Mudcat Café message #3340028 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22617   Message #3340028
Posted By: Steve Gardham
18-Apr-12 - 02:46 PM
Thread Name: Origin: High Germany
Subject: RE: Origin: High Germany
Here's an early version printed at Alnwick in 1792.
The Wars in Germany

Come all you bold heroes that fain would married be;
Come all a warning take, and by me you will see,
I am constrained by Cupid's long bow,
Therefore, my dearest jewel, my mind runs to and fro.

My father he shall weep, and my mother she shall cry,
My sister she shall mourn with my brother standing by.
I said my dearest jewel, come and go along with me,
And I will take you to the wars that is in Germany.

My back it doth ache love, I cannot go with thee,
As I am with child I must here left be.
Consider my belly's high, I am with child by thee;
And I am not fit to go to the wars in Germany.

The place that he dwells in it is so pleasing,
The black bird thrush and nightingale does sing
The birds in every bush is chanting my downfall,
my trueloves gone away, which grieves me worst of all.

Oh wo to the wars that is in Germany,
And also to every sweetheart that Deals inconstantly,
I have lost my dearest jewel I never shall see him more,
And so cold is his corps on high Germany's shore.

I will buy a horse and on it you shall ride,
And all the day long, I'll walk by your side,
We'll call at every alehouse that we come nigh,
So we'll sweetheart on the road, and be married by and by.

It is down in yonder vally, I'll make my love a bed,
I will be as kind to her, as if she were wed,
With primroses and sweet violets, so adorning his feet,
And so charming is the linnet, with music so sweet.

Its poor construction and inconsistency might suggest having come from oral tradition, but it could also be down to the fact that such jobs were given to the lowest apprentices in the printers at the bottom of the market. It's not possible to say whether it precedes or derives from 'High Germany'.

Another version was printed by Evans of London about the same time and this one refers to the wars in North America.

First stanza is all I have at the moment.

O cursed be the wars that ever they began,
For they have press'd my Billy, and many a clever man;
For they have press'd my Billy, and brothers all three,
And sent them to the wars in North America.