MacEdward Leach and the Songs of Atlantic Canada
Waterloo II
Tom Pennell NFLD 2 Tape 5A Track 3
Trepassey Audio:

LEACH: All right.

As l roved out on a fine summer morning
By yon curling streams, where l carelessly strayed,
It was there l beheld a most beautiful fair one
And she sadly complaining, those words she did say.

Through the grove where she roved caused the valleys for to ring
And the small feathered songsters all around her they flew
Saying, "The wars are all over and peace is now proclaimed
But my love is not returned from the plains of Waterloo."

I said, "My fair creature, the pride of all nature,
Can l make so bold as to ask your love's name?
For I’ve been in battle, where the long cannons rattle,
And by your description l might know the same."

William Smith is the name of that hero of fame
He is gone as a soldier, which causes me to rue,
But none can enjoy, but my own darling boy,
Until he's returned from the plains of Waterloo.

If William Smith be the name of that hero of fame
Along with him l spent many a campaign
Through Portugal together, we marched it all over
He was my life (?) comrade as we marched back to Spain.

On the third day of June, we ended our last battle
Which caused many heroes to sigh and complain
And as l passed by, oh, l saw him lie bleeding
We scarcely had time for to bid him adieu.

With a faltering voice, those words that he was saying,
"Farewell, lovely Sally, on the plains of Waterloo."

Her eyes, they grew dim, l saw her colors changing
Her red rosy cheeks, they soon got pale and wan
And when l saw her in the sad situation
I boldly addressed her saying, "l am the man."

Saying, "Here's a ring of gold, which between us was broken,
In the midst of all dangers this reminds me of you."
She flew to his arms as soon as she saw the token,
Saying, "You're welcome back, dear Willy, from the plains of Waterloo."


Sources: Laws N32; Fowke/MacMillan, 66; Greenleaf/Mansfield, 85; Peacock, 1014-1015; Leach, 126; Creighton, 56-57; Roud #960; Lehr.

From the Memorial University Folklore and Language Archive (MUNFLA) Song Index and Song Annotation Collection: Halpert, Herbert and John Widdowson MUNFLA 66-24; Casey, George MUNFLA 68-40; Dollimount, John MUNFLA 71-2; Wilson, Sister Alice MUNFLA 74-76; Moore, Claudine Ella MUNFLA 76-323; Lehr, Genevieve MUNFLA 78-006; Lehr, Genevieve MUNFLA 78-050.

History: British broadside ballad, also known as "The Broken Token," "Willie of Waterloo," "Lonely Waterloo" and "Mantle of Green."

Text: This Newfoundland variant tells the story of a young man who was a solider at Waterloo.   The singer, a soldier, sees Sally lamenting for her beloved Willie -- the war is over, but Willie has not returned. He tells her that Willie died at Waterloo. After bidding her farewell, he shows her half of a broken token and reveals himself as Willie

Tune: A Dorian mode melody in ABAB form.   The performance in rhythmically free.

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