John Clarke-Whitfeld
(1770 - 1836)

The Banks of the Dee
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A recently-coined popular song (the reference to "proud rebels" in the second verse is to the armies led in the late 1770s by a man with wooden teeth) harmonized, arranged as a glee and "dedicated to Miss Parke".

Maria Parke was a professional singer and like her father, oboist John Parke, a stalwart of the Three Choirs Festivals.
Lyrics: Anon

Twas summer, so softly the breezes were blowing,
And sweetly the nightingale sung from a tree;
At the foot of a rock, where the river was flowing,
I sat myself down on the banks of the Dee.
Flow on lovely Dee, flow on thou sweet river,
Thy banks' purest stream shall be dear to me ever,
Where first I'd th'affection and favour of Jemmy,
The glory and pride of the banks of the Dee.

But now he's gone from me, and left me thus mourning,
To quell the proud rebels, for valiant is he;
And yet there's no hopes of his speedy returning
To wander again on the banks of the Dee,
He's gone, hapless youth, o'er the wide roaring billows,
The sweetest and kindest of all his brave fellows,
And has left me to mourn amongst these once-loved willows;
The loneliest maid on the banks of the Dee.

But time and my prayers may perhaps yet restore him;
Blest peace may restore my dear shepherd to me.
And when he comes home, with such care I'll watch o'er him,
He never shall quit the sweet banks of the Dee.
The Dee then shall flow, all its beauties displaying,
The flocks shall again on the hills be seen playing,
Whilst I and my Jemmy are carelessly straying,
And tasting again all the sweets of the Dee.