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Lyr Req: Salonica / Salonika

Related threads:
ADD/Origins: My Husband's in Salonika^^ (38)
Help: Who wrote Salonika????? (7)


Reiver 2 26 Mar 07 - 04:46 PM
MartinRyan 26 Mar 07 - 04:52 PM
Reiver 2 26 Mar 07 - 05:25 PM
GUEST,Joe Offer 26 Mar 07 - 05:28 PM
MartinRyan 26 Mar 07 - 05:33 PM
MartinRyan 26 Mar 07 - 05:39 PM
Effsee 26 Mar 07 - 09:35 PM
Leadfingers 26 Mar 07 - 10:02 PM
Peace 27 Mar 07 - 12:27 AM
Reiver 2 27 Mar 07 - 10:29 AM
George Papavgeris 27 Mar 07 - 11:05 AM
Reiver 2 27 Mar 07 - 12:23 PM
Declan 27 Mar 07 - 02:03 PM
George Papavgeris 27 Mar 07 - 03:37 PM
Little Robyn 27 Mar 07 - 03:49 PM
George Papavgeris 27 Mar 07 - 04:28 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 28 Mar 07 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,mick 28 Mar 07 - 09:38 AM
MARINER 28 Mar 07 - 05:05 PM
Reiver 2 29 Mar 07 - 01:30 AM
Joe Offer 29 Mar 07 - 03:00 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 29 Mar 07 - 05:42 AM
Dave the Gnome 29 Mar 07 - 06:31 AM
bubblyrat 29 Mar 07 - 08:20 AM
bubblyrat 29 Mar 07 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,mick 29 Mar 07 - 08:41 AM
Reiver 2 29 Mar 07 - 01:22 PM
ard mhacha 29 Mar 07 - 01:46 PM
ard mhacha 29 Mar 07 - 02:05 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Reiver 2
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 04:46 PM

I have a song called Salonica (pronounced Sah-LAH-ni-ka in this song) performed by the Dublin City Ramblers. It's on a CD "Irish Pub Songs, Vol. 2" - various artists. I can't find it here on the Mudcat. It appears to be a song sung by an Irish soldier's wife about the difficulties faced by the troops and complaints about "slackers" who didn't go to war. It appears to be from World War I, and the title is in reference to the Greek city I learned to pronounce Sal-ah-NEE-ka. Does anyone have the lyrics and would be so kind as to post them? Also any additional information about the song, would be appreciated. As I recall one line goes: "When the war is over, what will the soldiers do? They'll walk around on a leg-and-a-half, while the slackers, they have two." Any information will be appreciated. Thanks.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 04:52 PM

Search this site on "Salonika". That'll find it!


Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Reiver 2
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 05:25 PM

I'm sorry. Search where? I checked the Digitrad and there was nothing there. I checked the forum and Salonika produced 4 references, none of which had anything to do with the song. (One was something about a Greek fisherman's hat that was made in Salonika.)

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: GUEST,Joe Offer
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 05:28 PM

Hi, Reiver - I think you'll find the song in this thread (click). It isn't quite clear to me - did Jimmy Crowley write it? Jimmy did a concert at my church last week. The audience wasn't quite sophisticated enough to appreciate all his stuff, but it was a good concert. Wish I could have heard him in a quieter venue.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 05:33 PM

Thanks, Joe. No - Jimmy didn't write it. It's a contemporary First World War song from Cork. It's not clear whether the Sinn Fein verse was there from the beginning - my guess is a few years later.

Reiver: putting "salonika" into "Lyrics and Knowledge Search" turns it up in the first thread show, for me. Sorry if I led you astray!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: MartinRyan
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 05:39 PM

Incidentally, despite Eric the Red's comment in the other thread, the reference to "Dicky Glue" is correct. According to Tomás Ó Canainn's "Songs of Cork" book, the gentleman was "a pawnbroker and moneylender wha had considerable difficulty in recovering his loans. He is still (1978) vividly remembered by Corkonians from the North side of the River."

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Effsee
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 09:35 PM

The song is on the Dubliners 25 Anniversary Double CD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Leadfingers
Date: 26 Mar 07 - 10:02 PM

McGrath posted the full lyrics in 1998 ! Put Salonika in the search box .


