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Lyr Add: Our Son Jack (van den Muijzenberg)

Mysha 16 Nov 07 - 03:58 PM
The Villan 16 Nov 07 - 04:02 PM
Bob the Postman 16 Nov 07 - 07:45 PM
Mysha 17 Nov 07 - 10:23 AM
Mysha 17 Nov 07 - 10:50 AM
The Villan 17 Nov 07 - 11:25 AM
Mysha 17 Nov 07 - 01:13 PM
The Villan 17 Nov 07 - 02:35 PM
Mysha 20 Nov 07 - 05:56 PM
Mysha 16 Nov 09 - 10:51 AM
open mike 16 Nov 09 - 01:31 PM
open mike 16 Nov 09 - 02:02 PM
Mysha 16 Nov 09 - 06:03 PM
Howard Jones 17 Nov 09 - 11:08 AM
Mysha 17 Nov 09 - 02:25 PM
Barbara 17 Nov 09 - 11:03 PM
Barbara 19 Nov 09 - 10:13 PM
Mysha 06 Aug 14 - 04:40 PM
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Subject: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Mysha
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 03:58 PM

Hi,

In this thread I wrote (more or less):

"I must say that the search of the Kiplings for their son, followed by that final report, has the making of a folk song itself."

So I made one. I used the melody The Irish Rovers use for My Boy Willie, as that's what I associate with searching for a loved one, but only a few lines are reminiscent of that song. The English for this text is a bit complex, though, by my standards, so I would welcome critical eyes and critical (though gentle) keyboards, to tell me whether I used all the right prepositions and stuff.


OUR SON JACK
(words: Mysha: Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg;
music: traditional: My Boy Willie/The Butcher Boy)

It was in the latest of the fall
That from our army came the call
Our Jack was proud, to serve his king
And he would be back, before the end of spring.

So their darling son marched off to war
Of what happened then, they heard no more
No message Jack, to them, did send
And it took a long time for the war to end.

But when the fighting was finally done
In vain they waited for their son
When they asked about him, from those who came
Those few that would speak, didn't know his name.

They'd go to hospital and grave
Clinging to their hope, that their boy had been saved
And every soldier, they enquired to:
Has our dear boy Jack fought beside of you?

Then finally a man spoke out:
Your dear boy Jack has done you proud
Though he was wounded, he would not rest
But a deadly blow caught him in the chest.

Oh darling, now hear what I've done
The army would not have our son
But they let him march, because of what I said
It is for my words, that our Jack is dead.

                                           P.H.M.


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: The Villan
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 04:02 PM

Ben je en Nederlander P.H.M ?


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 16 Nov 07 - 07:45 PM

Mysha, I sent you a PM.


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (Dutch)
From: Mysha
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:23 AM

The Villan asked:
"Ben je en Nederlander P.H.M ?"
(Wants to know whether I'm and Dutchman.)

Ja.
(Giving confirmation that indeed I am.)

                                                                   Mysha


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Mysha
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 10:50 AM

Bob,

Thanks. I sent you a reply. I'm glad that everything is at least passable. Especially, I'm glad the final line where Kipling expresses his feeling of guilt, isn't ruining the song somehow.

Of course, further help is still appreciated. As The Villan noticed, two messages up, I'm from the other side of the North Sea and English not being among my native tongues does hamper me a bit with this text.

                                                                Mysha


Hm, I send a message to the Postman. Does have a ring of "Return to Sender", doesn't it:

I send a message to the Postman
Over the Internet
And I received an answer
In seven minutes flat:

(I read inside it:)
"Returned to sender:
No such name
No such server or domain."

                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 11:25 AM

Mysha
Which town are you from?
I lived for 13 years in Amsterdam and my wife was born in Amsterdam.
Les


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (Two cities in the Netherlands)
From: Mysha
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 01:13 PM

Hi Les,

I live in Sneek, which is a Frisian city. I did study in Amsterdam for a while, though, so I'm familiar with that city too.

Do you have any comments on the song you'd like to contribute from your somewhat bilingual background?

