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General Wolfe

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Place Collected: Ebrington
Date collected: 1909 (10 Sep)
Collector: Sharp, Cecil
Roud Number: 624

General James Wolfe (1727-1759) died commanding the forces against the French in Quebec and we can presume that this ballad appeared shortly afterward.  However, it can only be traced back to 1818, in the publication “Vocal Library”.  The jingoistic and patriotic words would have appealed to singers in Empire days, as would the striking tune.  Many will be aware of the version of this song popularised by the Watersons in the 60s, to much the same tune as the Gloucestershire versions.  It has been widely collected in England but hardly anywhere else.  There is a different song about General Wolfe sung in the USA.


Notes by Gwilym Davies 25 March 2015