PRETTY POLLY OLIVER
Traditional English folk tune.
Teresa Wright, others.
One night as Polly Oliver lay musing on her bed,
A comical fancy came into her head.
"Neither father nor mother shall make me false prove;
I'll list for a soldier and follow my love."
Early the next morning this fair maid arose.
She dressed herself in a man's suit of clothes,
Coat, waistcoat and breeches, a sword by her side;
On her father's black gelding like a dragoon did ride.
She rid till she came to fair London town,
She dismounted her horse at the sign of the crown.
The first that came to her was a man from above;
The next that came down was Polly Oliver's true love.
"Good evening, good evening, kind captain," said she;
"Here's a letter from your true love Polly Oliver," said she.
He opened the letter - a guinea was found
"For you and your countrymen to drink her health round."
Supper being ended, she hung down her head
And called for a candle to light her to bed.
The captain made this reply: "I have a bed at ease;
You may lie with me, countryman, if you please."
"To lie with a captain is a dangerous thing.
I'm a new enlisted soldier to fight for my King.
To fight for my King by sea and by land.
Since you are my captain, I'll be at your command."
Early the next morning this fair maid arose
And dressed herself in her own suit of clothes,
And downstairs she came from her chamber above,
Saying, "Here is Polly Oliver, your own true love."
He at first was surprised, then laughed at the fun,
And then they were married and all things were done.
"If I had laid with you the first night,
The fault it was mine.
I hope to please you better, love, for now it is time."
(Contributed by Lou Rugani - The Music of the Stars (WLIP) - August 2013)