The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #30384   Message #963828
Posted By: GUEST,Q
07-Jun-03 - 09:14 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: D Day Dodgers
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: D Day Dodgers
Two threads, (34510) and this one, are adding new material to the story, songs and lyrics, fitting since June 6th and our veterans are still in our minds.
Several compilations have been attributed to Major Hamish Henderson, all somewhat different.
The original lyrics attributed to Lance Sergeant Harry Pynn apparently lacked any mention of Lady Astor (nor is there any documentation showing that she ever made the remarks- probably invented by anti-Americans). Comments by Jim Dixon and others in the threads flesh out these comments.

Some versions have a first verse that often seems to be left out. It is included in the very full version at http://ingeb.org, and also appears in a version from Signalman Jack Linden Cull. It may point to verses sung to Lili Marlene that pre-date the D-Day Dodgers verses. This from the typescript by Jack Linden Cull (8th Army, 2nd Battalion, Parachute Regiment:

The "D" Dodgers

There is a song Eight Army used to sing
Marching thro the desert, marching with a swing
But now they're on a different game
Although the tune is (still) the same,
The words have all been altered-
The words we're singing still.

We're the "D" day Dodgers here in Italy
Drinking all the vino, always on the spree,
We didn't land with Eisenhower,
Ans so they think we're just a shower.
For we're the "D" Day Dodgers out here in Italy.

To look at the origin of the song from another viewpoint:

"The "D-Day Dodgers" were Irish troops sent in 1943, the year before D-Day, into Sicily and then up the boot of Italy by the British high command to do some of the nastiest fighting in all of World War II.
Those Irish lads were alongside American and other Allied soldiers who paid hideous prices at Salerno, Naples, Casino and Anzio. The Brits never did entirely trust Irish when armed, in part because they were, to be honest about it, some who sympathized with Gerrmany.
"But the overwhelming majority of Irish people was solidly in the Allied camp---"

"The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem have celebrated these lads--- Aching with bitter irony and dripping Irish sarcasm (Canadian parallel in "Onwards to the PO," thread 34510), the ballad concludes in loving patriotism;

"Look around the mountains,
in the mud and rain.
You see the scattered crosses
-there's some that have no name.

Heartbreak and toil
and suffering gone,
The boys beneath them slumber on.
They are the D-Day Dodgers
-who stay in Italy."

From a column by John L. Perry: D-Day Dodgers

Extended compilation in ingeb: D-Day Dodgers

Thread 34510, "Onwards to the Po": Lyr D-Day Dodgers