A beautiful damsel of fame and renown,
A gentlemen's daughter of fame and renown.
As she rode by the barracks, this beautiful maid,
She stood in her coach to see the dragoons on parade.
They were all dressed out like gentlemen's sons,
With their bright shining swords and their carabine guns,
With their silver-mounted pistols she observed them full soon
Because that she loved her Enniskillen dragoon.
You bright sons of Mars who stand on the right,
Whose armour does shine like the bright stars of night,
Saying 'Willie, dearest Willie, you've 'listed full soon
For to serve as a Royal Enniskillen dragoon.'
'O Flora, dearest Flora, your pardon I crave.
It's now and forever I must be a slave.
Your parents they insulted me both morning, night and noon
For fear that you would wed an Enniskillen dragoon'
'O Willie, dearest Willie, O mind what you say,
For children are bound, you know, their parents to obey,
For when we're leaving Ireland they will change their tune,
Saying " The Lord be with you, Enniskillen dragoon",'
Fare you well Enniskillen, fare you well for a while,
And all round the borders of Erin's green isle,
And when the war is over, we'll return in full bloom,
And they'll all welcome home the Enniskillen dragoon.
The Penguin Book of Canadian Folk Songs.
Abridged notes taken from The Penguin Book.
From C.H.J. Snider, Toronto, 1961
This song is well known in Ireland but it has rarely been reported from tradition in North America, although it was fairly common in Irish-American songsters. Mr Snider learned it from his mother who got it from her grand-mother, Molly Mahaffey, who was born in Donegal in 1790 and came to Canada in 1837. In Ireland Dr Joyce, who was the first to report it, notes that the song though of Ulster origin was a great favourite in Munster and was indeed sung all over Ireland.
(Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six