:14 PM

CORRECTION CORRECTION CORRECTION CORRECTION

Sorry folks, Cindy Mangsen's great rendition of "Bonny Light Horseman" is NOT on ___Songs Of Experience__ !!!

It IS on the CD titled ___THE LIGHT OF THE DAY___ !!!! by Cindy and her husband, Steve Gillette. BOTH are fine CDs.

(sheepishly) Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Where is the text for Bonnie light Horseman?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 16 May 99 - 04:34 PM

This song never hit me UNTIL Cindy Mangsen did it on her recent CD---SONGS OF EXPERIENCE---just Cindy and her concertina on this cut. It was like finally hearing the words for the first time--and hearing 'em with an empathy for the tale told in it and for the people involved like I've never experienced before. But Cindy's music (she and Steve are old friends) has always stirred me deeply. I want to give this CD at least 6 stars. It's folk music they way it was meant to be...

Art


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Lyr Add: BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN
From: Graham Pirt
Date: 15 May 99 - 11:03 AM

Great song and a tremendous tune.

BONNY LIGHT HORSEMAN

When Boney commanded his armies to stand
He levelled his cannons right over the land;
He levelled his cannons his victory to gain
And my bonny light horseman in the war he was slain

Broken hearted I'll wander, broken hearted I'll remain
Since my Bonny light horseman in the wars he was slain

If I was a small bird and had wings to fly
I would fly o'er the salt sea where my love does lie
And with my fond wings I'd beat o'er his grave
And kiss the pale lips that lie cold in the grave

The dove she laments for her mate as she flies
"Oh where, tell me where is my darling?" she cries
And where in the world is there one to compare
To my bonny light horseman who was slain in the war


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Where is the text for Bonnie light Horseman?
From:
Date: 15 May 99 - 10:01 AM

There is an entry for it but nothing comes up.


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

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


Mudcat time: 21 April 12:26 PM 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.