Over the Hills and Far Away
Version 2
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


Information
Lyrics
This tune was published in Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy (Originally in 1706). It appeared in The Recruiting Officer, a comedy by George Farquhar and in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728). These are the words as sung in The Recruiting Officer.

John Gay's version is at Over the Hills and Far Away (1)

According to one source the tune is an older air whose origin is unkown. According to another, the original air was Jockey's Lamentation or Jockey met with Jenny fair. For the original 1706 lyrics see the link to Bruce Olsen's site below. John Tams combined new and old lyrics to the tune for Sharpe's Rifles.

The tune was very popular in Colonial and Revolutionary America.

Our 'prentice Tom may now refuse
To wipe his scoundrel Master's Shoes,
For now he's free to sing and play
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

We all shall lead more happy lives
By getting rid of brats and wives
That scold and bawl both night and day -
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

Courage, boys, 'tis one to ten,
But we return all gentlemen
All gentlemen as well as they,
Over the hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

Related Links
From Songs from The Williamsburg Theatre
See Bibliography for full information.