Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mary and the Soldier

She will go to war
Because she loves her soldier.
First they get married.

Remember the scene in "History of the World, Part One" when Madeleine Kahn makes her selection of Roman studs for an evening of partying with the Vestal Virgins? Mary of "Mary and the Soldier" pursues her quest for a man with similar elan. Bob Dylan's version appears on the deluxe edition of volume 8 of the Bootleg Series:

Come all you lads of high renown that will hear of a fair young maiden
And she roved out on a summer's day for to view the soldier's parading

        They march so bold and they look so gay
        The colours fine and the bands did play
        And it caused young Mary for to say
        "I'll wed you me gallant soldier"

She viewed the soldiers on parade and as they stood at their leisure
And Mary to herself did say: "At last I find my treasure

        But oh how cruel my parents must be
        To banish my true love away from me
        Well I'll leave them all and I'll go with thee
        Me bold and undaunted soldier"

"Oh Mary dear, your parents' love I pray don't be unruly
For when you're in a foreign land, believe you rue it surely

        Perhaps in battle I might fall
        From a shot from an angry cannonball
        And you're so far from your daddy's hall
        Be advised by a gallant soldier."

"Oh I have fifty guineas in right gold, likewise a hearth that's burning
And I'd leave them all and I'd go with you me bold undaunted soldier

        So don't say no but let me go
        And I will face the daring foe
        And we'll march together to and fro
        And I'll wed you, my gallant soldier"

And when he saw her loyalty and Mary so true-hearted
He said: "Me darling, married we'll be and nothing but death will part us

        And when we're in a foreign land
        I'll guard you, darling, with my right hand
        And hopes that God might stand a friend
        With Mary and her gallant soldier"

I can't find Dylan's version so I'll give you this excellent one by Paul Brady:

1 comment:

  1. Hello there Robert, Thank you for posting this analysis of a song from Bob Dylan's Music Box: http://thebobdylanproject.com/Song/id/399/Mary-and-The-Soldier Come and join us inside and listen to every song composed, recorded or performed by Bob Dylan, plus all the great covers streaming on YouTube, Spotify, Deezer and SoundCloud plus so much more... including this link.