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Subject: Lyr Add: SALONIKA
From: Peace
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 12:27 AM

I sent that via message to Reiver 2.

Hang on and I'll psot the message here.

[PM] McGrath ADD: My husband's in Salonika^^ (4) Lyr Add: SALONIKA^^ 24 Jun 98

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Salonika

My husband's in Salonika I wonder if he's dead
I wonder if he knows he has a kid with a foxy head?
So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boy.


Now when the War is over what will the slackers do?
They'll be all around the soldiers for the loan of a bob or two.
So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boy.


Now when the War is over what will the soldiers do?
They'll be walking around with a leg and a half and the slackers they'll have two.
So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boy.


They taxed the pound of butter, they taxed our half-penny bun (pronounced; haypenny)
But still with all their taxes they can't beat the bloody Hun.
So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boy.


They taxed the Coliseum, they taxed St. Mary's Hall
Why don't they tax the Bobbies with their backs against the wall?
So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boy.


Now when the War is over what will the slackers do?
For every kid in America in Cork there will be two.


For they takes us out to Blarney and lays us on the grass
They puts us in the family way and leaves us on our ass.


So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boy.


There's lino in the parlour and in the kitchen too
There's a glass back chevonier that we got from Dicky Glue.


Now never marry a soldier, a sailor or a marine
But keep your eye on the Sinn Féin boy with his yellow, white and green.


So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boy.


During the Great War (WW1), the Munster Fusiliers fought a long and bloody battle against Turkish forces in Salonika, Greece. The wives of these fuisliers got "seperation" money from the British Army in addition to the soldiers pay. Men in Cork who "avoided" the war for political or other reasons became known as "slackers". This song is a "slagging match" or a ball hopping contest between a "slackers" wife and a "sepera", the wife of a Munster Fusilier.


Words, music and extra notes can be found in "Jimmy Crowley's Irish Song Book", published by The Mercier Press in 1986; ISBN 0 85342 773 9

Regards
Frank McGrath
Nenagh Singers Circle


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Reiver 2
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 10:29 AM

Thanks to all of you who've replied to my original post. Especially to Frank McGrath for the words and note re. the Munster Fusiliers. The words are, I believe, the same as those sung by the Dublin City Ramblers that I have (I couldn't understand all of what they were singing). One last (I think) question: What is the significance or meaning of the phrase repeated in the chorus, "So right away?" Thanks again to you all, and for the info. on how to find it here on the Mudcat. Sorry to be so dense.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 11:05 AM

In the context, I think it's a sort of "fol-de-rol" or "too-ra-laye-ay". One could take it as a "here we go" kind of cry, but it wouldn't make sense with all the verses then.

I don't want to rain on anyone's parade, but as a Salonican myself I dislike the song; it's not how I want my town to be remembered. Tough shit, I suppose, but it caused me to write my "Memories of Salonica" as an antidote. Still, this is not the place for it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Reiver 2
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for the tip re. "So right away." On my recording, it sounds as though they are singing, "so rights away" which still doesn't make any better sense to me, so your guess is probably right.

Sorry, if my bringing up the song offended you or anyone else. I like the rather rollicking tune and as a history buff wondered about the background of the song.

Since you're a "native" tell me, what is the correct pronounciation: Sah-LON-i-ka, or Sal-a-NEE-ka? Or are both incorrect? Is your "Memories of Salonika" posted anywhere here on the Mudcat -- and why wouldn't the Mudcat be the place for it?

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Declan
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 02:03 PM

I always thought it was "Write Away" as in continue to write your letters home, me soldier boy, but you don't really know what we're getting up to at home. No idea whether this is correct or not, but it makes sense to me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 03:37 PM

No offence, Reiver 2, I was a little tongue-in-cheek there!
The pronounciation is Sah-LON-i-ka indeed. The full name of the city is "Thessaloniki" (Thessalo-NI-ki), meaning "victory over the people of Thessaly", and it was established (and named thus) by King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. The shortened "Salonica" came from the French "(Thes)Salonique".

