11. Bold William Taylor

Trad., adapted & arranged by Robin Greenstein

Vocal, synthesizer - Robin

Another song (this time a Anglo-American ballad), about a woman following her lover off to war, but with a quite different ending. A real cautionary tale told with a bit of humor. I first heard this from the singing of John Roberts and Tony Barrand and fell in love with their version.

Bold William Taylor

I'll sing you a song about two lovers, oh from Litchfield town they came
The young man's name was William Taylor, Sarah Gray was the lady's name

Willian Taylor he has listed, for a soldier he has gone
He has gone & left his own true lover for to weep & for to moan

Sara's parents did despise her, filled her heart with grief & woe
Til then at last she vowed and told them, for a soldier she would go

She dressed herself in men's apparel, men's apparel she put on
Then for to seek her own true lover, for to seek him she has gone

Then one day as she was exercising, exercising 1, 2, 3
A silver chain pulled down her waistcoat & exposed her lily white breast

The seargent-major stepped up to her, asking her what brought her here
" I've come to seek my own true lover, who has proved to me severe"

" If you've come to seek for your true lover, pray you tell to me his name."
" His name it is Bold William Taylor, oh from Litchfield town he came"

" If his name be William Taylor, William Taylor is not here
He has lately married a rich young lady, worth 10,000 pounds a year"

"But if you rise early in the morning just before the break of day
Right here you'll find Bold William Taylor a-walking with his lady gay"

So she rose early in the morning, just before the break of day
& there she spied Bold William Taylor, a-walking with his lady gay

Then she called for a sword & pistol, which were brought at her command
She fired & shot bold William Taylor, with his lady at his right hand

Then the captain stepped up to her, pleased well at what she'd done
He's gone & made her a bold commander over a ship & all its men

Come all young men of Wells & London, if t'were served the same as she
It's very sad would be young women, & very scarce young men would be!