“Lonely Waterloo”


The singer sees a girl grieving for her love. She describes Willie, and the singer tells her Willie has died at Waterloo. The girl suffers terribly from grief; (in some texts he reveals himself as Willie and prepares to marry her)


The ballad is recorded on one of the CD's issued around the time of the bicentenial of the 1798 Irish Rebellion. See:

Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "Lonely Waterloo" (on Franke Harte and Donal Lunny, "My Name is Napoleon Bonaparte," Hummingbird Records HBCD0027 (2001))

Harte notes that his version came back to Ireland via a singer who had seen the text in Peacock. - BS

This has recently been set to a new (and highly effective) tune by Daithi Sproule of Altan. This seems to be a song everyone wants to revive. - RBW

Historical references

  • June 18, 1815 - Battle of Waterloo


  • Ken Peacock, "Lonely Waterloo" (on NFKPeacock)
  • Willie Scott, "Bloody Waterloo" (on Voice08)


  1. Laws N31, "Waterloo II"
  2. Gardner/Chickering 88, "Bloody Waterloo" (1 text)
  3. Greenleaf/Mansfield 88, "Lonely Waterloo" (2 texts)
  4. Peacock, pp. 1007-1008, "Lonely Waterloo" (1 text, 2 tunes)
  5. Leach-Labrador 127, "Lonely Waterloo" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Lehr/Best 67, "Lonely Waterloo" (1 text, 1 tune)
  7. DT 390, BLDYWLOO*
  8. Roud #622
  9. BI, LN31


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1929 (Greenleaf/Mansfield)
Found in: Britain(Scotland(Bord)) US(MW) Canada(Newf) Ireland