Deadly Wars (The)

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DEADLY WARS, THE. AKA and see "Mill, Mill Oh (The)," "Poor Soldier (2)." Scottish, English; Air and March. C Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AA'BB'. The song is a version of Scottish poet Robert Burns's song "When Wild War'd Deadly Blast," contributed to Thomson's Select Collection of Original Scottish Airs (1793), said to have been written after hearing a poor soldier relate his experiences in a little inn at Brownhill, Nithsdale. Burns recorded the indicated tune should be the older air "Mill, Mill Oh (The)."

When wild war's deadly blast was blawn,
And gentle peace returning,
Wi' mony a sweet babe fatherless
And mony a widow mourning.
I left the lines and tented field
Where lang I'd been a lodger
My humble knapsack all my wealth
A poor but honest sodger.

The tune was entered into several early 19th century musicians' manuscript collections, including those of John Clare (1820-1834, Helpstone, Northamptonshire), R. Hughes (1823, Whitchurch, Shropshire), A.J. Hughes (North Shropshire), and J. Clews (early 19th century, Stoke on Tern, Shropshire).

Source for notated version:

Printed sources: Carlin (Master Collection), 1984; No. 36, p. 32.

Recorded sources:




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