In Lincolnshire Posy this is categorized as "'Lord Melbourne' (War Song)," where it is given a fanfare-like, almost arhythmic treatment. The song is better known as Lord Marlborough, to whom it properly refers. John Churchill (1650-1722), 1st Duke of Marlborough, soldier and statesman, is perhaps best known for his "glorious victories" against the French at Blenheim and Ramillies. He was a meticulous planner, and was also known for his consideration of the welfare of his soldiers, which is perhaps why he became so popular in balladry. He was also an ancestor of Winston Churchill, whose elder brother Charles became the 9th Duke of Marlborough in 1892.
I am an Englishman to my birth, Lord Melbourne is my name;
In Devonshire I first drew breath, that place of noble fame.
I was beloved by all my men, by kings and princes likewise.
I never failed in anything, but won great victories.
Then good Queen Anne sent us on board, to Flanders we did go,
We left the banks of Newfoundland to face our daring foe.
We climbed those lofty hills straightway, with broken guns, shields likewise,
And all those famous towns we took, to all the world's surprise.
King Charles the Second we did reserve, to face our foemen French,
And to the battle of Ramillies we boldly did advance.
The sun was down, the earth did shake, and I so loud did cry,
"Fight on, my lads, for old England's sake, we'll gain the field, or die."
And now this glorious victory's won, so boldly keep the field,
When prisoners in great numbers took, which forced our foe to yield.
That very day my horse was shot all by a cannonball,
As soon as I got up again, my aide-de-camp, he did fall.
Now on a bed of sickness lie, I am resigned to die,
You generals all and champions bold, stand true as well as I.
Stand to your men, take them on board, and fight with courage bold,
I've led my men through smoke and fire, but now to death must yield.