Grand conversation on Napoleon

from by Phil Edwards

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With the dance tune "The Cuckoo's Nest"


It was over that wild beaten track 'twas said a friend of Bonaparte's
Did pace the sands and the lofty rocks of St Helena's shore,
And the wind it blew a hurricane, the lightning all around did dart,
The seagulls were a-shrieking and the waves around did roar.
Ah hush, rude winds, the stranger cried, while I range the spot
Where last our noble hero did his weary eyelids close.
And though at peace his limbs do rest, his name shall never be forgot.
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

Oh alas, he cried, why England did you persecute that hero bold?
Far better had you slain him on the plains of Waterloo.
For Napoleon he was a friend to heroes all, both young and old,
He caused the money for to fly wherever he did go.
When plans were forming night and day, the bold commander to betray,
He said, I'll go to Moscow and there I'll ease my woes.
And if fortune smile on me that day, then all the world shall me obey,
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

So his men in thousands did arise to conquer Moscow by surprise,
He led his men across the Alps oppressed by frost and snow,
And being near the Russian land, he then began to open his eyes,
For Moscow was a-blazing and the men drove to and fro.
Napoleon dauntless viewed the plain and then in anguish at the same,
He cried, "Retreat, my gallant men, for time so swiftly goes!"
Ah what thousands died in that retreat, some forced their horses for to eat.
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

Now at Waterloo they bravely fought, commanded by this Bonaparte,
Field Marshall Ney did him betray, for he was bribed by gold.
And when Blucher led the Prussians, it nearly broke Napoleon's heart.
He cried, "My thirty thousand men are lost, and I am sold!"
He viewed the plain and cried, "All's lost," and then his favourite charger crossed,
The plain was in confusion with blood and dying woes.
And the bunch of roses did advance and boldly entered into France.
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

Now this Bonaparte was sent to be a prisoner across the sea,
The rocks of St Helena, oh, they were his final spot.
And as a prisoner there to be till death did end his misery.
His son soon followed after him: it was an awful blot.
And long enough have they been dead, the blast of war around has spread,
And may our shipping float again to face the daring foes.
And now my boys when honour calls we'll boldly mount those wooden walls.
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.


from 52 Folk Songs: Indigo, released November 1, 2011
Phil Edwards: voice, Bontempi, flute




Phil Edwards Manchester, UK

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