How Happy the Soldier
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
This tune was popular among British soldiers during the Revolutionary War. The Americans picked it up and it was popular on both sides during the War of 1812. How happy the soldier who lives on his pay,
And spends half a crown on six pence a day;
He fears neither justices, warrants nor bums,
But pays all his debts with a roll of the drums,
With a row de dow,
Row de dow, Row de dow,
And he pays all his debts with a roll of his drums.

He cares not a Marnedy how the world goes;
His King finds his quarters, and money and clothes;
He laughs at all sorrow whenever it comes,
And rattles away with the roll of the drums.
With a row de dow,
Row de dow, Row de dow,
And he pays all his debts with a roll of his drums.

The drum is his glory, his joy and delight,
It leads him to pleasure as well as to fight;
No girl, when she hears it, though ever so glum,
But packs up her tatters, and follows the drum.
With a row de dow,
Row de dow, Row de dow,
And he pays all his debts with a roll of his drums.

Related Links
From The Burl Ives Songbook
See Bibliography for full information.