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  1. Jackie Munroe

From the recording One For the Road

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Traditional, adaptation © Mark Clavey,

Mark Clavey: vocals, guitar
Mary Hanover: vocals, hammered dulcimer
Rachel Bowerman: vocals, tinwhistle
Tara McCullough: fiddle

Here's a look back to our first recording, "Timber and Stream". One of those "milestones" pieces that show how much the sound of the band has changed, it was the first to get retooled back when Tara joined the band, and has become one of her favorites. Our heroine is immortalized as one of the cross-dressers of the ages, attiring herself as a man and setting out to rescue her true-love (whom her father has ransomed to a gang to be pressed into military service). She finds him among the fallen, carries him to a surgeon, and defiantly returns home with him. Don't think he'll EVER hear the end of it.

Lyrics

There was a wealthy nobleman, in London town did dwell, who had an only daughter - the truth to you I'll tell. She had sweethearts a-plenty who to marriage were inclined, though none but John, a soldier-lad, could gain this lady's mind. Now when this daughter's maid-in-waiting heard what she did say, right to her lady's father she straightly made her way. And when her father came to know, so angry then he swore, "I'll give the gang ten guineas to press young John to the war."

"My Johnny's gone across the sea, his face I'll see no more, you've sent him off to battle on some foreign distant shore. And though my body you may have, my heart you can't confine - there's none but John, the soldier-lad, can have this heart of mine."

She robbed her father cleverly, got money at her command, and took in mind to rove and go into some foreign land. She went into a tailor's shop and dressed in men's array, and shipped on board a vessel to convey herself away. "Before you join our regiment, your name I'd like to know." She smiled all o'er her countenance, "They call me Jack Munroe." He said, "Your waist is far too thin, your fingers neat and small, your cheeks too red and rosy for to face the cannon ball."

"My Johnny's gone across the sea, &c"

"I know my waist is slender, my fingers neat and small, but it wouldn't change my countenance to see ten thousand fall." So off they went a-sailing across the deep blue sea, 'til safely she was landed in the wars of Germany. The drums did beat and rattle, and the fife did sweetly play, she marched up to the enemy and bravely fought away. And when the war was over, she hunted up and down, 'til among the dead and wounded, her darling boy she found.

"My Johnny's gone across the sea, &c"

She picked him up all in her arms and carried him to town, and took him to a surgeon for to heal his bleeding wounds. "So now the war is over and we'll sail back again, and we'll land at my father's house on a clear and pleasant morn."

"My Johnny's come across the sea, his face you'll see again. I've saved my love from dying on some foreign distant plain. And though my body now I have, my heart I can't confine, for John, my darling soldier-lad, now holds this heart of mine."