                                                                   Mysha


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: The Villan
Date: 17 Nov 07 - 02:35 PM

Nice part of the world Mysha.
I taught IT up in Groningen. No English was spoken, but they had to promise not to speak in dialect. :-)
Been to Terschelling twice. Love that Island.

I wonder how the English would pronounce Sneek LOL Snake - no they wouldn't say that would they LOL

Not many people over here know about the Elfstedentocht, for which I know that Sneek is one of the 11.

I was lucky to be in Holland when it was on. What a tough ice skating competition.

I think your lyrics are really good and I have nothing to add to it.

Les


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (Kipling-like text)
From: Mysha
Date: 20 Nov 07 - 05:56 PM

Hi,

OK, since, judging from the reactions of you both, the worst "mistake" I made seems to be that I may have chosen somewhat unusual wording in some places, I'll let it stand as it is. I may still folkify it whenever I find an occasion to actually sing it in a session, of course.

Looking at my own text, I noticed the words of the soldier are quite Kipling-like, in that the opinion is neither that of the writer, nor of the protagonist, but is something that fit that character. I expect it's not even the opinion of the soldier, but is the only consolation he can give Jack's parents.

Anyway, I'll let you know when I'm able to try it in a session and can turn these words into a proper song - unless someone else beats me to it.

                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack
From: Mysha
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 10:51 AM

Hi,

I have yet to fulfill that last promise:
Last year on my summer vacation I ran into a Folk event in Durham. Having some doubts about a foreigner singing English Folk to folk from England I sang some Dutch and Frisian lyrics and I also found myself singing some of my own words that are scattered around Mudcat. This one, slightly Folkified, was among them. So I guess, this has now officially progressed from words to a song.

Bye,
                                                                  Mysha


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: open mike
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 01:31 PM

can you include more about the original subject?
Is the Rudyard Kipling's son in the song?

this line is a bit akward.

"No message Jack, to them, did send"

(how about : "No word from Jack came to their door")

this might be made to rhyme by putting "war" at the end of the line

"And it took a long time for the war to end"

("Yet, they waited for the end of the war")
(still a bit awkward, i admit)


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: open mike
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 02:02 PM

ok--more info

Rudyard Kipling's only son John was killed in WW1

http://www.firstworldwarstudies.org/?p=272

John Kipling remains one of the half million or so British casualties whose remains were lost in that war.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-490100/Novelists-Kipling-grief-tragic-son-15-million-ITV-drama.html#ixzz0X3BalYTb


http://www.webhistoryofengland.com/?p=163

Jacfk had poor eyesight and Rudyard helped h


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Mysha
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 06:03 PM

Hi,

More information can be found i the thread I mentioned at the start of the tread, but it's basically:

After a beautiful summer, WW I broke out. Everyone expected this to be the typical short war of the time. Jack Kipling wanted to enlist, but was refused for needing glasses. Rudyard Kipling used his influence to give his son the chance he wanted. The war turned out to last for years, without a word from Jack, and when finally the soldiers returned, unwilling to speak of the hell they'd been through, no-one could tell the Kiplings what had happened to their son. For yet another year the Kiplings lived between hope and fear, contacting hospitals and trying to find soldiers who had fought in the same unit as Jack. Finally, they located such a soldier, who told them Jack had died already in 1915. In the film, this is apparently portrayed as him charging at a gunner's nest, being gunned down, but rising up again, yet finally be gunned in the chest. After the Kiplings knew the fate of their son, Rudyard Kipling admited to his wife that he felt he had caused their son's death.

Sort of what it says in the song too, I hope.

I wasn't actually asking for help with the wording this time; it just remains in the thread title, but thanks Mike for mentioning that sentence. I know a few sentences have bits that are somewhat in reverse, and also, there are shifts in the view point. But that's sort of on purpose, because it seemed to fit the melody, which is rather traditional. Somehow, those constructs seem to give the lyrics that same feel. In fact, encouraged by my experiences in Durham I sung it again at a folk night in York, and two other singers did comment that it seemed to link with traditional songs. So though it may be slightly awkward, it apparently succeeds.

