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It's of a brisk young lively lad
Came out of Gloucestershire,
And all his full intention was
To court a lady fair.
Her eyes they shone like morning dew,
Her hair was fair to see;
She was grace
In form and face,
And was fixed in modesty.

This couple was a-walking,
They loved each other well;
And someone heard them talking
And did her father tell.
And when her father came to know
And understand this thing,
Then said he
"From one like thee
I'll free my daughter in the spring!"

'Twas in the spring-time of the year
There was a press begun;
And all their full intention was
To press a farmer's son.
They press-ed him, and sent him out
Far o'er the raging sea.
"Where I'm sure
He will no more
Keep my daughter company!"

In man's apparel then she did
Resolve to try her fate;
And in the good ship where he rid
She went as surgeon's mate.
Says she "My soldier shall not be
Destroyed for want of care;
I will dress,
And I will bless,
Whatsoever I endure!"

The twenty-first of August
There was a fight begun,
And foremost in the battle
They placed the farmer's son.
He there received a dreadful wound
That struck him in the thigh,
Every vein
Was filled with pain
He got wounded dreadfully.

Into the sergeon's cabin
They did convey him straight,
Where, first of all the wounded men,
The pretty surgeon's mate
Most tenderly did dress his wound
Which bitterly did smart;
Then said he
"Oh! one like thee
Once was mistress of my heart!"

She went to the commander
And offered very fair:
"Forty of fifty guineas
Shall buy my love quite clear!
No money shall be wanted,
No londer tarry here!"
"Since 'tis so
Come, let's go!
To old England we will steer!"

She went unto he father's gate
And stood there for a while;
Said he "The heavens bless you!
My own and lovely child!"
Cried she "Since I have found him,
And brought him safe to shore,
Our days we'll spend
In old England,
Never roam abroad no more!"


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Source: Broadwood, L, 1908, English Traditional Songs and Carols, London, Boosey

Sung by Mr Baker, 1896

Lucy Boroadwood wrote:

This is a variant of a black-letter ballad "The Valiant Virgin, or Philip and Mary," etc., etc. "To the Tune of When the Stormy Winds do blow," [21 stanzas, Roxburge Coll., ii, 546]. In this longer ballad we learn that the lady is a rich gentleman's daughter, well versed in surgery and medicine, and her lover a poor farmer's son, both of Worcestershire. Also that, her father dying whilst Philip and Mary are still at sea, they return to her estate "to marry, to the admiration of all those that were at the wedding," as the title says. Mr. Baker forgot two lines of verse 6, and these have been restored from the old broadside. Verse 4 has also been inserted from the black-letter copy, to explain the story. The older ballad shows signs of having itself been orally transmitted. The tune of "When the stormy winds do blow " was a very favourite ballad-air in the 17th century, and the title was used as a burden to many songs. Chappell, in Popular Music, gives a tune to "You Gentlemen of England," from a black-letter broadside, every verse of which ends "When the stormy winds do blow." The last bars of this tune are much like the last eight bars of the Surrey air here given ; but, for the rest, Chappell's tune has little or no likeness, and is astonishingly weak and monotonous. In English County Songs there is a Gloucestershire " Shepherd's Song," with the burden " When the stormy winds do blow." This, when converted from six-eight into common time, shows a strong likeness to the Surrey tune ; and, like it, is far more vigorous than Chappell's air. Chappell states that " No early copy of the tune is known." Possibly the Surrey and Gloucestershire traditional versions are more like the original favourite air than is the meaningless tune in Popular Music. In any case it is striking to find country labourers at the close of the 19th century singing a variant of a 17th century broadside to a version of its appointed air. As there is a strong likeness between the last eight bars of the song and the chorus of John Davy's famous " Bay of Biscay," it is well to repeat here the history of the latter: The great singer Incledon (1763-1826), whilst still in the Royal Navy, heard some drunken negro sailors shouting a chorus which took his fancy. This he repeated to Davy, who utilised it for his song to which Cherry wrote words. May the negroes not have been singing, "When the stormy winds do blow?

Roud: 2930 (Search Roud index at VWML) Take Six

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