“The Drummer Boy of Waterloo”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: before 1839 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(995))
Keywords: war death burial mother youth
Found in: US(MA,MW,SE,So) Canada(Mar) Britain Ireland


Young (Edwin) is leaving home to serve as a drummer boy at Waterloo. Though his mother is terrified for him, the lad knows no fear. But at Waterloo he is fatally wounded; he sends a dying message to his mother and is buried by moonlight on the battlefield


Broadside LOCSinging sb10019b: H. De Marsan dating per _Studying Nineteenth-Century Popular Song_ by Paul Charosh in American Music, Winter 1997, Vol 15.4, Table 1, available at FindArticles site.

Historical references

Same tune



  1. Laws J1, "The Drummer Boy of Waterloo"
  2. Eddy 58, "The Drummer Boy of Waterloo" (1 text plus 2 short fragments perhaps of this song, 3 tunes)
  3. Randolph 82, "Young Edward" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. FSCatskills 10, "The Drummer Boy of Waterloo" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  5. JHCox 82, "The Drummer Boy of Waterloo" ( text)
  6. SHenry H728, p. 88, "The Drummer Boy of Waterloo" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. BrownII 123, "The Drummer Boy of Waterloo" (1 text)
  8. Creighton-NovaScotia 70, "Drummer Boy" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. DT 389, YOUNGED*
  10. Roud #1804
  11. BI, LJ01