The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #101783   Message #3836948
Posted By: Steve Gardham
05-Feb-17 - 02:40 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: WWII Song:'Come bury me out in Benghazi'
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: WWII Song:'Come bury me out in Benghazi'
Now here is the longest British version I have from the singing of Norman Cressey of Goole, Yorkshire, recorded in 1992 at his home. Norman served in Burma in WWII and another of his songs is set in Burma. Like my father he was probably transferred to North Africa after leaving Burma. His version was the North African one with some significant differences.

He wasn't a lad for the women,
In true love could never be found,
he wasn't a lad for the women,
They laughed at him when he was down.

Now had she been the girl that she promised
He might have been raising a son,
Instead he's pushing up daisies
Under the Libyan sun.

Now you've heard of a place called Gazella,
Where most of the fighting was done,
Twas there that this poor British Tommy
Was hit by an old Eytie gun.

He raised himself up on his elbows,
The blood from his wounds dripping red,
He turned to his comrades around him
And these were the last words he said.

"Oh, bury me out in the desert,
Under the Libyan sun,
Oh, bury me out in the desert,
My duty for England is done."

So they buried him out in the desert
Coyotes to watch o'er his grave,
They buried him out in the desert
His young life for England he gave.

Now when you get back to old Blighty
The war will be over and won,
But think of that poor British Tommy
Out under the Libyan sun.

The recording of both songs is available on the British Library Sound Archive website if you put Norman Cressey's name in the search box.

Parts or equivalents of 6 of these 7 stanzas can be found in the original. Stanza 3 which is usually the first stanza in shorter versions (See above) is down to the British author presumably.

Unlike all other versions of the British song I have his tune is pretty much the same as the original Autry tune whereas all others go to 'Red River Valley'. The 'Red River Valley' was much more widely known over here in the 30s and 40s having been in the charts and plenty of sheet music available.