I will PM you the lyrics of my song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Little Robyn
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 03:49 PM

I'd like to see your song too George.
Here would be a good place.
Robyn


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Subject: ADD: Memories of Salonika (George Papavgeris)
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 27 Mar 07 - 04:28 PM

Ooh, all right then - my arm doesn't require much twisting!

Memories of Salonika
George Papavgeris, March 2002

When winter's freezing wind came down the river
The cobblestones would ice up overnight.
We'd ride a plank downhill and cross the tram lines
And get told off by passers by for giving them a fright.
On Maydays the city went for picnics;
We'd climb the hill of Thousand Trees at dawn;
We'd play and sing and just before return we'd gather flowers,
One garland round each neck and one more extra for the door.

On summer nights, with arms around each other
The girls along the promenade would stroll.
The boys would wait for them by the White Tower
To pass a message, catch a look or for a hand to hold.
And by the statue of King Alexander
Like sentries in the early morning mist
The three of us around a lemonade with three long straws
Tall stories we would trade about the ones we might have kissed.

On Sundays after church they'd line the harbour
With box of bait and fishing line and stool,
Their faces like burnt ebony, but harder,
Old sailors would dispence their tales like teachers at the school.
We'd listen till the bells of Ay Dimitri
For vespers chimed to call us home at night.
And coming from the neighbourhood taverna in the dark
The sound of the street organ was the perfect lullaby.

(chorus)
I can't erase the memories of Salonika.
Remoteness and the passing years just stronger make the hold;
Like distant music from a sweet harmonica
That makes the heartstrings resonate to harmonies of old.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 09:07 AM

"During the Great War (WW1), the Munster Fusiliers fought a long and bloody battle against Turkish forces in Salonika, Greece."

Actually, if I remember correctly, the British Army (which, in those days, included Irish soldiers) and French Army fought the Germans and Bulgarians in Greek Macedonia (capital Thessaloniki = Salonica) - not the Turks. You're probably thinking of the Gallipoli campaign - which was certainly bloody. In contrast the Salonica Campaign was characterised by long periods on inaction. So much so that some smart-arse French politician characterised the allied armies as 'The Gardeners of Salonica'. Ever since this campaign has been in danger of disappearing from the pages of the history books - in spite of the fact that when the battles did actually start, the Bulgaro/German army was defeated pretty decisively.

The history of Thessaloniki (Greece's second city) is narrated in a book called, 'Salonica City of Ghosts: Christians, Muslims and Jews 1430 - 1950' by Mark Mazower (HarperCollins, 2004). This book contains a fairly extensive account of the Salonica Campaign.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 09:38 AM

"A kid with a foxy head"
A baby with red hair i.e with questionabale paternity


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: MARINER
Date: 28 Mar 07 - 05:05 PM

Shimrod, the British Army still includes Irish soldiers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Reiver 2
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 01:30 AM

Thanks, George, for the note on the pronounciation. I learned in elementary school geography to pronounce it with the emphasis on the NI, as it was a shortening of the real name Thessal-o-NI-ka (as it was pronounced here in the States). I wondered if the difference in pronounciation was one of the frequent differences in pronouncing the same word from one country to the other: ie. LAB-bra-tory vs La-BOR-a-tree.

Thanks, also, for posting "Memories of Salonika." You can take well deserved pride in it! I wish I could hear it sung.

Declan, "Write away" and your explanation make sense to me, too. It would be good to know which spelling "write" or "right" was intended in the original.

GUEST Mick, I'd figured the "foxy head" was a reference to a red-haired young'un, but hadn't been aware that the expression also was a reference to questionable parentage. In the verse, the wife is wondering if her husband knows he's the father of a "boy with a foxy head" and I wouldn't think she would use that expression if it also implied questionable parentage.

Shimrod, your observations that the fighting around Salonika involved the Bulgarians rather than the Turks, is correct. There were British troops in and around Salonika for several years and most of the time little was happening there. The troops at various times included Welsh, Scottish and Irish regiments as well as English, but I can find no reference to the Munster Fusiliers among the Irish. In Sept. of 1918 there was a major battle with British, Greek and French troops fighting against Bulgarian troops with German advisors. This turned into a disaster for the British who sustained enormous casualties. However, after the battle the Bulgarians retreated leaving the field to the British -- those who survived the battle, that is. Soon after that the war ended. (see Wikipedia, "World War I, Battle of Salonika")

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Joe Offer
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 03:00 AM

I really liked your song, George - and I really liked your city, too. Thessaloniki is a bit off the tourist track, and it's a wonderful place to visit.
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 05:42 AM

Hi Reiver 2,

I wonder how reliable the Wikipedia article that you refer to actually is?

