“Bonaparte”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1834 (Journal from the L.C. Richmond)
Keywords: Napoleon war wife pride exile

Description

"Come all you natives far and near Come listen to my story... Boni would not be content Until he was master of the whole world." He divorces his wife, fights the church, fights England, fails at Waterloo, and is exiled

Supplemental text

Bonaparte
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

From Huntington, Songs the Whalemen Sang, pp. 209-211. From the
1834 journal of the L. C. Richmond of Salem. Huntington reports
that the manuscript copy calls the song "Bonny Parte."

Come all you natives far and near
Com listen to my song and story
Of these few lines you soon shall hear
How soon a man is deprived of glory
Ambition it will have its fling
Fortune backwards it will twiddle
Boni would not be content
Until he was master of the whole world
Fal de ral etc.

He says my wife I will divorce
My dignity is far above her
She gives free scope to all the world
And I will have another lover
Pope and priest I will subdue
They know I am a bold adventurer
And like St. Ruth my name shall rue
Since I became the royal emperor

He says I will rise above the moon
And climb the air through snow and thunder
And rise up like an air balloon
And cause all nations for to wonder
There is no man can turn my head
I can tear down the walls of China
Not dreaming of a countermand
For to embark for St. Helena

Boni was a hero bold
He was the terror of the whole dominion
He would form a plan and raise a scheme
That would bring thousands to their ruin
For peace with Briton he would not make
He says their wooden walls I will shiver
Old England's Isle I'll over and take
And immortalize my name forever

To Waterloo his troops he drew
He says my boys I will never surrender
All nations we will rule and take
Like the glorious Alexander
But Wellington he took the field
The British boys they thought to baffed them
At last poor Boni was forced to yield
And run on board the Baldorphan*

Now mark the fate of this great man
He thought all nations to subdue them
He would form a plan and raise a scheme
That would bring thousands to their ruin
It is now my darling wife he cried
Fairer than Eland or bright Dianah
It is for you I lament for life
Within my bounds on St. Helena

* i.e. Bellerophon

Notes

This seems to be the only text of this song known; it may never have gone into tradition. But I decided to include it to show the wealth of Napoleon songs.

Historical references

References

  1. Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 209-212, "Bonaparte" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. ST SWMS209 (Full)
  3. Roud #1992
  4. BI, SWMS209