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Collection of eighty street ballads: Pretty Peggy of Derby

Collection of eighty street ballads on forty sheets, mostly with a woodcut printed at London, the majority by J. Catnach (1820­1830). London: n.p., n.d. University of Minnesota Libraries. WILSON Rare Books Quarto 820.1 C683.

Pasted to album leaf 34: broadside containing "Pretty Peggy of Derby" and "The Beautiful Maid" (left column), and "The Fisherman's Boy" (right column).

<Image: wood engraving vignette showing, on the left, a woman and girl in Regency dress resting on and standing in front of a lattice bench in a garden or park, beside a pond and weeping willow on the right.>

Pretty Peggy of Derby

J. Catnach, Printer, 2, Monmouth Court,
7 Dials, London.

THERE was a regiment of Irish dragoo<n>s,
   They were all marching to Derby O,
The captain fell in love with a young chambermaid
And her name was pretty Peggy O;
   Oh! come down stairs, pretty Peggy O,
Oh come down stairs, and comb back your hair,
   And take the last farewell of your darling O.

I'll tell you now, as I told you before,
   And why should you leave me, O teaze me so no more,
What will your mamma say, when she hears you are sick,
   And hautboys are playing before you.
A soldier's wife I never will be,
   And a soldier shall never lie in bed with me,
For I will make him stand with his hat in his hand
   When he stands in presence of my company.

Then spoke his brother, a stout young man,
   A valiant soldier as any O,
Saying, if you will not go, we shall get sweethearts en<o>w,
   When we come to Kilkenny O.
When we came to the water that runs so clear,
   That joins the town of Kilkenny O,
The Captain then said, we are many miles away,
   Here's a health to the pretty girl of Derby O.

When they came to the town, the very last town,
   The town they call Kilkenny O
His name was Captain Wade, he died for a maid,
   And he died for the pretty girl of Derby O.

Transcription and HTML coding by Brett Single. Pointed brackets mark emendations.

According to Andra Greenberg's Cowboy Angel Sings: a website focusing on the cover songs performed by Bob Dylan, "Pretty Peggy of Derby" is related to "The Trooper and The Maid," "The Bonnie Lass Of Derby-O," "Bonnie Lass of Fyvie" (recorded by Jean Redpath and by the Clancy Brothers) and "Bonnie Lass Of Fenario" (recorded by Joan Baez, Ballad Book; and by Judy Collins, Golden Apples).

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Michael Hancher
Department of English, University of Minnesota
URL: <http://umn.edu/home/mh/peggy.html>
Comments to: mh@umn.edu
Created 2 May 1997