Napoleon Bonaparte
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John Renfro Davis


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According to John Anthony Scott's The Ballad of America, this song probably originated as a broadside in Ireland. It was collected throughout North America including Newfoundland, New England, the South and Midwest.

During the Revolution, France played a significant part in the winning of American independence. In 1803 Napoleon agreed to the Louisiana Purchase and in the War of 1812 although America was not a formal ally of France, the two were fighting a common enemy. Napoleon was, therefore, seen with sympathetic eyes.

Now Napoleon he has done
With his wars and his fighting,
He has gone to the land
He can take no delight in.
He may set him down
And tell of the battles he has been in,
While forlorn he does mourn
On the isle of St. Helena.

Louisa does weep for her husband's departing;
She dreams when she sleeps
And she wakes broken-hearted.
Not a friend to console
Or even those who might be with her.
While forlorn she does mourn
On the Isle of St. Helena.

The rude rushing waves
All around the shores are washing;
Now the high billows roar,
On the rough rocks are dashing.
He may look to the moon,
To the great mount of Diana.
While forlorn he does mourn
On the Isle of St. Helena.

All you that have wealth
Beware of ambition,
Lest in some degree of health
You should change your condition.
He steadfast in time,
For what's to come you know not,
And your days they may end
On the Isle of St. Helena.

You Parliaments of War,
And your Holy Alliance,
To the prisoner of war
You may now bid defiance.
For you base intrigues
And your baser misdemeanors,
Have caused him to die
On the Isle of St. Helena.

Related Links
From The Ballad of America
See Bibliography for full information.