The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #172105   Message #4164794
Posted By: and e
10-Feb-23 - 02:55 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: The Sailor's Wife (Rakish Kind)
Subject: RE: Lyr Add: The Sailor's Wife (Rakish Kind)
No. 1293

OLD SOLDIERS NEVER DIE

This Army song is derived from Kind Words Never Die , a
19th century popular song written, published and per¬
formed by the famous Hutchinson Family Singers in the
1850s. In the 1890s the song was adapted and intro¬
duced at West Point military academy by General Summer-
all. Song became a national hit in 1951* during the
war action against Korea, when the title and closing
line was referred to by General Douglas MacArthur at
the conclusion of his speech to Congress. Naturally
a parody was sung by foot soldiers, which is given be¬
low as version B.

The song does not appear in any of the scholastic-type
folk song collections I have seen, but a version is in
Silverman, I, 138.

Version A is the one sung by cadets at 'West Point.

Old Soldiers Never Die (Version A)

Old soldiers never die, never.die, never die;
Old soldiers never die—they simply fade away.
Old soldiers never die, never die, never die;
Old soldiers never die—young ones wish they would.
This rain will never stop, never stop, never stop;
This rain will never stop—No, oh! No, no, no!


VERSION B

Well, once I met a sailor’s wife
And she was dressed in green;
And in one corner of her funny little thing
She had a submarine
She had a submarine, my boys,
With a cunning tour complete;
And in the other corner
She had half the friggin’ fleet!

TAG:

Old soldiers never die,
They just smell that way!


Then once I met a gunner’s wife
And she was full of fun;
And in one corner of her funny little thing
She had a six-inch gun!
She had a six-inch gun, my boys.
The breech block and the sear,
And in the other corner
Ammunition for a year, etc.

Now once I met a skipper's wife.
She was dressed in black;
And in one corner of her funny little thing
She had a fishing smack!
She had a fishing smack, my boys,

The main mast and the sails,
And in the other corner
Swam a friggin' school of whales( etc.


The Master Book of American Folk Song, 1983, ed by Riley Shepard.