“What’s the matter with you, my lass,
And where’s your dashing Jimmy?”
The soldier boys, they’ve picked him up.
They’ve taked him far, far from me.
Last payday, he went off to town,
And them red-coated fellows,
Enticed him in and made him drunk.
And he’d better gone to the gallows.
The very sight of his cockade,
It sets us all a-grieving.
And me, I nearly fainted twice.
I thought that I was dying.
My father would have paid the smart,
And he ran for the golden guinea.
But the sergeant swore he kissed the book.
And now, they got young Jimmy.
When Jimmy talks about the wars,
It’s worse than death to hear him.
I have to go and hide my face
Because I cannot bear him.
A brigadier or grenadier,
He says they’re bound to make him.
And, ay, he laughs and cracks his jokes
And bids me not forsake him.
As I come out o’er the stubble field,
Below it runs the seam.
I thought of Jimmy hewing there,
But it was all a dream.
He hewed the very coals we burn,
And when the fire I’m lighting,
To think, the coal was in his hands,
It sets my heart to beating.
So break my heart, and then it’s o’er.
So break my heart, my dearie.
And lay me out in the cold, cold ground
For of single life, I’m weary.