Verse 1: 'As I was walking one morning in June, / To view the gay fields and meadows in bloom, / I espied a young female, she appeared like a queen, / With costly fine robes, and a mantle so green.'
This is a version of a fairly well-known folk ballad. The narrator of much of the ballad is a young veteran of Waterloo who falls in love with Nancy, a woman in a green mantle. Nancy initially rejects him until she discovers that the narrator saw her lover die at Waterloo, and was given her lover's gold ring. The narrator and Nancy eventually marry. Love influenced by coincidental or supernatural events like these was a common feature of the ballad tradition.
Early ballads were dramatic or humorous narrative songs derived from folk culture that predated printing. Originally perpetuated by word of mouth, many ballads survive because they were recorded on broadsides. Musical notation was rarely printed, as tunes were usually established favourites. The term 'ballad' eventually applied more broadly to any kind of topical or popular verse.
View Transcription | Download PDF Facsimile
Probable period of publication:
1880-1900 shelfmark: L.C.Fol.70(85a)
View larger image