Manchester Angel

I learned this song from the Manchester Angel record by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger. I later found the words in The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs.

Nick Apollonio – guitar

 

It’s coming down to Manchesterto gain my liberty,
I met one of the prettiest girls that ever me eye did see.
I met one of the prettiest girls that ever me eye did see.
At the Angel Inn in Manchester, there lives the girl for me.

Then early next morning, before the break of day,
I went unto me love’s bedside, me morning vows to pay.
I hugged her and I cuddled her, I bade her to lie warm;
And she said: “Me jolly soldier, do you mean me any harm ?”

“To mean you any harm, me love, is a thing that I would scorn.
If you let me lie with you all night, I’ll marry you in the morn.
Before my lawful officer, my vows I will fulfill.”
She said, “Me jolly soldier, you may lie as long as you will.”

On Thursday our rout came, on Monday we marched away.
The drums and fifes and bugles so sweetly did play.
Some hearts were merry, but mine was full of woe.
“May I go along with you?” She said. ” Oh no, my love, oh no.”

“If I saw you stand on sentry on a cold and bitter day,
Your colours they would fade, me love, your beauty would decay.
Your colours they would fade, me love, your beauty would decay,
So stay at home, dear Nancy.” But still she answered, “Nay!”

“I will go down to your officer, and beg for your discharge,
Ten guineas I will give to him to set me love at large.
And if that will not do, me love, then along with you I’ll go,
May I go along with you?” she said. But still I answered, “No.”

“1 will go down to some nunnery and there I’ll end me life.
I never will get married, nor yet become a wife.
I’ll always be true-hearted, I’ll never love again,
Until me jolly soldier comes marching home again!”

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