There is another weakness in that sentence, however, and I'll try whether I can incorporate your suggestion without changing the structure the sentence has now. Thanks.

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Howard Jones
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 11:08 AM

A couple of points regarding English usage:

"The latest of the fall" doesn't sound right. "Fall" is more American usage than English (we'd usually say "Autumn") but you could certainly get away with it. However, the whole phrase is a give-away that you're not a native speaker. I can offer "As Autumn leaves began to fall/Then from our army came the call" as an alternative.

You wouldn't say "enquired to". The correct usage would be "enquired of", but this is a bit formal and in ordinary speech you'd probably just say "enquired".

Similarly, you wouldn't say "fought beside of you", simply "beside you". "Alongside you" would also work, if you want to retain the three syllables.

These are details, though. Taken as a whole, it's a good song and your grasp of English is impressive.


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Mysha
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 02:25 PM

Hi Howard,

Thanks for the comments. All three lines you comment on are references to the song I borrowed the tune from. Funny that these stand out like that. (-:

However, "The latest of the fall" was a momentary black-out regarding my history, as it's the end, rather than the start, of WW I that was in the latest of autumn. Having realised that (and disliking the "fall" as it would no longer have been current at the time of the song) I actually sing "The summer had been good to all". Not perfect, but acceptable. "As the Autumn leaves began to fall" might work too, though I'm not sure the "Then" will follow naturally. I'll try it out. Thanks.

"Enquired to", spelt as "Inquired to", was borrowed from the older one. As searching it on Mudcat also produced a more recent occurrence, I'll leave it for now. I agree that "fought beside of you" is not quite right, though, so I may sacrifice these last remnants of the older song, if I can replaced them together. (Alongside may have the stress upon the wrong syllable (and we sing, a tropical song).)

Thanks for the compliment. I guess it's safe to sing it again, then.

(And all this because I was not asking for help any more, but was merely saying it had truly become a song. (-:)

Bye,
                                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 11:03 PM

I don't think a native UK speaker or US English speaker would use the phrase "the latest of the fall". I don't think it's grammatical. It could be "the last part of" or "the latest time in fall" but I'm pretty sure "latest" needs a modifier. the word "last" does not. It will stand alone -- you can say "the last of fall" but not "the latest". Who made up this silly language, anyway?
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Our Son Jack (help needed on wording)
From: Barbara
Date: 19 Nov 09 - 10:13 PM

Let me just clarify, in case there is any confusion here, that I think Mysha's song is lovely, and that, in my previous post, I was finding fault with the dreadful, inconsistent English language and not Mysha's writing.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Our Son Jack (van den Muijzenberg)
From: Mysha
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 04:40 PM

During my trip through the UK, I sang this one nearly every place I visited. It seemed to fit the mood quite often, as the First World War is very much in people's minds these days. I'll give below the current version, as it developed after various Mudcat comments, in case any one else might see fit to sing it in these times of commemoration.


OUR SON JACK
This is a song about the First World War. It tells the story of the Kipling family: Rudyard Kipling, his wife and their son.

words: Mysha: Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg;
music: traditional: My Boy Willie (YouTube)

The summer had been good to all
When from the army came the call
Our Jack was proud to serve his king
And he would be back before the end of spring.

So their darling son marched off to war
Of what happened then they heard no more
No message Jack to them did send
And it took a long time for the war to end.

But when the fighting was finally done
In vain they waited for their son
And of the soldiers who homeward came
Those few that would speak, didn't know his name.

They went to hospital and grave
Clinging to their hope that their boy had been saved
And every soldier, they enquired to:
Did our dear boy Jack fight 'longside of you?

Then finally a man spoke out:
Your dear boy Jack has done you proud
Though he was wounded, he would not rest
Till a deadly blow caught him in the chest.

Oh Darling, now hear what I've done
The army would not have our son
But they let him march, because of what I said
It is for my words, that our Jack is dead.

                                                                Mysha


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