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​The Queen And The Soldier

This song is by Kathryn Roberts and appears on the album Kate Rusby & Kathryn Roberts (1995) by ​Kate Rusby.

A soldier came knocking upon the Queen's door,
He said, "I am not fighting for you any more."
And the Queen knew she'd seen his face someplace before,
And slowly she led him inside.

He said, "I've watched your palace up here on the hill,
And I've wondered, 'who's the woman for whom we all kill?'
But I'm leaving tomorrow, and you can do what you will,
But first I am asking you, 'why?'"

Down a long narrow hall he was led,
Into her room with her tapestries arrayed,
And she never once took the crown from her head,
And she asked him there to sit down.

He said, "I see you now, and you are so very young,
But I've seen more battles lost than I have battles won.
And I've got this intuition says it's all for your fun,
So now will you tell me why?"

Well, the young queen she fixed him with an arrogant eye,
She said, "you won't understand, and you may as well not try,"
But her face was a child's, and he thought she would cry,
But she closed herself up like a fan.

She said, "I have swallowed a secret burning thread,
It cuts me inside, and often I've bled."
And he laid his hands then on the top of her head,
And he bowed her down to the ground.

"Tell me, how hungry are you, how weak you must feel,
As you are living here alone, and you are never revealed.
Well, I won't march again on your battlefield,"
And he took her to the window to see.

Well, the sun it was gold, though the sky it was grey,
She wanted more than she ever could say.
But she knew how it frightened her, and she turned away,
And she would not look at his face again.

He said, "I want to live as an honest man
To get all I deserve and to give all I can,
And to love a young woman who I don't understand.
Your Highness, your ways are very strange."

But the crown it had fallen, and she thought she would break,
And she stood there ashamed of the way her heart ached,
And she took him to the doorstep, and she asked him to wait,
She would only be a moment inside.

Out in the distance her order was heard,
And a soldier was killed still waiting for her word,
While the Queen went on strangling in the solitude she preferred,
The battle continued on.

A soldier came knocking upon the Queen's door,
He said, "I am not fighting for you any more."
And the Queen knew she'd seen his face someplace before,
And slowly she led him inside.