A beautiful and haunting song, delivered by the incomparable Sandy.
I believe this traditional verse refers to the campaigns in the 1880's by the British Army in Egypt and the Sudan (not Napoleonic era, as I have read elsewhere, as that pre-dates the Queen [Victoria] referred to in the song). But it is as relevant today as it was then. Very sad indeed.
A haunting song from a voice that continues to haunt long after the song ends. The melancholy nature of the ballad is conveyed evocatively by Sandy Denny and knowledge of her own fate adds to the sadness she imparts in her heart felt rendition.