The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #36510   Message #1093887
Posted By: Joe Offer
16-Jan-04 - 02:35 AM
Thread Name: Origins: Soldier and the Sailor (Soldier's Prayer)
Subject: RE: Origins: soldier and a sailor (soldiers prayer)
This Lieder page has a version - with musical setting by Benjamin Britten!!

The Soldier and the Sailor

As the soldier and the sailor
Was a-walking one day,
Said the soldier to the sailor:
"I've a mind for to pray".
"Pray on then", said the sailor,
"Pray on once again,
And whatever you do pray for,
I will answer "Amen'".

"Now the first thing I'll pray for,
I'll pray for the Queen,
That she have peace and plenty
All the days of her reign,
And where she got one man
I wish she had ten;
And never want for an army".
Said the sailor, "Amen".

"Now the next thing I'll pray for,
I'll pray for the Queen,
That she have peace and plenty
All the days of her reign,
And where she got one ship
I wish she had ten;
And never want for a navy".
Said the sailor, "Amen".

"Now the next thing I'll pray for,
Is a pot of good beer,
For good liquor were sent us
Our spirits to cheer,
And where we got one pot,
I wish we had ten,
And never want for liquor".
Said the sailor, "Amen".

I've had my eye on a two-CD set called Britten: The Folksong Arrangements. I see that the song is also on Mike Seeger's Southern Banjo Sounds. Alan Lomax recorded Harry Cox singing it - it's on the What Will Become of England? CD from the Lomax "Portraits' series.
Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index:

Soldier and the Sailor, The

DESCRIPTION: The sailor "has a good mind to pray For the rights of all people and the wrongs of all men." He accuses the lawyers of "tak[ing] your hard earnings and giv[ing] you hard laws"; the ministers for condemning you to hell, and the farmers for high prices
AUTHOR: unknown
EARLIEST DATE: 1902 (Petrie)
KEYWORDS: political curse
FOUND IN: Britain(England(South,Lond),Scotland(Aber)) Canada(Mar) Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Doerflinger, pp. 277-278, "The Soldier and the Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)
Kennedy 239, "The Soldier and the Sailor" (1 text, 1 tune)

Roud #350
RECORDINGS:
Archie Lennox, "The Soldier and the Sailor" (on FSB8)
CROSS-REFERENCES:
cf. "'Pleasant and Delightful" (meter)
cf. "Ye Gentlemen of England (I)" [Laws K2] (theme)
Notes: This appears to exist in two forms -- one, exemplified by Doerflinger, condemning various wrongs; the other, found in Kennedy, just calling for a good time (praying for beer and the like). There are, however, enough similarities that I would consider them still one song. - RBW
File: Doe277

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