Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy / Bonaparte Crossing The Rhine

from by 12 Dead in Everett

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about

Adieu Sweet Lovely Nancy is a quintessential English folk song. It is a particularly lovely instance of a common and tragic confluence of themes found in many English folk songs: young lovers bidding one another farewell as poverty and events far beyond their control force them apart. The song, which evokes the Napoleonic Wars but may be even older still, was preserved in the famous songbook of the Copper family in the village of Rottingdean. It was still being sung there by the time of the English folk revival.

Having apparently staked a position in the great power politics of the early 19th century, we felt it was imperative to restore some geopolitical balance. We therefore decided to close the song with a tune, likely of Irish origin, celebrating the eastward progress of the French Emperor and his conquering armies –
Bonaparte Crossing The Rhine.

lyrics

Here's adieu sweet lovely Nancy, ten thousand times adieu,
I'm away upon the ocean love for to seek for something new,
Come and change your ring with me dear girl, come and change your ring with me,
That it might be a token of our love when I am on the sea.

And when I'm far upon the sea and you know not where I am,
Kind letters I will write to you from every foreign land,
The secrets of your heart dear girl are the best of my good will,
That let your body be where it might my heart will be with you still.

There's a heavy storm arising, see how it gathers round,
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are fighting for the crown,
There's nothing to protect us love or keep us from the cold,
On the ocean wide where we must bide like jolly sailors bold.

There are tinkers, tailors and shoemakers lie snoring fast asleep,
While we poor souls on the ocean wide are plowing up the deep,
Our officers command of us and them we must obey,
Expecting every moment for to be cast away.

But when the wars are over and there's peace on every shore,
We'll return to our wives and families and the girls that we adore,
We'll call for liquor merrily and spend our money free,
And when our money it is all gone, we'll boldly put to sea.

credits

from We Bid You Welcome Brother Debtor, released May 19, 2016
Traditional arranged by 12 Dead in Everett.

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about

12 Dead in Everett England, UK

A low-down, seditious trio playing old time, folk and rebel music. Songs to fan the flames of discontent and tell your boss to go to hell. Sweet harmonies of reason in a world deaf to exploitation.

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