Pretty Peggy-O


h1 July 1st, 2020

Pretty Peggy-O is about the unrequited love between a captain of Irish dragoons for a beautiful Scottish girl in the fictional town of Fennario. The narration is from the voice of one of the captain’s soldiers. The captain promises the lady safety and happiness, but she refuses the captain’s advances saying she would not marry a penniless soldier. The captain subsequently leaves Fennario and later dies of a broken heart.

This tune was used in the song “Oh Freedom” and the last line “Before I’d be a slave, I’d Be buried in my grave” comes from that.

I’m amused that a lazy way to make lyrics rhyme is to put a -O after each last word in a sentence.

Peggy-O

[E] As we rode out to [A] Fennario,[E] as we rode on to Fennario [B7]
[A] Our captain fell in [C#m] love with a lady like a [A] dove
[E] And called her by a name, pretty [A] Peggy-O.[E]

Will you marry me pretty Peggy-O, will you marry me pretty Peggy-O
If you will marry me, I’ll set your cities free
And free all the people in the are-O.

I would marry you sweet William-O, I would marry you sweet William-O
I would marry you but your guineas are too few
And I fear my mama would be angry-O.

What would your mama think pretty Peggy-O,
What would your mama think pretty Peggy-O,
What would your mama think if she heard my guineas clink
Saw me marching at the head of my soldiers-O

Come steppin’ down the stairs pretty Peggy-O,
Come steppin’ down the stairs pretty Peggy-O,
Come steppin’ down the stairs combin’ back your yellow hair
Bid a last farewell to your William-O.

Sweet William he is dead pretty Peggy-O, sweet William he
is dead pretty Peggy-O,
Sweet William he is dead and he died for a maid
And he’s buried in the Louisiana country-O.

As we rode out to Fennario, as we rode out to Fennario
Our captain fell in love with a lady like a dove,
And called her by a name, pretty Peggy-O.

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