Bonny Bunch of Roses, O

Collected by Bob Copper from Noah Gillette (right) in Hastings in about 1954: see pp. 55-56 of Songs and Southern Breezes for the details; and the appendix, pp. 202-203, for these words.

By the dangers of the ocean one morning in the month of June,
A famous warbling songster he chimes they notes out sweetly too,
There I espied a female seemly in grief and woe
And conversing with young Bonaparte concerning the
Bonny bunch of roses, O.

O then, said young Napoleon as he shook his mother by the hand,
Do mother, pray have patience until I am able to command.
I'll raise a treble army and through tremendous danger go
And in spite of all the universe, I'll conquer the
Bonny bunch of roses, O.

... It was then he took an army and over the frozen hills did go
And he said, I'll conquer Moscow then go for the
Bonny bunch of roses, O.

For he took three hundred thousand men and likewise kings for to join his throne,
For he was so well provided he'd enough to sweep the world around
But when he came near Moscow he was overpowered by drifting snow,
And old Moscow was a-blazing when he lost all the
Bonny bunch of roses, O.

O, son, thou speak so venturesome for England is the hearts of oak
There is England, Ireland and Scotland the unity has never been broke,
O, son, look at your father for in St Helena his body lies low
And you may follow after, so beware of the
Bonny bunch of roses, O.

O, mother, lay for ever now I am on my dying bed
If I'd lived I should have been clever but now I droop my youthful head,
But while your bones do moulder and the weeping willow over you grow
All the deeds of bold Napoleon will never conquer the
Bonny bunch of roses, O.

New: 8 March 2002 | Now: 9 March 2002 | Garry Gillard.