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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.

Lyrics

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.