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The Warlike Lads Of Russia

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from the album Dark Fields

The Warlike Lads Of Russia
(trad. arr. Nic Jones)

When Bonaparte from Russia
Into Moscow went,
With his troops in full glee,
And their minds fully bent
To take the Russian country,
O, they were full employ'd,
But Russians fought against
Them and soon they were destroy'd.
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
They fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
Leave his troops behind.
 
When from Moscow City
the Russians did retreat,
Neither Boney nor his men
not any thing could get.
When from Moscow City
the Russians took flight,
They set the town on fire
and burnt it down that night.
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
leave his troops behind.
 
Burnt all away before them,
and every foot they set,
Lest Boney near his army
no shelter could they get.
Damn it, says bold Russia,
I'll have you in a crack.
I'll make you remember this
before you do get back. 
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
leave his troops behind.
 
So in a little while, O, the
Russians did attack,
Against Boney and his
army, kill'd, took, and
drove 'em back.
But the action being so
hot, from right, left,
front, and rear,
O damn it, says poor Boney,
I'll stay no longer here.
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
leave his troops behind.
 
So off went Bonaparte as
hard as he could ride.
The poor Frenchmen looked
 after him, saying, 'tis very hard
You should bring us all up
here, and leave us in such
a state. You ought to stop
along with us and share the
same fate.
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
leave his troops behind.
 
But away went Boney as hard
as he could run,
O'er hedges and ditches;
left horses, men, and guns.
His boxes and matches,
ammunition and waggons too,
He left them all behind him.
What else could he do?
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
leave his troops behind.
 
There full 80,000 men from me
they've kill'd or ta'en,
Besides 10,000 horses fine
and 200 pieces of cannon;
But yet I must to Paris.
To France I must advance,
For if I don't, I may be sure
they'll teach me how to dance.
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
leave his troops behind.
 
Now to conclude this wondrous
tale and finish my song,
Boney's men in Russia swore
they wish they'd hold of him.
The cruelest death they'd
put him to that e'er a man befell.
Stop, stop a bit, says Boney.
I'm now clear of you all.
 
The warlike lads of Russia,
they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and
leave his troops behind.   

Show Of Hands
Phil Beer and Steve Knightley

Nic Jones writes in the notes to his double CD set, Unearthed, how broadsides gave him freedom to compose around the text. His
source material are the versions below. Nic's version appeared first on a Folk Review compilation available only to new subscribers of fRoots Magazine. Versions, like the one by
Show Of Hands and  other artists are almost generally the arrangement by Nic.

Bonaparte's Escape From Russia

When Bonaparte from Russia into Moscow went,
With his troops in full glee, and their minds fully bent
To take the Russian country, O, they were full employ'd,
But Russians fought against them and soon they were destroy'd.
 
CHORUS: The warlike lads of Russia, they fought all in one mind;
Made Bonaparte to run and leave his troops behind.
 
When from Moscow City the Russians did retreat,
Neither Boney nor his men not any thing could get.
When from Moscow City the Russians took flight,
They set the town on fire and burnt it down that night. CHORUS
 
Burnt all away before them, and every foot they set,
Lest Boney near his army no shelter could they get.
Damn it, says bold Russia, I'll have you in a crack.
I'll make you remember this before you do get back. CHORUS
 
So in a little while, O, the Russians did attack,
Against Boney and his army, kill'd, took, and drove 'em back.
But the action being so hot, from right, left, front, and rear,
O damn it, says poor Boney, I'll stay no longer here. CHORUS
So off went Bonaparte as hard as he could ride.
The poor Frenchmen looked after him, saying, 'tis very hard
You should bring us all up here, and leave us in such a state.
You ought to stop along with us and share the same fate. CHORUS
 
But away went Boney as hard as he could run,
O'er hedges and ditches; left horses, men, and guns.
His boxes and matches, ammunition and waggons too,
He left them all behind him. What else could he do? CHORUS
 
There full 80,000 men from me they've kill'd or ta'en,
Besides 10,000 horses fine and 200 pieces of cannon;
But yet I must to Paris. To France I must advance,
For if I don't, I may be sure they'll teach me how to dance. CHORUS
 
Now to conclude this wondrous tale and finish my song,
Boney's men in Russia swore they wish they'd hold of him.
The cruelest death they'd put him to that e'er a man befell.
Stop, stop a bit, says Boney. I'm now clear of you all. CHORUS

The Warlike Lads Of Russia

It's when Napoleon Bonaparte to Moscow he went,
To take the Russian country his mind was fully bent.
To take the Russian country his men were full employed,
But those Russians fought so valiantly that Boney they destroyed.
 
CHORUS: Those warlike lads of Russia, they fought all in one mind,
Made Bonaparte to run and leave his troops behind.
Those warlike lads of Russia, they fought all in one mind,
Made Bonaparte to run and leave his troops behind. 
Those Russian lads fought bravely and they drove Napoleon back.
That bold Napoleon Bonaparte, he soon was sent to pack.
The fighting being so fierce, left and right and front and rear,
"Oh, damn you all!" says Bonaparte. "I'll stay no longer here." 
Away then went poor Bonaparte, as fast as he could run.
His armies were surrounded, all his horses men and guns.
His wagons and his cannons and his ammunition too.
He left them all behind him. Oh, what could poor Boney do?
 
And on then went poor Bonaparte, as fast as he could ride.
The Frenchmen all looked after him, saying, "Oh, it hurts our pride
To think he'd lead us up here and then part in such a haste.
We never thought we'd see the day when we were so disgraced."
Says Boney, "Well, it's of my troops there's eighty thousand taken,
Ten thousand of my horses and two hundred of my cannon.
No more among these Russian lads will I dare make advance,
For if I do, I may be sure they'll teach me how to dance.

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