De'il tak' the wars (Joseph Corfe)
- Editor: Christopher Shaw (submitted 2022-07-11). Score information: A4, 3 pages, 191 kB Copyright: CC BY SA
- Edition notes: Includes a keyboard reduction of the a cappella choral score. Please click on the link for preview/playback/PDF download.
First published: 1791
Description: Corfe's arrangement of D'Urfey's Scottish-style song of 1698, was made to satisfy two contemporary enthusiasms: that for mixed sex social music, and that for all things North-British. Corfe has catered for delicate feminine sensibilities in the current item by substituting "De'il take" with "Fie on" in the text (albeit not in the title). Verses that are not underlaid were not included by Corfe, and have been imported from external sources.
Original text and translations
Fie on the wars that hurried Willy from me,
Who to love me had just sworn;
They made him captain, sure, to undo me;
Woe is me he'll ne'er return.
A thousand loons abroad will fight him,
He from thousands ne'er will run.
Day and night I did invite him
To stay safe from sword or gun:
I used alluring graces, with muckle kind embraces,
Now sighing, now crying; then tears, dropping, fall.
And had he my soft arms preferred to war's alarms,
My love grown mad, without the man of God,
I fear, in my fit I had granted all.
I washed and patched to make me look provoking;
Snares they told me would catch the men;
And on my head a huge commode sat cocking,
Which made me show as tall again.
For a new gown, too, I paid muckle money,
Which with golden flowers did shine.
My love well may think me gay and bonny:
No Scotch lass was e'er so fine.
My petticoat I spotted; fringe too with thread I knotted;
Lace shoes and silk hose, garter full over knee.
But Oh, The fatal thought! To Willy these were naught,
Who rode to towns, and rifled with dragoons,
When he, silly loon, might have plundered me!