Girl I Left Behind, The (Brighton Camp) - Chords, Lyrics and Origins

Origins

The words of The Girl I Left Behind were first printed in Ireland in the late eighteenth century.  The tune is frequently used to accompany Morris Dancing in England, where it is known as 'Brighton Camp' (Brighton is a city on the South Coast of England, noted for its Gay community, so this has become an unintentionally funny title).  It was used as a marching song by the U.S. army from the early nineteenth century onwards, and is particularly associated with the American civil war, in which both sides sang their own version, each with adapted lyrics.  It's easy to see why soldiers would have been drawn to this song with its focus on the proverbial girl left at home.

Chords

Capo at 4th Fret

       C                            F
I'm lonesome since I crossed the hill,

        C                               G7
And over the moorland sedgy,


          C                                F
Such heavy thoughts my heart do fill,

          C            G7          C
Since parting from my Sally.

   C
I seek no more the fine and gay,

      C                            F        G7
For each just does remind me


        
C                              F
How sweet the hours I passed away,

                C       G7      C
With the girl I left behind me.

Lyrics

I'm lonesome since I crossed the hill,
And over the moorland sedgy,
Such heavy thoughts my heart do fill,
Since parting from my Sally.
I seek no more the fine and gay,
For each just does remind me
How sweet the hours I passed away,
With the girl I left behind me.

O ne'er shall I forget that night,
The stars were bright above me,
And gently lent their silvery light
When first she vowed to love me.
But now I'm bound to Brighton camp -
Kind heaven then pray guide me,
And send me safely back again,
To the girl I left behind me.

Her golden hair in ringlets fair,
Her eyes like diamonds shining,
Her slender waist, her heavenly face,
That leaves my heart still pining.
Ye gods above oh hear my prayer,
To my beauteous fair to find me,
And send me safely back again,
to the girl I left behind me.

Other English Folk Songs
Other Traditional Folk Songs