> Danny Spooner > Songs > Lord Willoughby

Lord Willoughby

[ Roud V18836 ; Ballad Index Perc2238 ; Bodleian Roud V18836 ; Mudcat 17136 ; trad.]

Karl Dallas: The Cruel Wars

Swan Arcade sang Lord Willoughby in 1973 on their eponymous first album on the Trailer label, Swan Arcade.

Jim Moray sang Lord Willoughby in 2006 on his CD Jim Moray.

Danny Spooner sang Lord Willoughby on his 2008 CD Brave Bold Boys. He noted:

Peregrine ‘Bertie’, Lord Willoughby of Eresby, distinguished himself in the Low Countries 1586 (the English armies of Elizabeth I were supporting the Protestants against Catholic Spain during the Netherlands' War of Independence). On the recall of Lord Leicester, Elizabeth's favourite, Willoughby became her commander in the Lowlands. The tune became popular both in the Netherlands and England long after his death in 1601. In Queen Elizabethan's Virginal book, there is a beautiful minor key version of this called Lord Willoughby's Return.

Lyrics

Swan Arcade sing Lord Willoughby

The fourteenth day of July, with glistering spear and shield,
A famous fight in Flanders was foughten in the field;
The most courageous officers were English captains three,
But the bravest man in battle was brave Lord Willoughby.

With fifteen hundred fighting men, alas, there were no more,—
They fought with fourteen thousand men upon the Flanders shore.

“Stand to it, noble pikemen, and look you round about!
And shoot you straight, you bowmen, and we will keep them out!
You musquet and caliver men, do you prove true to me;
I'll be the foremost man in fight!” says brave Lord Willoughby.

The sharp steel-pointed arrows and bullets thick did fly;
Then did our valiant soldiers charge on most furiously;
Which made the Spaniards waver, they thought it best to flee;
They feared the stout behaviour of brave Lord Willoughby.

Then quoth the Spanish general, “Come let us march away.
I fear we shall be spoiled all if that we longer stay.”
For yonder comes Lord Willoughby with courage fierce and fell.
He will not give one inch away for all the devils in Hell.

And then the fearful enemy was quickly put to flight;
Our men pursued courageously and roused their forces quite.
Till then at last they gave a shout which echoed through the sky;
“God and Saint George for England!” the conquerors did cry.

For soldiers that were maimed and wounded in the fray,
The Queen allowed a pension of eighteen pence a day:
Likewise all costs and charges she quit and set them free;
And this she did all for the sake of brave Lord Willoughby.

Then, courage! noble Englishmen, and never be dismayed:
If that we be but one to ten we will not be afraid
To fight with foreign enemies, and set our nation free;
And thus I end the famous bout of brave Lord Willoughby.

Danny Spooner sings Lord Willoughby

On the fifteenth day of July, with glittering sword and shield,
A famous fight in Flanders was foughten in the field;
The most courageous officers were English captains three,
But the foremost in battle was brave Lord Willoughby.

“Stand to it, noble pikemen, and look you round about!
And shoot you right, you bowmen, and we will keep them out!
You musquet and caliver men, do you prove true to me;
I'll be the foremost man in fight!” said brave Lord Willoughby.

The sharp steel-pointed arrows and bullets thick did fly;
Then did our valiant soldiers charge on most furiously;
Which made the Spanish waver, they thought it best to flee;
They feared the stout behaviour of brave Lord Willoughby.

Then quoth the Spanish general, “Come let us march away.
I fear we shall be spoiled all if ere we longer stay.”
For yonder comes Lord Willoughby with courage fierce and fell.
He will not give one inch away for all the devils in Hell.

And then the fearful enemy was quickly put to flight;
Our men pursued courageously and caught their forces quite.
At last they gave a mighty shout that reached to the sky;
“God and Saint George for England!” the conquerors did cry.