Mudcat Café message #3411019 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #22617   Message #3411019
Posted By: GUEST,Bob Coltman
27-Sep-12 - 03:21 PM
Thread Name: Origin: High Germany
Subject: RE: Origin: High Germany
As the following song is #56 in Sharp's 100 English Folksongs, I'm surprised not to find Sharp's version in the DT. A version using the name Colleen is in the DT and was cited above, but not this.

HIGH GERMANY

Learned from Bob Keppel of St. Louis MO in Cambridge, MA c. 1958
Version close to or identical with #56 in Sharp's 100 English Folksongs

Oh, Polly, dear, oh Polly, the route is now begun,
And we must march away to the beating of the drum,
Go dress yourself all in your best and come along with me,
I'll take you to the cruel wars in High Germany.

Oh, Harry, dearest Harry, you mind what I do say,
My feet they are too tender, I cannot march away,
And besides, my dearest Harry, though I'm in love with thee,
I am not fit for cruel wars in High Germany.

I'll buy you a horse, my love, and on it you shall ride,
And all of my delight shall be riding by your side,
We'll call at every alehouse, and drink when we are dry,
So quickly on the road, my love, we'll marry by and by.

O curs-ed be the cruel wars that ever they should rise,
And out of merry England press many a lad likewise,
They pressed young Harry from me, likewise my brothers three,
And sent them to the cruel wars in High Germany.

I later learned a final verse that Keppel did not sing, nor is it in Sharp. It's from another version; I don't know its source, but believe it to be traditional. The name in the final line was originally Willie; I changed it to suit the rest of the song.

My friends I do not value and my foes I do not fear,
For now my true love's left me and wanders far and near,
But when my baby's born, and smiling on my knee,
I'll think of handsome Harry in high Germany.