“Old General Lane”


"Here sits a young lady all down to mourn, She's mourning the loss of her own true love, It has been said that he was slain In the service of old General Lane (or "was shot A-fighting for old General Scott") Oh no.... He'll come back and be my beau"


This piece instantly makes me think of the Napoleonic War-era piece "My Bonnie Light Horseman," but the link is tenuous.

If the soldier was shot in the army of General Scott, the war is presumably the Mexican War.

If instead we refer the song to "General Lane," it probably refers to General Walter Payne Lane, who fought in the Mexican War and served in the Confederate cavalry in the west (Wilson's Creek, Pea Ridge) and was commissioned Brigadier General in 1865. There were, however, several other Generals Lane in the Civil War: James Lane (brigadier in Lee's army), and John Lane (brevet Brigadier in the Army of the Cumberland). There was also Senator James Lane, who had been Major General of the (Unionist) Kansas Militia. - RBW

Cross references

  • cf. "Bonnie Light Horseman"


  1. Randolph 560, "Old General Lane" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Roud #940?
  3. BI, R560


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1929 (Randolph)
Found in: US(So)