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Lyr/Tune Add: Gentleman Soldier (Penguin)


Related threads:
(origins) Origins: Gentleman Soldier / The Sentry Box (17)
Lyr Req: Soldier Song (5) (closed)
Lyr Req: Gentleman Soldier (from the Pogues) (14)
Lyr Add: The Gentleman Soldier (from Dubliners) (9)

In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Gentleman Soldier (from The Penguin Book Of English Folk Songs)

Alan of Australia 12 Feb 00 - 09:20 PM
raredance 12 Feb 00 - 10:34 PM
Alan of Australia 13 Feb 00 - 07:26 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Sep 00 - 10:42 PM
GUEST,Bruce O. 24 Sep 00 - 04:02 PM
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From: Alan of Australia
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 09:20 PM

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

Sung by Mr Coomber, Blackham, Sussex (A.G.G. 1907)

It's of a gentleman soldier, as a sentry he did stand,
He kindly saluted a fair maid by waving of his hand.
So boldly then he kissed her, and passed it as a joke.
He drilled her into the sentry-box, wrapped up in a soldier's cloak.

For the drums did go with a rap-a-tap-tap,
And the fifes did loudly play, Saying.
'Fare you well, my Polly dear,
I must be going away.'

Oh, there they tossed and tumbled, till daylight did appear.
The soldier rose, put on his clothes, saying: 'Fare you well, my dear,
For the drums they are a-beating, and the fifes so sweetly play;
If it warn't for that, dear Polly, along with you I'd stay.'

'Now, come, you gentleman soldier, and won't you marry me?'
'Oh no, my dearest Polly, such things can never be,
For married I am already, and children I have three.
Two wives are allowed in the army, but one's too many for me!

'If anyone come a-courting you, you treat 'em to a glass.
If anyone come a-courting, you say you're a country lass.
You needn't even tell them that ever you played this joke,
That ever you went in a sentry-box, wrapped up in a soldier's cloak.'

'It's come, my gentleman soldier, why didn't you tell me so?
My parents will be angry when this they come to know.'
When long nine months was up and past, this poor girl she brought shame,
For she had a little militia boy, and she couldn't tell his name.

Previous song: Gaol Song.
Next Song: Geordie.



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Subject: RE: Tune Add: & Lyr add: Gentleman Soldier
From: raredance
Date: 12 Feb 00 - 10:34 PM

Hi Alan,

I see you're up to page 42, closing in on the halfway point. Keep on addin' 'em and a general thanks for your efforts.

rich r

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Subject: RE: Tune Add: & Lyr add: Gentleman Soldier
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 13 Feb 00 - 07:26 PM

Yep, with the help of a scanner & Ed's MIDI files it's gradually getting done, a month or so should do it.


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Subject: RE: Tune Add: & Lyr add: Gentleman Soldier
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Sep 00 - 10:42 PM

From the notes to the Penguin Book (1959):

"This jaunty song, common in the army and quoted by Kipling in Soldiers Three, has rarely found its way into the conventional song collections.  The text, printed in incomplete form in The Folk Song Journal, is amplified from a Sussex version ¹ collected by H.E.D. Hammond and not hitherto published.  The melody is a military-sounding version of the widespread tune called Drumdelgie in Scotland and Dydd Llun y Boreu in Wales."  -R.V.W./A.L.L.

This version was collected by Anne G. Gilchrist from Mr. Coober of Blackham, Sussex, in 1907, and was first published in the Folk Song Journal, vol.V [issue ?] p.156.

Also on the DT:

¹ The Sentry Box  The version collected by Hammond, taken from The Constant Lovers (EFDS 1972), ed. Frank Purslow , with tune.

In the Forum:

The Gentleman Soldier  Transcribed from a Dubliners record, so no information about original source; probably the Penguin version with some words changed.  Corrected transcription and additional information from Bruce Olson.

Gentleman Soldier  Brief discussion.

@soldier @seduction @bastard

There is an entry at  The Traditional Ballad Index:

The Gentleman Soldier

There are three broadside texts at  Bodleian Library Broadside Ballads:

The Gentleman Soldier  Printed by W. Forth, Printer & Bookbinder, 68, Waverley-Street, Hull; date unknown.
Soldier's Cloak  Printed between 1797 and 1807 by Burbage and Stretton, Nottingham.
The Sentry Box  Printed between 1863 and 1885 by H. Such, Machine Printer and Publisher, 177, Union Street, Borough, S.E., London.

These are large images.


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From: GUEST,Bruce O.
Date: 24 Sep 00 - 04:02 PM

Anne Geddes Gilchrist in JFSS V, #19, p. 156, 1915, gave only 2 1/2 verses, plus chorus, of "The Gentleman Solder" collected from Mr. Coomber in Sussex in 1907, and pointed out the song was on a broadside (Malcolm Douglas has above given click-ons to several copies on the Bodley Ballads website). She pointed out what appears to be the earliest copy of the tune as a untitled jig in an Irish dance music collection, and gave that tune. Here is an ABC of it from a reprint (1965) of the collection.

T:Jig, #12, R. M. Levey, 'The First Collection of the Dance Music of Ireland' (1858)
N:Also know as "Drumdelgie" and "Dydd LLun y Boreu" Q:1/4=120
F/G/|ABA AFA|d2ef2d|ABA AGF|(G3G2)F/G/|\
A3/2B/A AFA|d2ef2d|ecA ABc|(d3d2)::\
d/e/|f2fe2g|f2d {e/}dcd|ecA {B/}AGF|(G3G2)(F/G/)|\
A3/2B/A AFA|d2ef2d|ecB ABc|(d3d2)|]

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