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The Banks of the Nile

O hark the drums do beat, my love, I can no longer stay
The bugle horns are sounding clear and we must march away
We are ordered down to Portsmouth and it’s many’s the weary mile
To join the British Army on the banks of the Nile

O Johnny, my love Johnny don’t leave me here to mourn
Don’t make me curse and rue the day that ever I was born
For parting with my love would be like parting with my life
So stay at home and do not roam and I will be your wife

O Nancy, lovely Nancy sure that would never do
The captain he has ordered and we are bound to go
We must forsake our sweethearts likewise our native soil
For we are bound on oath to serve on the banks of the Nile

O but I’ll cut off my yellow hair and I’ll go along with you
I’ll dress myself in uniform and I’ll see Egypt too
I’ll march beneath your banner while fortune it does smile
And we’ll comfort one another on the banks of the Nile

But your waist it is too slender and your fingers they are too small
And the burning suns of Egypt your rosy cheeks would spoil
For the cannons they do rattle and the bullets they do fly
And the silver trumpets sound so loud to hid the dismal cries

O cursed be those cruel wars however they began
For they have robbed our country of many’s the handsome man
They have robbed us of our sweethearts now their bodies they feed the lions
On the burning sandy desert on the banks of the Nile.



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