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Lyr Req: Hey for the Life of a Soldier

GUEST,Steve Parkes in the library 02 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Sep 09 - 09:19 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Sep 09 - 09:26 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Sep 09 - 09:38 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Sep 09 - 09:42 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Sep 09 - 09:51 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 02 Sep 09 - 09:57 AM
Jim Dixon 03 Sep 09 - 11:10 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Sep 09 - 08:08 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Sep 09 - 02:29 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Sep 09 - 02:49 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Sep 09 - 03:24 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Sep 09 - 03:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 04 Sep 09 - 05:46 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 04 Sep 09 - 06:31 PM
GUEST,Steve Parkes 05 Sep 09 - 08:38 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: GUEST,Steve Parkes in the library
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:09 AM

Looking for a song, can't find it on DT or Google. What I can remember:

When I was young my mother would say
When I grew older I'd be a soldier ... [verse]

Listed to battle we marched away ...[verse]

... A soldier's glory lives in story,
His laurels are green when his locks they are grey,
So hurrah d=for the life of a soldier. [chorus]

Over to the experts!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:19 AM

Could this be the one? This is from Notes and Queries, Jan 27, 1912 (copy at archive.org). (The name at the end is the contributor, not the author!).

Mick




" O FOR THE LIFE OF A SOLDIER ! " (11 S.
iv. 29.) I think the following are the words
of the song asked for by D. K. T. They are
as sung by a late brother-officer nearly
40 years ago :

The Life of a Soldier.
When I was a youngster, gossips would say

When I grew older I'd be a soldier ;
Rattles and toys I threw them away,

Except a drum and a sabre.
When I was older, as up I grew,
I went to see a grand review ;
Colours flying set me dying
To embark in a life so new.

Chorus.

R-r-r-r-roll, my merry drums, march away,
Soldier's glory lives in story,
His laurels are green when his locks are grey,
Then hurrah for the life of a soldier !

Enlisted to battle, we inarch along,
Courting danger, to fear a stranger,

The cannon keep time to our marching song,
And make each heart a hero's.

" Charge ! " our gallant leaders cry,

Up like lions then we fly,

Blood and thunder ! Knock foos under !

Then hurrah for victory !

Chorus. Roll, &c.

Who so merry as we in camp ?

The battle over, we live in clover ;
Care and his cronies arc forced to tramp,

And all is social pleasure.
Then we laugh, we chaff, we sing ;
Time flies merrily on the wing ;
Smiles of beauty lighten duty,
And each private is a king !

Chorus. Roll, &c.

C. HAGGARD.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:26 AM

Also another version here: War songs and songs and ballads of martial life ([1900]) - John Macleay.

I still can't find where it comes from.

Mick




140 THE SOLDIER'S GLEE

Listed in battle, I march'd along,

Courting danger, fear a stranger,
The cannon beat time to the trumpet's song,

And made my heart a hero's ;
Charge ! the gallant leader's cry,

On like lions then we fly,
Blood and thunder foes knock under,

Then huzza for victory !

Roll drums, etc.

Who so merry as we in a camp ?

Battle over, live in clover,
Care and his cronies are forc'd to tramp,

And all is social pleasure ;
Then we laugh, we quaff, we sing,

Time goes gaily on the wing ;
Smiles of beauty sweeten duty,

And each private is a king,
Roll drums, etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:38 AM

Interstingly, I came across a version of Oat and Beans and Barley Grows, with the subtitle When I Was Young The Gossips Would Say; I don't know if that has any relevance.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:42 AM

And a cartoon from 1829: ONE OF THE TENTH - When I was an infant gossips would say when I grew older I'de be a Soldier". This suggest that the song might have been known at the start of 19c, so it ought to be findable!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:51 AM

And so, back to the Bodleian (where I looked earlier without success - the search engine there is very picky) and now I find six copies under the title Life of a Soldier or Hey for the Life of a Soldier. (This time I searched for the 1st line).

Here's one of them: Hey for the Life of a Soldier - Harding B28(94).

