The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #135356   Message #3087858
Posted By: Jim Carroll
03-Feb-11 - 09:54 AM
Thread Name: Greenfields of France parody...
Subject: RE: Greenfields of France parody...
It is the song being parodied, and the fact that it has become a maukishly meaningless 'chucking out time favourite', not the situation it covers.
The composer, Crawford Howard was well aware of the authorship of the original, and his parody has also been adapted by Fintan Vallely 'Willie McBride, You Bastard'.
Both are to be found in the collection (book) 'Sing Up' Irish comic songs and satires for every occasion - collected and introduced by Fintan Vallely.
This is his introduction to the the first parody, 'Willie McBride - the Revenge'
Willie Mac Bride: The Revenge
"Some time in the 1970s, Australian Eric Bogle wrote a wonderful (so to speak) song about the horrors of World War 1. It dealt with the pointlessness of the slaughter, and addressed an unknown soldier, one Willie MacBride. The Fureys recorded it and it became a hit, reaching the top of the charts and staying lodged in everybody's sentiment file, everywhere that English is spoken. Overnight it replaced Thomas Moore's Believe me if all these endearing young charms, Goodnight Irene and Paper Roses as the No. 1 wedding-guest song. From that oxygen-rare pedestal of success it veered downward into the average shower-routine repertoire, and finally it arrived in the weekend-night, lounge-bar circuit—in which emotional surroundings it could be dealt full, deliberate, slow and painful lyric justice. By the early eighties it was already having the effect of mustard gas in the pubs and there were rumours of a fatwah being put out on Eric Bogle for writing it. Anyone who was suspected of being able to sing was constantly terrorised by unknown civilians with requests to "do Willie MacBride". Finally Crawford Howard from Belfast—a renowned composer of satires— went insane and decided he would oblige—with" parody, as revenge.

Jim Carroll