Robert Monro, a Scottish soldier quoted this song in an account of the German campaigns written in 1637. The tune existed at least by 1624.

Soldiers with swords in hands, to the walls coming
Horsemen about the streets, riding and running
Sentinels on the walls, arm, arm, a-crying
Petards against the ports, wild fire a-flying
When Cannons are roaring
and bullets are flying
He that would honour win
must not fear dying!
Trumpets on turrets high, these are a-sounding
Drums beating out aloud, echoes resounding
Alarm bells in each place, they are a-ringing
Women with stones in laps, to the walls bringing.
When Cannons are roaring, etc.
Captains in open fields, on their foes rushing
Gentlemen second them, with their pikes pushing
Engineers in the trench, earth, earth uprearing
Gunpowder in the mines, pagans upblowing
When Cannons are roaring, etc.
Portcullis in the ports, they are down-letting
Berghers come flocking by, too their hands setting
Ladders against the walls, they are uprearing
Women great timber logs, to the walls bearing
When Cannons are roaring, etc.

Of all the fair birds that e’er I did see
The owl is the fairest in her degree,
For all the day long she sits in a tree
And when night comes, away flies she.

To-wit, To-woo, to whom drinks now,
My song is well sung, I’ll make thee a vow
And knave is he who drinketh now…

Nose.. Nose… Nose… Nose…
And what gave ye that jolly red nose?
Cinnamon and ginger, nutmeg and cloves
And that gave me this jolly red nose.

Traditional 17th Century drinking song

How stands the glass around?
For shame ye take no care me boys
How stands the glass around?
Let mirth and wine abound.

The trumpet sounds…
The colours they are flying, boys
To fight, kill or wound.
May we still be found,
Content with our hard fare me boys
On the cold, cold ground.

Why soldiers why?
Should we be melancholy, boys?
Why soldiers why?
Whose lot is but to die…

Well, sighing’s fine,
But here drink on, me jolly boys
Tis you, he or I,
Cold, hot, wet or dry,
We’re always bound to follow, boys
And scorn to fly.

Oh, tis but in vain!
I mean not to afright ye boys.
Oh, tis but in vain!
For soldiers to complain.
Should next campaign
Send us to Him who made us, boys
We’re free from pain.
But should we remain,
A bottle and kind landlady
Cures all again…

Traditional 17th Century soldiers’ song

An authentic 17th Century soldiers’ song, resurrected by Mr Hande just in time for the 93 Convention. Somewhat mournful, it is chillingly real in its mention of the “cold, cold ground”, and the eternal optimism of the soldier, insomuch as, should they survive, a few basic comforts will make them feel well again.

(To the Tune of Cuckolds All A-row)

Know this, my Brethren, Heaven is clear, and all the clowds are gone,
The righteous men shall flourish now, good dayes are comming on;
Come then my Brethren and be glad, and eke rejoyce with me,
Lawn sleeves and Rochets shall go down, and hey then up go we.

Wee’l break the Windows which the Whore of Babylon hath painted,
And when the Popish Saints are down, then Burrow shal be Sainted;
There’s neither Crosse nor Crucifix shall stand for men to see,
Romes trash and trumpery shall go down, and hey then up go we.

What ere the Popish hands have built, our Hammer shall undoe,
Wee’l break their Pipes, and burn their Copes, and pull down Churches too:
Wee’l exercise within the Groves, and teach beneath a Tree,
Wee’l make a Pulpit of a Cask, and hey then up go we.

Wee’l down with all the Versities, where Learning is profest,
Because they practice and maintain the language of the Beast;
Wee’l drive the Doctors out of doors, and parts what ere they be;
Wee’l cry all Arts and Learning down and hey then up go we.

Wee’l down with Deans and Prebends too, and I rejoyce to tell ye
How that we will eat Pigs our fill, and Capon by the belly;
Wee’l burn the Fathers Learned Books, and Make the School-men flee;
Wee’l down with all that smells of wit, and hey then up go we.

If once the Antichristian crew be crushed and overthrown,
Wee’l teach the Nobles how to stoop, and keep the Gentry down:
Good manners have an ill report, and turns to pride we see,
Wee’l therefore cry good manners down, and hey then up go we.

The name of Lords shall be abhorr’d, for every man’s a Brother,
No reason why in Church and State one man should rule another,
But when the Change of Government shall set our fingers free,
Wee’l make the wanton Sisters stoop, and hey then up go we.

What though the King and Parliament do not accord together,
We have more cause to be content, this is our Sun-shine weather;
For if that reason should take place, and they should once agree,
Who would be in a Round-heads case? And hey then up go we.

What should we do then in this case, let’s put it to a venture,
If that we hold out seven years space, wee’l sue out our indenture.
A time may come to make us rue, and time may set us free,
Except the Gallows claim his due, and hey then up go we.

Directly from Rump Songs, also known as An Exact Collection of ye Choicest Poems & Songs Relating to the Late Times & Continued
by the Most Eminent Witts from A1639 to 1661 (Published 1662)

Many thanks to Lisa Pearson, a 17th Century Re-enactor in the USA, for this info.
Reputed to actually be a Cavaliers’ song (the opposite of what you might think from the lyrics), it is very satirical in nature. They’re taking the piss out of the Levellers and other such malcontents.