Hurrah Boys Hurrah

Jeff Warner from New Hampshire, USA: On Autumn Harvest ah010: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: Hurrah Boys Hurrah! Live from the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2010.

Jeff's father and mother were responsible for making one of the major folk song collections from the eastern USA and this is one of the songs from their collection - recorded in 1951 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, in the town of Wanchese, from the singing of Eleazar Tillett who had the title of the song as The Southern Girl's Reply. Eleazar was born in the 1870s. The song speaks of a southern woman deciding not to accept the love of a northern man who has come to the south to work in Reconstruction after the Civil War of 1861-1865.

1: I cannot listen to your words, the land’s too far and wide,
Go seek some happy northern girl to be your loving bride.
My brothers they were soldiers, the youngest of the three
Was slain while fighting at the side of General Fitzhugh Lee.

Chorus:
Hoorah! Hoorah!
For the sunny south I say,
Three cheers for the southern girl
And the boy who wore the grey.

2: My lover was a soldier too, he fought at God's command,
A saber pierced his galliant heart - you might have been the man.
He reeled and fell but was not dead, a horseman spurred his steed,
And trampled on his dying brain - you might have done the deed.

3: They left his body on the field who the fight that day had won,
A horseman spurred him with his heel - you might have been the one.
I hold no hatred in my heart, nor cold nor righteous pride,
For many a galliant soldier fought upon the other side.

4: But now I cannot take the hand that smote my country sore,
Nor love the one that trampled down the colors that she wore.
Between your heart and mine there rolls a deep and crimson tide,
My brother’s and my lover’s blood forbids me be your bride.

Chorus:
Hoorah! Hoorah! For the sunny south I say,
Three cheers for the southern girl
And the boy who wore the grey.

c p 2011 Autumn Harvest : www.springthyme.co.uk