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Going for a Soldier, Jenny

[ Roud V1224 ; VWML FK/15/288/2 ; Bodleian Roud V1224 ; words W.H. Bellamy, music S. Nelson]

This song was written by W.H. Bellamy and S. Nelson and published on broadsides by the F.D. Benteen Co., Baltimore in about 1840-1860. The National Library of Scotland shows a facsimile of another broadside probably published between 1860 and 1880.

Nic Jones sang this song with an additional chorus to a tune of his own on the Halliard's album The Halliard : Jon Raven; originally released in 1968 and reissued on CD in 1997. Later, this recording was also included in the Halliard's CD Broadside Songs.

Dave Burland sang Lancashire Lads and Going for a Soldier, Jenny in 1996 on his CD Benchmark. He commented in his liner notes:

The Lancashire Lads and Going for a Soldier, Jenny were broadsides which were reworked by a group called The Halliard, which had in its members Dave Moran and Nic Jones. Nic wrote the tune to Going for a Soldier, Jenny and Dave wrote the tune to The Lancashire Lads.


Nic Jones sings Going for a Soldier, Jenny

I'm going for a soldier, Jenny,
I'm going o'er the rolling sea.
They've given me a golden guinea
Which they say has enlisted me.

Chorus (repeated after each verse):
And I'm off to fight for the army
As a Lancashire Fusilier,
Rolling my musket in my arms
Instead of my Jenny dear.

It's no use to fall a-crying
Give your senseless weeping o'er
Many a day you've heard me sigh
You should've been kind before

What if heart and spirit's sinking?
What if I should come to shame?
Be as it may: I'm thinking
You alone will be to blame.

Long and dearly I have loved you;
You must full well have known.
If I had not faithless proved you
Then I never had reckless grown.

Fare you well, the hours are a-flying;
It's time that I was gone.
When next another heart you're trying,
Jenny, look unto your own.

Acknowledgements and Links

Thanks to Garry Gillard for transcribing the lyrics. He based it on The Lancashire Fusilier at the Mudcat Café. See also the Mudcat thread Lyr Req: The Lancashire Fusiliers.