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Lyr Add: The Deserter from Kent


Related threads:
Info requested re: 'The Deserter' (31)
Lyr: The Letter/The Deserter/Le Deserteur (Vian) (30)
Lyr Req: Don't Despise the Deserter (John Richards (6)
Lyr Req: The Deserter (from Wiggy Smith) (5)
Lyr Add: The Deserter (trad. Newfoundland) (1)
Lyr Req: The Deserter (Jon Richards) (5)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Deserter From Kent
The Deserter From Kent (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)

Alan of Australia 21 Jan 00 - 07:08 PM
Joe Offer 11 Feb 03 - 12:23 PM
Malcolm Douglas 11 Feb 03 - 12:43 PM
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From: Alan of Australia
Date: 21 Jan 00 - 07:08 PM

From the Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs, Ed Pellow's rendition of the tune of The Deserter From Kent can be found here.


Sung by Mr Kemp, Elstead, Surrey (W.F. 1907)

Come all you young fellows, give an ear to my song;
I will tell you of a story that will not take you long,
That it might be a warning to young and to old,
Not to sell one another for the sake of their gold.

It happened about a twelvemonth ago,
There was two young fellows which most of us know,
Oh, one was a deserter as plain did appear,
Came from the west of Kent up to harvesting here.

Oh, what a deceiver he met with that year!
Both sat in an alehouse a-drinking of beer.
And all in good friendship he told what he knew,
Not thinking he'd been drinking all day with the foe.

Then after a while this man went away.
He met with two soldiers that very same day.
They were after a deserter, and to him did say,
Then he swore he'd been drinking with one all the day.

Then says the soldier: 'It'll answer our plan -
One guinea we'll give you; come show us the man.'
Then 'twas 'Come along with me' the fellow did say,
And down to the alehouse went William straightway.

Then in went the soldiers without dread or fear.
'What cheer?' says the fellow, then 'Give them some beer.
What regiment are you?' 'The Ninth,' they did say.
'What regiment are you? Come tell us, we pray.'

'No regiment at all,' so bold and so gay -
'Then we'll find one for you,' the soldiers did say.
They took him and kept him in hold all that night,
Until the next morning when it was day light.

Then to Maidstone Gaol they took him straightway,
Wrote down to his regiment: 'Come fetch him away.'
They marched him through town and they marched him through city,
With his hands tied behind him, and the ladies cried pity.

And now to conclude, I will tell you my hope.
May all such informers be faced with the rope.
They would sell one another for the sake of their gain,
And no doubt they will get just reward for their pain.

Previous song: The Death Of Queen Jane.
Next Song: The Devil And The Ploughman.

Alan ^^

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Subject: RE: Lyr & Tune add: The Deserter From Kent
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:23 PM

There is another "Deserter" thread going, and it seems it might be a good idea to look sort through the various deserter songs and figure out which is which. Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry for this one.
-Joe Offer-

Deserter from Kent, The

DESCRIPTION: A deserter comes to join the harvesting. He talks too freely to a man in the tavern, who informs on him. He is arrested, taken to jail, then marched through the streets as he is returned to his regiment. The singer curses all informers.
AUTHOR: unknown
KEYWORDS: army desertion betrayal soldier curse
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South))
REFERENCES (3 citations):
Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 32-33, "The Deserter from Kent" (1 text, 1 tune)
MacSeegTrav 87, "The Deserter from Kent" (1 text, 1 tune)

cf. "The Rambling Royal"
File: VWL032

Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2002 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.

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Subject: RE: Lyr & Tune add: The Deserter From Kent
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 11 Feb 03 - 12:43 PM

Roud 2510

Lines 3 and 4 were missing from Mr Kemp's song; the editors have added two from "the related Army song: The Rambling Royal" (source unspecified). They have also slightly re-written the final verse.

The tune is a variant of the familiar Villikins.

The DT file DESERTER is not a distinct variant of the song, but a misheard and unattributed transcription from a record, or from somebody's singing, of the "Penguin" Deserter from Kent.

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