The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32539   Message #428326
Posted By: Bob Bolton
29-Mar-01 - 09:22 AM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Suvla Bay (Suda Bay) - Australian
Subject: Lyr Add: SUVLA BAY / SUDA BAY
G'day, I mentioned this song in the trench Songs of WWI thread. Frank Harte asked for the words, which I posted, then the tune. Frank had the chorus, but not the verse tune - which is a different length - the verse lines are 8 bars and the chorus lines 6 bars.

I am not sure I agree with Bill's tune. His second and fourth lines (as well as the last line of the chorus) seem to go higher than the variant I know ... but i don't sing it, so i won't transcribe my memory of the tune (the NSW vs the Queensland vwersion?).

These words are the WWI version. The song was recycled in WWII to refer to Suda Bay, in Crete instead of Suvla Bay at Gallipoli.

Suvla Bay

In an old Australian homestead with roses round the door,
A girl received a letter, just newly from the war.
With her mother's arm around her she gave way to sobs and sighs,
For when she read that letter, the tears came to her eyes.
Chorus:
Why do I weep? Why do I sigh?
My love's asleep so far away.
He played his part that April day
And left my heart in Suvla Bay.

She joined a band of nurses underneath the cross of red
And swore to do her duty to the soldier who lay dead.
Many soldiers came to woo her but were sadly turned away
As to them she told the story of the grave at Suvla Bay,
Chorus:
Why do I weep? Why do I sigh?
My love's asleep so far away.
He played his part that August day
And left my heart in Suvla Bay.

Bill Scott, in The Second Penguin Australian Songbook, says he learned the WWII version ("Suda Bay" and "August day") from an RN sailor in a Navy wet canteen in Brisbane in 1944. He says many older people, including his mother, knew the WWI version.

Regards,

Bob Bolton