The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9304   Message #2711127
Posted By: Reiver 2
28-Aug-09 - 07:01 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Over the Hills and Far Away
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Over the Hills and Far Away
Sorry -- hit the wrong key - I'll try again with:

TWA RECRUITING SERGEANTS

Twa recruiting sergeants cam frae the Black Watch
To markets and fairs some recruits for to catch
And a' that they 'listed was forty and twa
So 'list, bonnie laddie, an' come awa'

    CHO: It's over the mountain and over the main
          Through Gibralter to France and Spain,
          Put a faether to your bonnet and a kilt abune your knee
          An' 'list my bonnie laddie an' come awa' wi' me

Laddie, ya dinna ken the danger that you're in
If your horses wis tae gleg, an' your ousen wis tae rin
This greedy auld fairmer winna pay your fee
So, 'list bonnie laddie an' come awa' wi' me.

    CHO:

It is intae the barn an' oot o' the byre
This auld farmer thinks ye'll never tire
It's a slavery job of low degree
So 'list bonnie laddie an' come awa wi' me.

    CHO:

Laddie, if you've got a sweetheart an' bairn
Ye'll easily get rid o' that ill-spun yarn
Twa rattles o' the drum an' that'll pay it a'
So 'list bonnie laddie an' come awa'

    CHO:


This is pretty much to the same tune and has several very similar lines, but is a recruiting song [ 'list is a contraction for enlist] and not a song about military exploits or brags.

The song "Arthur McBride" also involves a recruiting sergeant, as is "Fighting For Strangers" which goes:

FIGHTING FOR STRANGERS

    CHO: What makes you go abroad, fighting for strangers,
          When you could be safe at home, free from all dangers.

A recruiting sergeant came our way.
To an Inn nearby at the close of day.
He said, "Young Johnny, you're a fine young man,
Would you like to march along behind a military band?
With a scarlet coat, a big cocked hat
And a musket at your shoulder?"
The shilling he took and he kissed the book,
"Oh.poor Johnny, what'll happen to you?"

The recruiting sergeant marched away
From the Inn nearby, at the break of day.
Johnny went,too, with half a ring,
He was off to be a soldier, he'd be fighting for the King.
In a far off war, in a far off land,
To fight the foreign soldiers.
"But how'll you fare when there's lead in the air?
Oh, poor Johnny, what'll happen to you?"

    CHO: [repeat as at beginning]

Oh, the sun shone high on a barren land,
As a thin red line took a military stand.
There was sling shot, chain shot, grape shot, too,
Swords and bayonets thrusting through.
Poor Johnny fell, but the day was won,
And, "The King is greatful to you,
But your soldiering's done and we're sending you home,
Oh, poor Johnny, what have they done to you?"

Oh, they said he was a hero and not to grieve
Over two wooden legs and an empty sleeve.
They carried him home and they set him down
With a military pension and a medal from the crown.
"You haven't an arm, you haven't a leg,
The enemy nearly slew you.
You'll have to go out in the streets to beg.
Oh, poor Johnny, what have they done to you?

    CHO: [two or three times]

Obviously a very different song. Of the same genre and reminiscent of the better known "Johnny I Hardly Knew You."

Reiver 2