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Bonny Bunch of Roses

Lyrics as collected by Colm O Lochlainn


Full list of songs

By the margin of the ocean

One pleasant evening in the month of June

When all the feathered songsters

Their liquid notes did sweetly tune

‘Twas there I spied a female

And on her features the signs of woe

Conversing with young Bonaparte

Concerning the Bonny Bunch of Roses, O


Then up speaks young Napoleon

And takes his mother by the hand

Saying: “Mother dear be patient

Until I’m able to take command

And I’ll raise a mighty army

And through tremendous dangers go

And I never will return again

Till I’ve conquered the Bonny Bunch of Roses, O.


When first you saw great Bonaparte

You fell upon your bended knee

And you asked your father’s life of him

He granted it most manfully

And ’twas then he took his army

And o’er the frozen alps did go,

And he said: “I’ll conquer Moscow

And return for the Bonny Bunch of Roses, O.


He took three hundred thousand men

And kings likewise to bearhis train,

He was sowell provided for

That he could sweep the world for gain;

But when he came to Moscow,

He was overpowered by sleet and snow

And Moscow all a-blazing,

And he lost the Bonny Bunch of Roses, O.


Now son, be not too venturesome,

For England is the heart of oak,

And England, Ireland, Scotland,

Their unity shall ne’er be broke;

Remember your brave father

In St Helena, he lies low,

And if you follow after

Beware of the Bonny Bunch of Roses, O.


“Oh mother, adieu forever,

For now I lie on my dying bed,

If I lived I’d have been clever,

But now I droop my youthful head;

Bu when our bones lie mouldering

And weeping willows o’er us grow

The name of young Napoleon

Will enshrine the Bonny Bunch of Roses, O.

Full list of songs