The Bonnie Light Horseman
Recorded by Kennedy’s Kitchen on "Music in the Glen," SheetMusic(pdf)
When Boney commanded his armies to stand,
He leveled his cannon over the land.
He leveled his cannon his victory to gain
And he slew my light horseman on the way home in vain.
Broken hearted I'll wander, broken hearted I'll remain
Since my bonnie light horseman in the wars he was slain.
If I was a small bird, had wings to fly
I'd fly across the salt sea to where my love lies.
And with my fond wings I'd beat over his grave
And I’d kiss the pale lips that lie cold in the clay.
The dove she laments for her mate as she flies,
"Tell me where, tell me where is my darling", she cries.
"And where in this wide world is there one to compare
With my bonnie light horseman who was slain in the wars."
Oh Boney, Oh Boney, I have done you no harm
Tell me why, tell me why you have caused my alarm.
Oh once we were happy, my true love and me,
But now you have stretched us in death o’er the sea.
"Boney" refers to Napoleon Bonaparte. The words were written during the Napoleonic Wars to a much older Irish melody. One of Napoleon's favored tactics was to line up his artillery just outside musket range and use canister (casings containing many small projectiles) to tear the opposing infantry or cavalry to shreds..