WANTON SEED PURSLOW
THE FEMALE DRUMMER
When I was a young girl at the age of sixteen
Far from my parents ran away all to serve the Queen
The officer enlisting me said I was a nice young man
"I think you'll make a drummer, so it's come along young man.
So it's come along young man, so it's come along young man
I think you'll make a drummer, so it's come along young man.
I was sent up to my quarters all for to go to bed
And sleeping by a soldier's side I did not feel afraid.
In pulling off my red jacket it often made me smile
To think I was a drummer and a maiden all the while
And a maiden etc.
My waist being long and slender, my fingers thin and small
All for to beat upon the drum I soon exceeded all
I played upon my kettledrums like other drummers played
I played upon my kettledrums and still remained a maid.
And still remained etc.
I was sent up to London all for to guard the Tower
And there I might have been till this very day and hour,
But a young girl fell in love with me, I told her I was a maid
And straightway to my officer the secret she betrayed.
The secret se betrayed etc.
The officer he sent for me to know if it was true,
"Of such a thing I cannot nor I won't believe of you"
He looked me in the face and he smiled as he said
"It's a pity we should lose such a drummer as you've made."
Such a drummer etc.
So fare you well, dear officer, you have been kind to me
And likewise dear comrades, I'm not forgetting thee
And if your army should be short for want of any man
I'll put on my hat and feather and I'll march with you again*
And I'll march etc.
*more usually, "...and I'll beat the drum again."