The Recruited Collier

Melody - Seq. by Ron Clarke

ca. early 1800's

O what's the matter with you my lass
And where's your dashing Jimmy?
The soldier boys have picked him up
And sent him far, far from me
Last pay day he set off to town
And them red-coated fellows
Enticed him in and made him drunk
And he'd better gone to the gallows.

2. The very sight of his cockade
It set us all a-crying
And me I nearly fainted twice
I thought that I was dying
My father would have paid the smart
And he run for the golden guinea
But the sergeant swore he'd kissed the book
So now they've got young Jimmy.

3. When Jimmy talks about the wars
It's worse than death to hear him
I must go out and hide my tears
Because I cannot bear him
A brigadier or grenadier
He says they're sure to make him
And ay he jibes and cracks his jokes
And bids me not forsake him.

4. As I walked o'er the stubble field
Below it runs the seam
I thought of Jimmy hewing there
But it was all a dream
He hewed the very coals we burn
And when the fire I's lighting
To think the lumps was in his hands
It sets my heart to beating.

5. For three long years he followed me
Now I must live without him
There's nothing now that I can do
But weep and think about him
So break, my heart, and then it's o'er
So break, my heart, my dreary
And I'll lie in the cold green ground
For of single life I'm weary.

From the coalfields in the north of England.

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