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songs from the other Gallipoli

Jack Campin 07 Dec 07 - 07:37 PM
Rowan 07 Dec 07 - 07:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Dec 07 - 08:23 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 07 Dec 07 - 08:35 PM
Jack Campin 07 Dec 07 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Shimrod 08 Dec 07 - 10:13 AM
GUEST,Volgadon 08 Dec 07 - 12:26 PM
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Subject: songs from the other Gallipoli
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 07:37 PM

There's an interesting contrast between Eric Bogle's "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and the best-known song from the Turkish side in the battle, "Canakkale icinde". The Turkish one makes a similar point, but it's an anonymous folk song from the time, comes in many variants, is usually kept short and stark, and is far more widely known among Turkish speakers than Bogle's song is among Anglophones.
This is Ruhi Su's version of it (disfigured by crappy nationalistic video imagery he would have had no time for:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=b4PkYPJr4aY

It's seen as belonging to a subgenre in Turkey, "songs of mobilization", covering the period 1915-1923 when the country was almost continuously at war. Another song of the same period is about the war at the other end of the disintegrating Ottoman Empire - the war in the Arab world. It's "Yemen turkusu", "Havada Bulut Yok" or "Burasi Mustur" (The Yemen Song, There Are No Clouds in the Sky, or This Place Is Mus) in Turkish; it strikes a very contemporary chord and there are many versions of it on YouTube and commercial recordings. It sees the war from the viewpoint of a small town in Central Anatolia that lost a generation of young men in the deserts of southern Arabia.
Here's a very simple unaccompanied version of it:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=CI6CVfRSmhg
and a more complex choral arrangement:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=jFqon1jbA9Y

This was a hugely important part of the war. British strategic aims were to seize the oil supplies of what is now Iraq before the Germans could feed them into the Berlin-Baghdad Railway, and British troops were fighting on the Mesopotamian front very early on in WW1. (There is a very good political-comedy DVD, "Robert Newman's History of Oil", that goes into it a bit more with maps and archive footage, in a segment titled "WW1 Considered as an Invasion Of Iraq", and a recent book about it from the Imperial War Museum, "The Turkish Front").

Are there any songs or tunes relating to this campaign from the British side? I can think of nothing.


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Subject: RE: songs from the other Gallipoli
From: Rowan
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 07:58 PM

I'll have to check, Jack, but I can't think of any. This theatre (or set of theatres) of WWI have been celebrated in Oz circles in various ways, as the charge of the Australian Light Horse against the Turkish lines at Beersheba is widely regarded as the last successful use of such cavalry in a major campaign and it led to the subsequent capture of Damascus by "British" forces just ahead of Lawrence's Arab ones, with the effect of diminishing Arab political influence at the conference that produced the Treaty of Versailles; arguably a cause of much of the current angst.

But I don't (yet) know of any songs.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: songs from the other Gallipoli
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 08:23 PM

A book I have read again recently, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom," bears on British actions there. Lawrence never refers to music, as I recall.
In "The Rambling Soldier," Roy Palmer remarks on the small amount of song and writing.
Nothing in "Tommy's Tunes."


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Subject: RE: songs from the other Gallipoli
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 08:35 PM

A couple of songs about Sebastopol(sp.), but that's all I found.


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Subject: RE: songs from the other Gallipoli
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Dec 07 - 08:36 PM

[I edited the first message a bit]

I can't offhand think of any upbeat Turkish songs from this period. When they're not about catastrophic defeats (Yemen, Sarikamis) they're about loss and hardship. Here's Ruhi Su again, with a song on the Sarikamis defeat (dimwit general decided to take on the Russians in the winter snow of north-east Turkey and got most of his army wiped out):
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=89IfA_sikP0


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Subject: RE: songs from the other Gallipoli
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 08 Dec 07 - 10:13 AM

I don't know about songs from this period but I've just read a remarkable novel which gives the Turkish point of view from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire until the Greco-Turkish war of the 1920s. It's called 'Birds Without Wings' by Louis de Bernieres (of 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin' fame). It's a bit like a Turkish 'War and Peace' - highly recommended.


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Subject: RE: songs from the other Gallipoli
From: GUEST,Volgadon
Date: 08 Dec 07 - 12:26 PM

I heard Canakkale Icinde ona documentary about Gallipoli (I'd like to say it was on the discovery chanel, but am not sure), very haunting song.


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