Joseph Corfe (arr.)
(1740 - 1820)

De'il tak' the wars
(S.A.T.B. + reduction)
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This work, Corfe (arr.) : De'il tak' the wars : scoreid 145811, as published by notAmos Performing Editions, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. All relevant attributions should state its URL as Permissions beyond the scope of this licence may be available at
Corfe, organist of Salisbury Cathedral, 1792 - 1804, issued two sets of "Twelve glees.... composed from ancient Scotch melodies" in the early 1790s, to satisfy two contemporary enthusiasms: that for mixed sex social music, and that for all things North-British. Corfe has catered for delicate feminine sensibilities in the current item by substituting "De'il take" with "Fie on" in the text (albeit not in the title). The current arrangement comes from the first set.

These glees were selected from a repertoire of well-known Scottish songs that had been anthologised in the previous seventy years. Corfe appears to have been particularly indebted for source material to James Johnson's "Scots Musical Museum", Edinburgh 1787, which included texts edited and improved by Robert Burns. Verses that are not underlaid were not included by Corfe, and have been imported from external sources (most especially the aforementioned "Scots Musical Museum").
Lyrics: Thomas D'Urfey

Fie on the wars that hurried Willy from me,
Who to love me had just sworn;
They made him captain, sure, to undo me;
Woe is me he'll ne'er return.
A thousand loons abroad will fight him,
He from thousands ne'er will run.
Day and night I did invite him
To stay safe from sword or gun:
I used alluring graces, with muckle kind embraces,
Now sighing, now crying; then tears, dropping, fall.
And had he my soft arms preferred to war's alarms,
My love grown mad, without the man of God,
I fear, in my fit I had granted all.

I washed and patched to make me look provoking;
Snares they told me would catch the men;
And on my head a huge commode sat cocking,
Which made me show as tall again.
For a new gown, too, I paid muckle money,
Which with golden flowers did shine.
My love well may think me gay and bonny:
No Scotch lass was e'er so fine.
My petticoat I spotted; fringe too with thread I knotted;
Lace shoes and silk hose, garter full over knee.
But Oh, The fatal thought! To Willy these were naught,
Who rode to towns, and rifled with dragoons,
When he, silly loon, might have plundered me!