Gaily the Troubadour
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Lesley Nelson-Burns


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Lyrics
This song was written in the 1820s by English songwriter and dramatist, Thomas Haynes Bayly (1797-1839), whose other songs include Long, Long Ago. It was popular in both England and America.

Thomas Haynes Bayly was born in Bath, England on October 13, 1797 to wealthy parents. His father expected Bayly to be a lawyer, but after several years at home he went to Oxford to study for the church. His studies ended when he married a wealthy woman. They had two daughters and a son. They lived happily for six years until their son died. Bayly lost his health and faced financial ruin. He turned to writing to pay the bills. Bayly fell ill and died at the age of 42 in April of 1839.*

Bayly is also known as the source for the quote, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder." The line occurs in his song Isle of Beauty. There is some debate as to whether Bayly should be credited with the line as others had written similar sentiments. See the link to Bartlett's Quotations for the others.

The most famous troubadour is Blondel, bard to Richard I (Lionheart). Legend has it that Blondel was the one who discovered that Richard was imprisoned in Upper Austria and that he may have been the one who rescued him. For another song concerning Blondel see Blondel's Song.

Gaily the troubadour touched his guitar,
When he was hast'ning home from the war.
Singing from Palestine hither I come;
Lady love, lady love welcome me home.
Singing from Palestine hither I come;
Lady love, lady love welcome me home


She, for the troubadour hopelessly wept,
Sadly she thought of him when others slept.
Singing in search of thee would I might roam;
Troubadour, troubadour come to thy home.
Singing in search of thee would I might roam;
Troubadour, troubadour come to thy home.


Hark! 'twas the troubadour breathing her name;
Under the battlement softly he came.
Singing, from Palestine, hither I come;
Lady love, lady love, welcome me home.
Singing from Palestine hither I come;
Lady love, lady love welcome me home


Related Links
From Our National Songs and
*Our Familiar Songs and Those Who Made Them
See Bibliography for full information.