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The Recruited Collier

From the coalfields in the north of England.
Probably from the early nineteenth century.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.

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