The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9304   Message #2711268
Posted By: MGM·Lion
28-Aug-09 - 09:54 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Over the Hills and Far Away
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Over the Hills and Far Away
In interests of accuracy: George Farquhar's play was called The Recruiting OFFICER [not'Sergeant']; it was a straight stage comedy, not a ballad opera; it was first produced in 1706, not 1730. {For additional interest, it is the play·within·the·play being produced by the Australian transports in Timberlake Wertenbaker's distinguished play of 1988, Our Country's Good, based on novel The Playmakers by the Oz novelist Thomas Keneally, later a BookerPrize·winner with Schindler's Ark [Oscar winningly filmed by Spielberg as Schindler's List.]} Versions of Over The Hills occur interpolated into Farquhar's text; At one point e.g the recruits sing "We all shall lead more happy lives By getting rid of brats and wives That scold and brawl both night and day; Over the hills and far away - Over the hills etc"[act ii sc iii]: presumably a creative reworking by Farquhar himself rather than an actual current variant of the song, but it would be hard to be sure of this. It does however I think demonstrate that this was at the time the song concerning the ongoing wars for which the officer in the play was supposedly recruiting, which Farquhar would have expected his audience to recognise as such and respond to.