> A.L. Lloyd > Songs > Jackie Munro

Jackie Munro / The Wars of Germany

[ Roud 268 ; Laws N7 ; G/D 1:171 , 1:172 ; Ballad Index LN07 ; Bodleian Roud 268 ; trad.]

A.L. Lloyd sang Jackie Munro in 1956 on his Riverside LP English Street Songs. He was accompanied by Alf Edwards on concertina. All tracks from this album were included in 2008 on his Fellside compilation Ten Thousand Miles Away. He commented in his sleeve notes:

The figure of the Maiden Warrior, the girl who dresses herself in soldier's or sailor's clothes, and follows her lover to the wars, was a constant favourite with street balladeers. Scholars have traced the line of such heroines from the days of Hercules and Hippolyte to Mary Ambree and beyond. Jackie Munro, one of the completest treatments of the theme, has become a rarity in England and Scotland, though versions of the ballad are not uncommon in America. In spite of its Scottish title name and one or two north country expressions, this version is regarded as being unmistakenly English in text and tune.

Roy Harris sang Jackie Munro in 1985 on his Fellside album Utter Simplicity. He commented in his sleeve notes:

A veritable folk opera! Lovers from opposite ends of society, a haughty parent, the Press Gang, the maiden disguised as a man, going through danger to gain the wounded soldier and a wedding against all odds. What could be better? I sing this as my tribute to the man who gave it to me, the late A.L. Lloyd. Bert Lloyd was a mirthful and joyous singer, an outrageous storyteller, a scholar and a man of the people, a guiding light in the folk festival, and a treasured friend. He is the man who, after my Father, I miss most now that he is gone.

John Roberts and Tony Barrand learned Jackie Munro from the singing of A.L. Lloyd and recorded it in 1992 for their CD A Present from the Gentlemen.

Sandra and Nancy Kerr sang Jackie Munroe in 1996 on their Fellside CD Neat and Complete. They commented in their liner notes:

The source for this was the late A.L. Lloyd. The song is more widely known in Scotland and it's always been assumed that Bert collated and adapted to create this version. We like the fact that the maiden warrior gets promoted and can then keep her lover in the style to which he's been unaccustomed.

Dianne Dugaw sang Doralee-My-Laddie and Polly and Jack, which are both versions of Jack Monroe, on her 2001 album of fighting and sailing women in song, Dangerous Examples.

Danny Spooner sang Jackie Munro on his 2013 CD Gorgeous, Game Girls. He commented in his liner notes:

One of the many broadside ballads about female warriors, I learnt this from A.L. Lloyd when he visited Melbourne for the third anti-war moratorium in 1971. Bert probably contributed to the re-creation process of this version. There is plenty of evidence of women who dressed as men and went to sea or joined the army and served as a man. Hannah Snell and Anne Bonney are two of the best known.

Lyrics

A.L. Lloyd sings Jackie Munro Sandra and Nancy Kerr sing Jackie Munroe

Down into this country
There lived a wealthy squire
Who had an only daughter,
Was charming young and fair.

Down into this country
There lived a wealthy squire
And he'd an only daughter
Who was charming young and fair.

Chorus (after each verse):
To me tirran dooway, dooway-o,
Tirran dooway dooway

Chorus (after each verse):
Sing tirra dooway, dooway-o,
Tirra dooway dooway

She had sweethearts a-plenty
To marriage were inclined
And none but John the soldier
Could gain this lady's mind.

She had sweethearts plenty
To marriage was inclined
And none but John the soldier
Could gain this lady's mind.

And when her father came to know
So angry there he swore,
“I'll give The Gang ten guineas
To press young John to the war!”

And when her father came to know
So angry then he swore,
“I'll give The Gang ten guineas
To press young John to the war!”

But she robbed her wicked old father,
Got money at her command,
And she went to list in the army
All dressed up like a man.

But she robbed her wicked father,
Got money at her command,
And she went to list in the army
Dressed up like a man.

“Your waist is long and slender,
Your fingers fine and small,
Your cheeks too red and rosy
For to face the cannon ball.”

“Your waist it is too slender,
Your fingers fine and small,
Your cheeks too red and too rosy
To face the cannon ball.”

“It's true my waist is slender,
And my fingers they are small,
But it wouldn't change my countenance
To see ten thousand fall.”

“It's true my waist is slender,
My fingers they are small,
But it wouldn't change my countenance
To see ten thousand fall.”

“Before you join our regiment
Your name I wish to know.”
She smiled all over her face, she did,
“They call me Jackie Munro.”

“Before you join our regiment
Your name I wish to know.”
She smiled all over her face, she did,
“They call me Jackie Munro.”

So she sailed all over the ocean,
over the deep blue sea
Till she got safely landed
In the wars of Germany.

So she sailed all over the ocean
And over the deep blue sea
Till she got safely landed
In the wars of Germany.

Well all upon the battlefield
She fought it up and down,
Till among the dead and wounded
Her darling John she found.

Well upon the battlefield
She fought it up and down,
Till among the dead and the wounded
Her darling John she found.

“They have promoted me,” she said,
“They have promoted me
Unto a Colonel's commission
So married we can be.”

“They have promoted me,” she said,
“They have promoted me
Unto a Colonel's commission
So married we can be.”

And up then spoke the general,
“Such things there cannot be!
It's again the laws of our country
Two men to married be.”

Then up and spoke the general
And this is what he said,
“It's against the laws of the country
For two men to be wed.”

And up then spoke the chaplain,
“Such things I'll not allow!”
She drew her broadsword from her side,
“I'll make this do for you!”

Then up and spoke the chaplain,
“Such things we can't allow!”
She took her broadsword from her side,
“I'll make this do for you!”

So now the two got married
As you may plainly know,
And John the wounded soldier
Got his little Jackie Munro.

So now the two are married
As you may plainly know,
And John the wounded soldier
Got his little Jackie Munro.