“The Drummer Boy of Waterloo”


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Historical references

  • June 18, 1815 - Battle of Waterloo

Same tune

  • Woodland Mary (per broadsides LOCSinging sb10084a, LOCSinging as103200, Bodleian Harding B 11(995))


  • Bodleian, Harding B 11(995), "Drummer Boy of Waterloo," J. Catnach (London), 1813-1838; also Firth c.14(303), Firth c.14(304), Firth b.25(540), Firth b.25(431), Johnson Ballads 1170, "Drummer Boy of Waterloo"; Harding B 15(89b), "Drummerboy of Waterloo"
  • LOCSinging, sb10084a, "Drummer Boy of Waterloo," H. De Marsan (New York), 1864-1878; also as103200, as103210, "Drummer Boy of Waterloo"


  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


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