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> Eliza Carthy > Songs > Gallant Hussar

The Gallant Hussar

[ Roud 1146 ; G/D 5:982 ; Henry H243a ; Ballad Index E147 ; Bodleian Roud 1146 ; Wiltshire 110 ; trad.]

LaRena Clark sang The Gallant Hussar in a recording made by the folklorist Edith Fowke in Toronto in 1965. It was released in 1969 on her Topic album A Canadian Garland: Folksongs from the Province of Ontario.

Shirley Collins sang Gallant Hussar in 1976 on Ashley Hutchings and Friends' album Son of Morris On. The album's liner notes commented:

This version of the song The Gallant Hussar was collected from a Shropshire man, Arthur Lane, by Fred Hamer. It strongly resembles the Bledington dance tune of the same name which follows.

Eliza Carthy and the Ratcatchers (Jon Boden, John Spiers, and Ben Ivitsky) sang Gallant Hussar in 2005 on their CD Rough Music. She commented in the album's sleeve notes:

This version of the song comes from Still Growing: English Traditional Songs and Singers from the Cecil Sharp Collection, a book of songs collected by Cecil Sharp with fascinating pictures and stories of the people he learned from, published by the EFDSS. Sharp got this from Emily Cockram of Meshaw, Devon in 1904. Squeezy John plays a Morris tune in the middle called Balancy Straw from Ascott-Under-Wychwood.

Jon Boden sang Gallant Hussar as the October 8, 2010 entry of his project A Folk Song a Day.

Lyrics

Shirley Collins sings The Gallant HussarEliza Carthy sings Gallant Hussar

A damsel possessed of great beauty,
She stood by her father's gate
The gallant hussars were on duty;
To view them this maiden did wait.
Their horses were capering and prancing,
Their accoutrements shone like a star.
From the plains they were nearest advancing,
She espied the gallant hussar.

A damsel possessed of great beauty,
As she stood at her own father's gate
Where the gallant hussars were on duty;
To view them this maiden did wait.
Their horses stood cap'ring and prancing,
Their accoutrements shone like a star.
And as they stood nearer advancing,
Young Jane spied her gallant hussar.

With their pelisses hung o'er their shoulders,
How careless they seemed for to ride.
And warlike appeared this young soldier
With his glittering sword by his side.
To the barracks next morning so early
This damsel she went in a car,
Because she loved him so dearly
Young Edward, the gallant hussar.

It was there she conversed with her soldier
And thus she was heard for to say,
“I never have seen none more bolder,
To follow my laddie away.
But twelve months on bread and colt water
My parents confined me for you.
Hard-hearted friends to their daughter
Whose heart it is loyal and true.
Unless they confine me for ever
Or banish me from you afar,
I'll follow my soldier so clever,
And wed with my gallant hussar.”

Oh, as she conversed with the soldiers,
These words she was heard for to say,
“Oh I've a heart no one bolder,
To follow my laddie away.”
“Well come, come,” says Edward, ”be steady
And think of the dangers of war.
For when the trumpet sounds I must be ready,
Oh wed not the gallant Hussar.”

“Your parents, you're bound for to mind them
Or else you are for ever undone.
They will leave you no portion behind them,
So I pray you my company shun.”
Says she, “If you will be true-hearted
I have gold at my uncle's in store.
And from now we no more will be parted,
I will wed with my gallant Hussar.”

As he gazed on her beautiful features
Oh, the tears they did fall from each eye.
“I will wed with this beautiful creature
And shun cruel wars,” he did cry.
So now they're united together,
And think of them where they're afar,
And God bless them now and for ever,
Young Jane and her gallant Hussar.

Links

See also the Mudcat Café thread Lyr Add: The Gallant Hussar, and the Word on the Street's entry on The Gallant Hussar.