In his book, 'The Gardeners of Salonika: The Macedonian Campaign 1915 - 1918' (Andre Deutsch, 1965) Alan Palmer tells us that, "The most effective enemy of the British in Macedonia was undoubtedly the malaria-bearing mosquito. During the three years of the campaign ten times as many British soldiers entered hospital with malaria as with wounds caused by enemy action; no less than 34,762 British officers and men ... were invalided home as chronic malarial cases ..." (p.142). This suggests that somewhere between 3,000 to 3,500 British soldiers were wounded by enemy action and this figure hardly represents "enormous casualties" by First World War standards.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 06:31 AM

I always heard the Dubliners sing 'Poxy head'. Seems to make more sense to me.

Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: bubblyrat
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 08:20 AM

I also thought the Dubliners sang "Dickie DREW ", perhaps as a comic reference to a relative of Ronnie"s ?? Whenever they played, they always seemed to be enjoying a private joke or two, which made them both charismatic and attractive ( for me ,anyway !! )


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: bubblyrat
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 08:22 AM

I forgot to say how much I enjoyed reading the words of George"s BEAUTIFUL song. Thankyou, George.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: GUEST,mick
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 08:41 AM

I can't understand what would be meant by poxy head. Foxy head surely makes more sense in the context of the song. You still hear the term used in Ireland btw .
I hear the song as a battle between two women, one with a husband in the army ,the other married to a slacker (perhaps it was originally sang as a comic duet?). The army wife wonders whether her husband is dead , Mrs Slacker wonders whether he knows that his wife has had a kid from another man while he's away.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: Reiver 2
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 01:22 PM

Well, I can't vouch for the accuracy of Wikipedia. I haven't read the Deutsch book -- will have to find it and give it a look. Here's one entry from Wikipedia:

"The British XVI Corps (later redesignated as the British Salonika Army) was formed in Salonika during the First World War....

"History
British operations in the Balkans Campaign were considered to be a side show during the war, there is very little written or known about the campaign but the fighting was as brutal and costly as on the other fronts. The Battle of Doiran in September 1918 saw battalions reduced in numbers like that of the First Day on the Somme with as little gain..."

Another Wikipedia entry's first paragraph bears out your point about the malaria scourge: "Salonika and Macedonia 1916 - 1918
It is fairly easy to find descriptions of The Western Front, Mesopotamia, Gallipoli and other well-known areas of action. The events in Salonika are not so easy to find as it was regarded as a sideshow. In the following I have assembled some information from various sources which give some idea of what was involved in the Salonika campaign where for every casualty of battle three died of malaria, influenza or other diseases...."

Still another entry includes this: "At the beginning of 1918, the Allied troops in Salonika were prepared for a major offensive intended to end the war in the Balkans. The Greek Army had been reorganised and joined the Allied force. The offensive began in July 1918, but the British contingent did not play a significant part until early September. Then the British attacked a series of fortified hills. The final assault began along the whole front on 15th September 1918, the British being engaged in the Lake Doiran area...."(This is followed by an account of the battle, by a soldier on the Staff of the 28th Division, entitled, "I saw the Futile Massacre at Doiran," which is too long for me to include here)

Finally there is this account of casualties: "The Allies' losses were enormous: they lost around 20,000 soldiers, while the Bulgarians suffered only 2,000-5,000...."

As I said, I can't vouch for Wikipedia's accuracy, but this was what I based my earlier comments on.

Reiver 2


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: ard mhacha
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 01:46 PM

Revier2,My father was in the Connaught Rangers and they were in Salonika, and he did mention that they fought against the Bulgars. and Shimrod is right about the numbers who succumbed to malaria, my father told me they "went down like flies".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Salonica
From: ard mhacha
Date: 29 Mar 07 - 02:05 PM

The Dubliners are singing Salonika on You Tube.


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