Lilys of France (The)

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LILYS OF FRANCE, THE. AKA - "Lillies of France (The)," "Soldier's Song (A)." English, Scottish; Air (whole time). D Major. Standard tuning (fiddle). AAB. The "Lillies of France" was the first line of "A Soldier's Song," written in 1756 and published anonymously in the Universal Magazine (1756), Henry Robert's Clio and Euterpe, or British Harmony, vol. 3 (1762), and other songsters. It begins:

The Lillies of France and the fair English rose,
Could never agree as old history shows;
But our Edwards and Henries those lillies have torn,
And in thier rich standards those ensigns have borne,
To shew that Old England, beneath her strong lance,
Can humble the pride and the glory of France.

The melody appears in the (James) Gillespie Manuscript of Perth (1768), and in James Aird's Selection of Scotch, English, Irish and Foreign Airs, vol. 3 (1788, No. 590, p. 225).

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