“William and Nancy (I) (Lisbon; Men's Clothing I'll Put On I)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1904
Keywords: separation cross-dressing marriage war
Found in: US(Ap,MA,MW,SE,So) Britain(England(South)) Canada(Mar,Newf) Ireland


(William) has been ordered to war. His sweetheart (Nancy) offers to dress in men's clothes and accompany him. William says that Nancy is not strong enough; she assures him she will be. At last he agrees; they are married and go off together


The Sacred Harp has a tune "Lisbon" which, like many versions of this song, is in triple time. But based on the versions I've checked, they do not appear to be the same melody. - RBW

Cross references




  1. Laws N8, "William and Nancy (I) (Lisbon; Men's Clothing I'll Put On I)"
  2. Belden, pp. 177-180, "Lisbon" (3 texts, but the third is "The Girl Volunteer")
  3. Randolph 42, "Men's Clothing I'll Put On" (Of Randolph's six texts, Laws puts only "B," "D," and "E" -- the last with melody -- with this song. In fact any of these versions -- especially "B" and "E" -- might be part of "The Banks of the Nile." "A" definitely goes with that piece, and "C" and "F" go with "Jack Monroe")
  4. Chappell-FSRA 67, "Johnnie and Nancy" (1 text)
  5. FSCatskills 29, "It Was Early One Monday Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
  6. Gardner/Chickering 61, "Williams and Nancy" (1 text plus mention of 1 more, though the second text has the title "The Banks of the Nile")
  7. Creighton/Senior, pp. 156-158, "William and Nancy" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  8. Creighton-Maritime, p. 66, "It Was On One Monday Morning" (1 text, 1 tune)
  9. Peacock, pp. 202-205, "Jimmy and Nancy on the Sea" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
  10. Fowke/MacMillan 72, "Banks of the Nile" (1 text, 1 tune, considered by Fowke to be an abbreviated, localized version of "William and Nancy (I)" [Laws N8], but it could just as easily be a version of "The Banks of the Nile" [Laws N9])
  11. Mackenzie 35A, "William and Nancy" (1 text)
  12. SharpAp 121, "William and Polly" (3 texts, 3 tunes)
  13. Sharp/Karpeles-80E 34, "William and Polly (Lisbon)" (1 text, 1 tune, "slightly shortened")
  14. Fuson, pp. 67-68, "Sweet William" (1 text, a compound of the cross-dressing lover songs but more like this than any of the others)
  15. Vaughan Williams/Lloyd, pp. 58-59, "Lisbon" (1 text, 1 tune)
  16. SHenry H561, p. 458, "Lovely Annie (I)" (1 text, 1 tune)
  17. BBI, ZN1749, "Margaret my sweetest, Margaret I must go" (listed as Laws N4 though the description sounds more like this piece)
  19. Roud #551
  20. BI, LN08