“Trooper and Maid”


A trooper comes to a girl's door and convinces her to sleep with him. In the morning he is called to the colors; she follows and begs him to return or let her come with him. He will not let her come and will not promise to return


Randolph's are the first bawdy versions of the venerable ballad to see the light of print. - EC

Many versions of this have mixed with the "Seventeen Come Sunday" [Laws O17], the result may be known as "As I Roved Out" (so, e.g., the version in Kennedy), and you should probably check the references under both songs. It is often difficult to decide where to file such a piece (indeed, I managed to file the Kennedy text under both songs!). - RBW

Verse 3 of Child 299.B and verse 9 of Child 299.D is close to Opie-Oxford2 180, "Wine and cakes for gentlemen" (earliest date in Opie-Oxford2 is 1898)

Child 299.D: "Bread and cheese for gentlemen, An corn and hay for horses, Pipes and tobacco for auld wives, And bonnie lads for lasses." [For this see also Baring-Gould-MotherGoose #173, p. 127, ("Cheese and bread for gentlemen") -- though they describe it as "a fragment of a harvest song." - RBW]

Opie-Oxford2 180: "Wine and cakes for gentlemen, Hay and corn for horses, A cup of ale for good old wives, And kisses for young lasses." - BS

Cross references


  • Harry List, "The Light Drag'on" (on FSB2, FSB2CD)
  • Dillard Chandler, "The Soldier Traveling from the North" (on OldLove)
  • Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, "The Trooper and the Maid" (on SCMacCollSeeger01) {the text is Bronson's #18, but the tune is different}
  • Jimmy McBeath, "The Trooper and the Maid" (on FSB5 [as "The Trooper Lad"], FSBBAL2) {Bronson's #17}


  1. Child 299, "Trooper and Maid" (4 texts, 1 tune) {Bronson's #3}
  2. Bronson 299, "Trooper and Maid" (27 versions)
  3. SharpAp 45, "The Trooper and the Maid" (3 short texts, 3 tunes) {Bronson's #11, #12, #10}
  4. BarryEckstormSmyth pp. 371-373, "The Trooper and the Maid" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #14}
  5. Randolph 41, "A Soldier Rode From the East to the West" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #8}
  6. Randolph-Legman I, pp. 209-212, "A Soldier Rode" (2 texts, 1 tune)
  7. Davis-Ballads 51, "Trooper and Maid" (2 texts, 1 tune entitled "The Trooper and Maid") {Bronson's #16}
  8. Davis-More 46, pp. 356-360, "Trooper and Maid" (1 fragment, probably this but short enough that it might be something else)
  9. BrownII 49, "Trooper and Maid" (1 text)
  10. Brewster 27, "Trooper and Maid" (1 text, 1 tune) {Bronson's #9}
  11. Leach, pp. 684-686, "The Trooper and Maid" (1 text)
  12. Kennedy 121, "As I Roved Out" (1 text, 1 tune)
  13. Ord, pp. 365-366, "The Trumpet Sounds at Burreldales; or, The Trooper and the Maid" (1 short text)
  14. Niles 65, "Trooper and Maid" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  15. Silber-FSWB, p. 161, "The Trooper And The Maid" (1 text)
  17. Roud #162
  18. BI, C299


Alternate titles: “The Trooper and the Maid”; “The Bugle Britches”; “The Bugle Boy”; “The Soldier and His Lady”; “The Soldier Travelling From the North”
Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1828 (Buchan)
Found in: Britain(England(West),Scotland(Aber,Bord,High)) Ireland Canada US(Ap,MW,NE,SE,So)