The Child Ballads is the colloquial name given to a collection of 305 ballads collected in the 19th century by Francis James Child and originally published in ten volumes between 1882 and 1898 under the title The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Modern day folk singers who performed and recorded these songs include Nic Jones, Anne Briggs, Richard Thompson, Steeleye Span, June Taber, and Martin Carthy.
Here you will find music and lyrics to the Child Ballads and othertraditional British folk songs.
Sergeant William Bailey was a man of high renown Tooral looral looral looral loo In search of gallant young recruits he used to scour the town Tooral looral looral looral loo His face was full and swarthy, of medals he had forty And ribbons on his chest red white and blue It was he that looked the hero as he made the people stare O As he stood on Dunphy’s corner tooral loo
But alas for human greatness every dog he has his day Tooral looral looral looral loo And Sergeant William Bailey he is getting old and grey Tooral looral looral looral loo No longer youths are willing to take his dirty shilling And things for him are looking mighty blue In spite of fife and drumming no more recruits are coming For Sergeant William Bailey tooral loo
Sergeant William Bailey what a wretched sight to see Tooral looral looral looral loo His back that once was firm and straight is almost bent in three Tooral looral looral looral loo Some rebel youths with placards have called his army blackguards And told the Irish youth just what to do He has lost his occupation let’s sing in jubilation For Sergeant William Bailey tooral loo
As down the glen one Easter morn To a city fair rode I There armed lines of marching men In squadrons passed me by No fife did hum, no battle drum Did sound its dred tattoo But the Angelus bells o’er the Liffey’s swell Rang out through the foggy dewRight proudly high over Dublin town They hung out the flag of war ‘Twas better to die ‘neath an Irish sky Than at Suvla or Sud el Bar And from the plains of Royal Meath Strong men came hurrying through While Brittania’s huns with theirlong-range guns Sailed in through the foggy dew’Twas Brittania bade our wild geese go That small nations might be free But their lonely graves are by Suvla’s waves On the shore of the gray North Sea But had they died by Pearse’s side Or fought with Cathal Brugha Their names we would keep where the Fenians sleep ‘Neath the shroud of the foggy dewBut the bravest fell, and the requiem bell Rang mournfully and clear For those who died that Eastertide In the springing of the year And the world did gaze in deep amaze At those fearless men, but few Who bore the fight that freedom’s light Might shine through the foggy dew Public Domain