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Broadside ballad entitled 'The Evils of War Or, The Ruined Family'



Evils of War,



'Twas Just as the sun sank down at the gloamin,'
The west sky was bright with his soft setting beam ;
I heard the sad song of a poor lonely woman,
As she rocked to and fro, by the Clyde's noble stream.

'Twas this that she sung, this war that is raging,
To thousands will yet bring sorrow and pain ;
Those wars that statesmen so freely engage in,
Seldom bring to the people pleasure or gain.                     

The wages we earn that should nourish and warm us,         
The tax-man will take while we grumble in vain,               
And our son's and our father's they drill and arm them,
To spill their best blood on the fierce battle plain.

And where is my son my own dearest Willie ?
They dragged him away, far, far from me ;
And a letter has come from afar o'er the billow,
To tell me they've buried him deep in the sea.

When the port of Odessa our bold ships did batter,
A shot struck my boy and he fell in his gore;
The last words he was heard by his comrades to utter,
Were, my mother and sister I'll see you no more.

These words he did speak as he lay dying,
But little he knew that his sister had died;
That in Sighthill grave-yard her body was lying,               
And her mother will soon be laid by her side.                     

Young Jamie M' Neil was my daughter's lover,                  
With the brave seventy-seventh he marched away;
And her heart it was broken the day they did sever,
A wee fortnight after she was laid in the clay.

O, the grave now is closed o'er my sweet gentle daughter,
And her kind-hearted Jamie is far o'er the tide ;
And my boys bodie lies in the Black Sea's deep water,
While my poor heart is breaking on the banks of the Clyde.

And when the war shall be over and Jamie returning,
How friendless and cheerless will be his home ;
But long he'll no live for his anguish and mourning,
Will soon lay him low in his true-lovers tomb.

Then talk not of battle's and victory's splendid,
Fought by strong warriors at their leaders command ;
Before that this war may come to be ended,
What orphan's and widow's will mourn o'er the land.

O cruel war, but I soon shall leave it,                              
It brought from this besom many a sigh,                           
I'll soon get the call and I'll gladly receive it,                  
To join my dear children in the kingdom on high.            

We will dwell altogether where none is oppressed,            
Where no tyrant has power his legions to send ;               
And we never will part in the land of the blessed,            
Where's there's peace, love, and joy, without any end.                                                                                                                        

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Probable period of publication: 1854-1856   shelfmark: L.C.Fol.178.A.2(102)
Broadside ballad entitled 'The Evils of War Or, The Ruined Family'
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