Well, I saw the gentleman soldier, at the sentry he did stand
He saluted a fair maid by a waving of his hand
So boldly then he kissed her and he passed it off as a joke
He drilled her up in the sentry box, wrapped up in a soldier's coat
And the drums they go-a the rat-a-ta-tat|
And the fifes they loudly play
Fare thee well, Polly, me dear
I must be goin' away
"Oh come, you gentleman soldier, won't you marry me?"
"Oh no, me dearest Polly, such things never can be
For I've a wife already and children I have three
Two wives are allowed in the army, but one's too many for me"
"If anyone comes a-courting you, you can treat them to a glass
If anyone comes a-courting you, you can say you're a country lass
You don't have to tell them that ever you played this joke
That you were drilled in a sentry box, wrapped up in a soldier's coat"
"Oh, come ya gentleman soldier, why didn't you tell me so
My parents will be angry when this they come to know"
And when nine long months had come and passed and purgatory got shame
She had a little millitia boy and she didn't know his name
Traditional. Performed by The Dubliners.