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Over the Hills and Far Away

By April 29, 2016February 18th, 2021No Comments

Hark now the drums beat up again

For all true soldier gentlemen

Then let us list and march I say

Over the hills and far away

………………………

Chorus:

Over the hills and o’er the main

To Flanders, Portugal and Spain

Queen Anne commands and we obey

Over the hills and far away

………………………

All gentlemen that have a mind

To serve a queen that’s good and kind

Come list and enter into pay

Over the hills and far away

………………………

There’s forty shillings on the drum

For those who volunteer to come

With shirts and clothes and present pay

When o’er the hills and far away

…………………………..

Hear that brave boys and let us go

Or else we shall be pressed you know

Then list and enter into pay

And o’er the hills and far away

………………………….

The constables they search about

To find such brisk young fellows out

Then let’s be volunteers I say

Over the hills and far away

………………………

Since now the French so low are brought

And wealth and honour’s to be got

Who then behind would skulking stay?

Let’s o’er the hills and far away

……………………………

No more from sound of drum retreat

When Marlborough and Galway beat

The French and Spaniards every day

Over the hills and far away

……………………….

He that is forced to go and fight

Will never get true honour by’t

Whilst volunteers shall win the day

When o’er the hills and far away

…………………………..

What tho’ our friends our absence mourn?

We all with honours shall return

And then we’ll sing both night and day

Over the hills and far away

………………………

Prentice Tom may well refuse

To clean his angry master’s shoes

For now he’s free to sing and play

Over the hills and far away

………………………

Over rivers, bogs and springs

We all shall live as great as kings

And plunder get both night and day

Over the hills and far away

………………………

For if we go ’tis one to ten

That we return all gentlemen

Our fortunes made but not from pay

Over the hills and far away

………………………

This song was published in Thomas D’Urfey’s Pills to Purge Melancholy in 1706. It appeared in The Recruiting Officer, a comedy by George Farquhar and in John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera (1728). The lyric refers to the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1714), the Duke of Marlborough and Queen Anne (1665-1714).