Jackie Munro


Danny Spooner, Gorgeous, Game Girls, 2013


One of the many broadside ballads about female warriors, I learnt this from A.L. Lloyd when he visited Melbourne for the third anti-war moratorium in 1971. Bert probably contribued to the re-creation process of this version. There is plenty of evidence of women who dressed as men and went to sea or joined the army and served as a man. Hannah Snell and Anne Bonney are two of the best known. Danny Spooner.

It was down in the country there lived a wealthy squire
And he had an only daughter, was young and lovely and fair.

CHORUS
Tirran do way, tirran do way O, tirran do way do way

She had so many sweethearts, to marriage they was inclined,
But only John the ploughman was pleasing to her mind.

Her father hearing her say so, right angry there he swore,
'I'll give the gang ten guineas, to press young John to the war.'

But she robbed her wicked old father, got money at her command,
Then off to join the army, all dressed up like a man.

'Before you join the regiment your name I'll have to know.'
She smiled all over her face she did, 'They call me Jackie Munro.'

'Your waist is very slender, your fingers long and small,
Your delicate constitution couldn't face a cannon ball.'

'Me waist it may be slender, my fingers fine and small
But it wouldn't change me countenance to see ten thousand fall.'

She fought in all the battles; she fought them up an down,
And among the dead and wounded her own dear John she found.

'Oh they've promoted me my love, they've promoted me
Into a colonel's commission so married we can be.'

But out and spake her officer, 'Such things can never be,
Two men in the British Army, all married for to be.'

And out and spake the chaplain, 'Such things I'll never allow.'
She drew a broad-sword from her side and said, 'I'll make this do for you.'

And now they have got married and you will plainly know,
That John the wounded soldier got his little Jackie Munro.


New: 11 May, 2013 | Now: 11 May, 2013 | garrygillard [at] gmail.com