“The Gallant Soldier (Mary/Peggy and the Soldier)”


(Peggy) comes out and sees the soldiers marching by. She falls in love with one and offers to marry him. He warns her of the problems of travel and separation. She offers to come with him; she has money to care for herself. He agrees to marry her


All three versions of this song known to me (the Sam Henry version and the Paul Brady version in the Digital Tradition, plus a version sung by Connie Dover on"If Ever I Return") contain the line, "But O how cruel my parents (can/must) be, To banish my darling so far from me." But at that stage in the song, the man is *already* a soldier, and the parents probably don't know what Mary/Peggy is up to anyway. The conclusion would seem to be that this song picked up elements of some song involving banishment of a true love. - RBW

Cross references


  • NLScotland, L.C.Fol.70(19a), "The Highland Soldier," Poet's Box (Dundee), c. 1890


  1. SHenry H782, p. 473, "The Gallant Soldier" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Roud #2496
  4. BI, HHH473


Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1911 (Grieg)
Found in: Ireland Britain(Scotland)