Mary and the Soldier

Traditional

Audio

This example of "Mary and the Soldier" is performed by Mary Smith on her album, Mary and the Soldier.
Please refer to Cantaria's Copyright information

Notes:  This is one of the countless "trooper and the maid" songs, but with a happy ending. In some the girl dresses up as a boy to follow her soldier, enlist, etc. In most cases she's left heart-broken or worse.   This particular song is also known as The Gallant Soldier, and in the Scottish tradition as The Hieland Sodger or  The Highland Soldier. See also The Trooper and the Maid

Mary learned this song from the singing of Paul Brady on the album Andy Irvine and Paul Brady (available from the Chivalry Music store).

This version was collected by Sam Henry from Dick Galloway in 1938, who learned it in Magilligan. In Sam Henry's Songs of the People, he quotes the source: "... Magilligan, a land full of melody, traceable in part to the influence of its great harper -- Dennis Hempson (born 1695, died 1812)."

Come all you lads of high renown that will hear of a fair young maiden
[Alt: On the lofty mountains far away, there dwells a comely maiden]
And she roved out on a summer's day for to view the soldier's parading

They march so fine and they look so gay, The colors flyin' and the bands did play
And it caused young Mary for to say, "I'll wed you me gallant soldier"

She viewed the soldiers on parade and as they stood at their leisure
Young Mary to herself did say: "At last I found my treasure

But oh how cruel my parents must be To banish my darlin' so far from me
Well I'll leave them all and I'll go with thee And I'll wed you my gallant soldier"

"Oh Mary dear, your parents' love, I pray don't be unruly 
For when you're in a foreign land, believe me you'll rue it surely

Perhaps in battle I might fall From a shot from an angry cannonball
And you so far from your daddy's hall Be advised by a gallant soldier."

"Oh I have fifty guineas in my coat, likewise a heart that's bolder
And I'd leave them all and I'd go with you me bold undaunted soldier

So don't say no but let me go And I will face the daring foe
And we'll march together to and fro And I'll wed you, my gallant soldier"

And when he saw her loyalty and Mary so true-hearted
He said: "Me darling, married we'll be, and nothing but death will part us

And when we're in a foreign land I'll guard you, darling, with my right hand
And hopes that God might stand a friend To Mary and her gallant soldier"