“The Gallant Hussar (A Damsel Possessed of Great Beauty)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1904 (Ford)
Keywords: elopement love separation soldier
Found in: US(MW) Ireland Britain(Scotland)

Description

The beautiful damsel waits at her father's gate for the hussars to pass by. At last she sees her lover. She reports that her parents kept her confined for a whole year, but she is all the more determined to follow and marry him

Supplemental text

Gallant Hussar, The (A Damsel Possessed of Great Beauty)
  Complete text(s)

          *** A ***

A Damsel Possessed of Great Beauty

The basic text is that of Mary O. Eddy, Ballads and Songs from Ohio,
#147, p. 313. From Mrs. Robert R. Cox, Steubenville, Ohio. This text
is only two double stanzas long. To fill it out, I have in the notes
several verses from the Sam Henry collection (H243a, Young Edward
the Gallant Hussar, in Henry/Huntington/Herrmann, pp. 473-474).

1. A damsel possessed of great beauty,
     She stood by her own father's gate;
   The gallant hussars are on duty,
     To view them this maiden did wait.
   Their horses were capering and prancing,
     Their accoutrements shone like a star;
   From the plains they were nearer advancing,
     When she spied her gallant hussar.

2. "Twelve months upon bread and cold water
     My parents confined me for you;
   They were hard-hearted friends to their daughter,
     Whose heart it was loyal and true.
   But unless they confine me forever
     Or banish me from you afar,
   I'll follow my laddie so clever,
     And wed with me gallant hussar."

---

Additional lyrics from the Henry text:

Between verses 1 and 2, add:

Their pellices were slung o'er their shoulders,
So careless they seemed for to ride,
So warlike appeared those young soldiers,
With glittering swords by their sides.

To barrack next morning so early,
This damsel she went in her car,
Because she loved him sincerely,
Young Edward, the gallant hussar.

'Twas there she conversed with her soldier,
These words they were heard for to say:
Said Jane, 'I've a heart, none has bolder,
To follow my laddie away.'

'O fie,' said young Edward, 'be steady,
And think of the dangers of war:
When the trumpet sounds, I must be ready,
So wed not your gallant hussar.'


At the end, add:

Said Edward, 'Your friends, you must mind them,
Or else you're forever undone,
They will leave you no portion behind them,
So pray do my company shun.'

She said, 'If you will be true-hearted,
I have gold of my uncle's in store,
From this time we'll be no more parted,
I'll wed with my gallant hussar.'

As he gazed on each beautiful feature,
The tears they did fall from each eye; 
I will wed with this beautiful creature,
To forsake cruel war,' he did cry.

So now they are united together,
Friends think of them, now they're afar,
Crying, 'Heaven bless them, now and forever
Young Jane and her gallant hussar.'

Notes

Broadside Murray, Mu23-y1:031, "Answer to Young Jane and her Gallant Hussar," James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C obviously claims to be an "answer" to this, but it's more of a sideline and continuation, in which Jane rejects another suitor and eventually goes off with the hussar.

Cross references

Broadsides

References

  1. Ford-Vagabond, pp. 254-256, "The Gallant Hussar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. SHenry H243a, pp. 473-474, "Young Edward the Gallant Hussar" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Eddy 147, "A Damsel Possessed of Great Beauty" (1 fragment, 1 tune)
  4. ST E147 (Full)
  5. Roud #1146
  6. BI, E147