Henry's Songbook

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High Germany

  • (Trad)

    Oh Polly love, oh Polly, the rout has now begun
    We must go a-marching to the beating of the drum
    Dress yourself all in your best and come along with me
    I'll take you to the war, my love, in High Germany

    Oh Willie love, oh Willie, come list what I do say
    My feet they are so tender I cannot march away
    And besides my dearest Willie I am with child by thee
    Not fitted for the war, my love, in High Germany

    I'll buy for you a horse, my love, and on it you shall ride
    And all my delight shall be in riding by your side
    We'll stop at every ale-house and drink when we are dry
    We'll be true to one another, get married by and by

    Cursed be them cruel wars that ever they should rise
    And out of merry England press many a man likewise
    They pressed my true love from me likewise my brothers three
    And sent them to the war, my love, in High Germany

    My friends I do not value nor my foes I do not fear
    Now my love has left me I wander far and near
    And when my baby it is born and a-smiling on my knee
    I'll think of lovely Willie in High Germany

    (as sung by Martin Carthy)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [1965:] There are two distinct songs bearing the title High Germany. The one sung here was on a broadside by Such and also in 'A Collection of Choice Garlands' printed in the 1780s. The wars referred to are probably those at the beginning of the 18th century. Some lines are taken from the other version which is also called The Two Lovers. (Notes 'Martin Carthy')

  • [1973:] In some versions of this ballad she goes with him, in others she merely goes to Plymouth to have her baby and wait for him. The funny thing is, until the two world wars, British soldiers were rarely seen in High (or Southern) Germany. [...] When Shirley [Collins] did it, she added the 'cursed be those cruel wars' verse which is associated with Carthy's version, one of the few outwardly protesting sentiments in folksong which tends to accept the excesses wished upon the folk community by the state as something that must be accepted and borne, like acts of God, which of course they're not. A similar verse does duty at the end of The Banks of the Nile. (Dallas, Wars 80)

  • [1977:] Some regiments encouraged the singing of traditional songs. The Somerset Light Infantry published a little book with local versions of twelve folk songs, including High Germany, with its unequivocal last verse. (Palmer, Soldier 5)


Quelle: England

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aktualisiert am 06.03.2000