Blue Cockade, The - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

Okay - so if you don't know what a cockade is, then according to Wikipedia it is, "a knot of ribbons, or other circular- or oval-shaped symbol of distinctive colours which is usually worn on a hat". As in this song, particular cockades were often associated with army regiments. You can look at the Wikipedia article about cockades if you want to know more and you can get some idea of what cockades looked like here - scroll down the page a bit and you'll see some hats with cockades attached to them.

This beautiful traditional song is about a man who meets some soldiers, gets drunk with them and then 'accidentally' enlists in the army. The first two verses are from the reluctant soldier's point of view, and the last three are from his none-too-happy girlfriend's. There seems to be some debate about where the song is from, since British soldiers wore either white or black cockades, but not blue ones. There is an alternative version called, 'The White Cockade', sung by Kate Rusby amongst others. You can find the lyrics of the White Cockade here.

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Chords

Capo at 2nd Fret

D                                      Bm7

'Twas on one Monday's morning

    G               A7         D

As I walked o'er the moss,

                              Bm7

I little thought of listing

                G            Em        A7
'Til some soldiers did me cross,


      
D                 Bm7

The company enticed me

     G                 Em           A7

To drink their health all round

               D                         G

And the bounty (and the bounty),

              Em                       A7
And the bounty (and the bounty),

          D
They gave me

        G            A7      D
Five guineas and a crown.

Lyrics

'Twas on one Monday morning

As I walked o'er the moss,

I little thought of 'listing,

'Til some soldiers did me cross,

The company enticed me

To drink their health all round,

And the bounty (and the bounty),

And the bounty (and the bounty),

They gave me:

Five guineas and a crown.

 

My head was full of drink love
And I didn't think of you
And now I'm forced to go and join
The orange and the blues.
Our ship she waits at anchor
To take the flowing tide.
I'll return love (I'll return love),
I'll return love (I'll return love)
In the springtime
When I make you my bride.

 

So early the next morning,
Before the break of day,
The captain called his orders
And my love marched away.
All in your ranks and files boys,
All on your native shore.
Are thee well love (fare thee well love),
Fare thee well love (fare thee well love),
Fare thee well love,
You're the lad that I adore.

 

But I hope you never prosper
And I hope you always fail;
At everything you venture
I hope you n'er do well;
And the very ground you walk upon -
May the grass refuse to grow,
Since you've been the (since you've been the),
Since you've been the (since you've been the)
Very cause of
My sorrow, grief and woe.

 

It's true my love has listed
And he wears a blue cockade;
He is a handsome young man,
Likewise a roving blade;
He is a handsome young man,
He's gone to serve the king,
Whilst my very (whilst my very),
Whilst my very (whilst my very)
Heart is breaking
All for the love of him.

 

Traditional, arranged by Peter Webster.

Other English Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs


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