Banks Of The Nile

(Martin Carthy lyrics version)

Words & Music:

Traditional English

Arr: Martin Carthy


"Hark I hear the drum a-beating, no longer can I stay.

I hear the bugle sounding, my love, I must away.

We are called out for orders and it's many's a long mile

To go fight with all those heejuns* on the banks of the Nile."


"Oh Willy, dearest Willy, don't leave me here to mourn,

You'll make me curse and rue the day that ever I was born.

For the parting of my own true love is the parting of my life,

Stay at home, dear Willy, and I will be your wife.


I will cut off those yellow locks and I'll go along with you,

I'll dress myself in velveteen and go and see Egypt too.

I'll fight and bear your banner while kind fortune upon me smile

And we'll comfort one another on the banks of the Nile."


"Oh Nancy, dearest Nancy, with me you cannot go.

For our colonel has give orders that no women there can go.

You will forget your own true love when you are on the shore

And you'll think of things that please your mind

And new loves will please you more."


Cursed be those cruel bloody wars that took my love from me,

And cursed be the order that put his boat to sea.

I fear the burning sun will shine his beauty to destroy

And his blood will seep in the grass

That's deep on the banks of the Nile.






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