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Broadsheet ballad titled 'Never Flog Our Soldiers'.

Date: 1858 - 1885
Overall: 222 x 90 mm, 0.023 kg
Medium: Printed text on paper mounted on card
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Name: Broadsheet
Object No: 00031083
Place Manufactured:London

User Terms

    Broadsheet of a ballad titled 'Never Flog Our Soldiers' to be sung to the tune "Willie, we have miss'd you". It refers the the punishment of soilders by the use of lashings and calls for it to be outlawed.
    SignificanceBroadsides provide us with a snap shot of popular views on maritime Britain and its new colony at New Holland. Rich in subject matter it features sailors,convicts,emigrants to Port Jackson, disasters at sea. Here is not a world of high-art but the rowdy life of the streets of Georgian and Victorian London. Being ephemera, the survival rate is poor.

    If I was Queen of England, I would find a better plan,
    I would never flog our soldiers, who guard our native land,
    They guard us night and day, and from dangers keep free;
    When God defends the right, they fight for you and me.
    They bid us stand at ease, while fighting hand to hand:
    Oh, never flog our soldiers, who guard our native land!

    The night my Willie 'listed, we both were torn part,
    I thought I'd ne'er more see him, and hat would break my heart.
    My sorrows then began, and I was left alone, --
    The tortures of the army, by him could not be bourne!
    I have heard my Willie say, the sight he could not stand,
    Oh, never flog our soldiers, who guard our native land!

    Oh, now he's gone for ever, I thought we ne'er would part,
    I will wear this little traesure, for ever near my heart;
    I gaze on it so dear, it looks like his blythesome way,
    He told me not to fear, he'd come back some other day.
    Ah! what is that I hear! the door opens with his hand,
    Oh, never flog our soldiers, who guard our native land.

    Now you have come to see me, you are wearing your red coat;
    I think now that you love me, and that keeps up my hope;
    But if you should be late, and then you don't get in,
    They'll flog you like the rest of men, that serve our British Queen;
    But if they flog you now you have offer'd me your hand,
    You shall never be a soldier, to guard our native land!

    Now good night! God bless you! for I'll be left alone,
    Come let me now impress you, that I'll make you a home.
    We'll live happy day by day, and our sorrows then set free,
    Oh do not longer stay, for the flogging troubles me;
    They will take you going back, for desertion bind your hands,
    And flog you like our soldiers, who guard our native land,

    The night my Willie 'listed, how merry he did seem,
    To think he had the honour, to serve our British Queen,
    Never thinking of the lash that was lying in his way,
    To torture him so cruelly if e'er he went astray.
    If the lash it is not burnt, and banished from their hands,
    He shall never be a soldier, to guard our native land.

    Broadsides were issued by a number of London publishers for selling by hawkers on the street and were a popular form of entertainment in 18th and 19th century England. By their very nature they are extremely fragile and ephemeral ;as a result they are notably scarce in good condition .
    They were also known as 'roadsheet’, 'broadsheet', ‘stall’, ‘vulgar’ or ‘come all ye’ ballads'. In the 19th century many ballads were written about people emigrating. A large number to escape the difficult economic conditions they faced or to try and make their fortunes to bring home.The ballads reflect a deep love of their home place and in many cases the hero - usually male – is pining for a loved one he had to leave behind.

    Related People
    Printer: W S Fortey

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