The two earliest copies are no later than 1812.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 09:57 AM

The Roud Broadside index apart from listing several sheets in the Madden collection and one at Nottingham (all these under the soldier titles), also lists it in a songster, The Vocal Library, 1820, p505 under the title When I Was An Infant

I can't find a collected version in the song index.

Mick


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN I WAS AN INFANT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 03 Sep 09 - 11:10 PM

From The Norwich Minstrel compiled by J. S. Wells (Norwich: J. S. Wells, 1831), page 183:


WHEN I WAS AN INFANT.

1. When I was an infant gossips would say,
I'd, when older,
Be a soldier,
Rattle and toys, I'd throw 'em away,
Unless a gun or a sabre,
When a younker up I grew,
Saw, one day, a grand review.
Colours flying,
Set me dying,
To embark in a life so new.

CHORUS: Roll drums merrily, march away,
Soldiers' glory
Lives in story,
His laurels are green, when his locks are grey,
Then hey for the life of a soldier.

2. 'Listed, to battle I march'd along,
Courting danger,
Fear a stranger,
The cannon beat time to the trumpet's song,
And made my heart a hero's.
"Charge!" the gallant leaders cry,
On, like lions, then we fly;
Blood and Thunder,
Foes knock under,
Then huzza for victory!

3. Who so merry as we in camp,
Battle over,
Live in clover,
Care and his cronies are forc'd to tramp,
And all is social pleasure.
Then we laugh, we quaff, we sing,
Time goes gaily on the wing,
Smiles of beauty,
Sweeten duty,
And each private is a king!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 08:08 AM

Someone should probably add (Hey For) The Life of a Soldier to the thread title, since that seems to be the usual title for it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 02:29 PM

Mick Pearce, looks like it was popular throughout the 19th c., some copies quite late.
Hey for the Life of a Soldier - 5 copies (various) at the Bodleian.
When I Was an Infant - 6 copies at the Bodleian.

No author given for any of them. Not found in the three volumes of "Universal Songster."

Life of a Soldier, a different song by Thomas Dodsworth, Firth c. 26(202).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 02:49 PM

Q - I think the copies returned as Hey for the Life of a Soldier are the same as those returned for When I Was An Infant ie not 6 + 5 copues in your counts.

I think the six copies I found above were returned by searching for the (entire) first line. (The reason I said the search engine at the Bodleian was quirky was that I think it didn't find anything when I searched earlier for just gossips - not the first time I've missed songs there because of the search engine; small complaint however for the wealth of stuff the Bodleian provides!). The date I quoted was the earliest last date from the index - ie the date I could say the song was available before. As you say, it seems to have been popular throughout 19c. Taking the 40 years ago from the first reference I found would have meant someone singing it around 1870.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 03:24 PM

The cd "War Songs and Ballads of Martial Life," assigns the song to the Crimean War, but it is obviously earlier (I am guessing it is the same song- Hey for the Life of a Soldier).

The poem "When I Was an Infant" is included in "War Songs and Songs and Ballads of Martial Life," edited by William Sharp, also without citing an author. (online book).

The little poem is rather good; that is why I searched for an author.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 03:58 PM

The War Songs and Ballads of Martial Life is the second version of the text that I linked above; I took the author Macleay from the index page at archive.org, but as you have above, the author is listed as Sharp in the book and has selected with an introduction by Macleay. Someone obviously couldn't decide!

It looks as if the song was about before the Crimean War, though it may well have been still sung then. The 40 years before date I gave above, would have been just a bit after the end of the Crimean War, so it's not impossible.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 05:46 PM

A slight error in the sheet "Hey for the Life of a Soldier," Firth c.14(238), Bodleian Collection, second verse-

"The cannon beat time to the strumpet's sound,
And made my heart a hero's: .....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 04 Sep 09 - 06:31 PM

Now that's more like a soldier!

Mick


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier's laurels ...
From: GUEST,Steve Parkes
Date: 05 Sep 09 - 08:38 AM

Thanks folks -- plenty to go on here!


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