A childrens nursery rhyme telling the rather sad tale of a young girl being strung along by a man.

It's strange that we encourage our children to sing songs about the harsher realities of life. I doubt they really understand the meaning of it all anyway.

Soldier, soldier won't you marry me
With your musket, fife and drum
Oh no sweet girl I cannot marry you
For I have no coat to put on

So off she went to her grandfathers chest
And she brought him a coat of the very very best
And she brought him a coat of the very very best
And the soldier put it on

Soldier, soldier won't you marry me
With your musket, fife and drum
Oh no sweet girl I cannot marry you
For I have no shoes to put on

So off she went to her granfathers chest
And she brought him some shoes of the very very best
And she brought him some shoes of the very very best
And the soldier put them on

Soldier, soldier won't you marry me
With your musket, fife and drum
Oh no sweet girl I cannot marry you
For I have no hat to put on

So off she went to her grandfathers chest
And she brought him a hat of the very very best
And she brought him a hat of the very very best
And the soldier put it on

Soldier, soldier won't you marry me
With your musket, fife and drum
Oh no sweet girl I cannot marry you
For I have a wife at home

This is also a line from the traditional British poem Cold, Haily, Windy Night, which deals with a similar scenario. The soldier begs a young lady to let him take shelter from the elements, and she breaks down under repeated pressure and "she opened and she let him in." Then she takes him into her bed and "she opened and she let him in." She blesses this night, and says "Soldier, soldier stay with me / Soldier, soldier won't you marry me?" But he bolts and leaves her to weep over her lost maidenhead.

The poem was made into a song by Steeleye Span on the album Please to See the King. It's on the more traditional end of their characteristic Celtic boogie style.

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