The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80804   Message #1483915
Posted By: Muttley
13-May-05 - 04:43 AM
Thread Name: Songs about the Great War (WWI)
Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
Dear el punkoid nouveau - is that one your own creation?? if so it is unbelievably powerful and emotive. For that simple reason that a0 we didn't trust the British High Command (who were largely outdated and inept - read Montgomery's autobiography / biography and he'll tell it truly as it was - they were incompetent) and b) the fact that the Officers were so critical / scornful / contemptuous of men they weren't willing to follow out of the trenches that the Australians actually passed legislation following the Boer War that prevented ANY British court from trying or executing an Australian serviceman in wartime. This all came about following their high-handed and ultimately incorrect handling of the "Breaker" Morant episode.

If you have a recording of your singing this song (or anyone else) I'd love to hear it and learn it - it would add to my repertoire of songs I can do for school kids here in Oz to tell them the "real life" stories behind the "Guts-and-Glory" tales we are served up in books.

A copy of the lyrics with the attendant chords in the right places would be most appreciated as well.

NOW - a note for MARY GARVEY. Please DO PERFORM the song "No Man's Land"; but follow it up with Steve Suffet's "Willie McBride's Reply". This is what I do when I sing & play to the kids at school. I explain that No Man's Land is a highly cynical song and WHY - the fact that it was the "Great War" because for the first time in history whole nations were fighting other whole nations and the conflict spread to 3 continents but the dying was futile as when it ended, they just picked up the reins 21 years later and reprised the whole thing again only longer and bigger and when THAT one finished they "took it on the road" to Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, etc.
BUT - - - - I then play Willie McBride's Reply to show them that even if war in itself IS futile (and it is) there is STILL A REASON TO FIGHT.

Interesting to note too the comment about the treatment the returning Irish soldiers got in 1919. It almost sounds like the way the Aussie soldiers (and the Americans) were treated with contempt by their own people and families and worse, by the governments that SENT them when they returned from Vietnam.