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Lyr Add: North of America

Q (Frank Staplin) 22 Nov 09 - 07:46 PM
GUEST,hg 22 Nov 09 - 08:31 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 23 Nov 09 - 12:33 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Nov 09 - 04:41 PM
Joe Offer 24 Nov 09 - 05:10 PM
Jim Dixon 25 Nov 09 - 06:33 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: NORTH OF AMERICA
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 07:46 PM

Lyr. Add: North of America

As we sailed out of Glasgow, being in the month of June,
The weather it was warm, and the trees were in full bloom,
Where thousands from the city came flocking us all round,
And fifty pretty maidens to convey us through the town.
Then up spoke pretty Polly, I have one more thing to say,
Dear Captain, don't be cruel, but guard us o'er the main,
Our Captain answered with a frown, and said we must all stay on shore,
Our ship she is heavy loaded, and she cannot carry any more.
Then amongst those wild Indians we will venture our sweet lives,
We will never mind their tomahawks, nor yet their scalping knives,
We will cut and slash with our broad-swords and show them British play,
We will cut down those wild Indians in the North of America.
As we marched through fields of blood, where thundering cannons roar,
And many a brave commander lay bleeding in his gore,
And many a brave soldier all on the ground did lay,
For they were killed and wounded in the north of America.
It was early the next morning to hear the soldiers wives,
Lamenting for their husbands, for to hear their dismal cries,
Our children crying out, 'Mother, we will make them rue the day,
For killing of our daddies in the north of America.
So to conclude and finish, God bless our gracious queen,
And all her brave commanders glad tidings may they bring,
And to all her brave soldiers, on land as well as sea,
May heaven protect our army in the north of America.

Any other versions of this rather mixed up song? The queen has to be Victoria, but the descriptions sound more like the French and Indian wars are meant.

Bodleian Collection, Firth c.14(199); Hodges (from Pitt's), London, c. 1846-1854.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: North of America
From: GUEST,hg
Date: 22 Nov 09 - 08:31 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: North of America
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 23 Nov 09 - 12:33 PM

hg- The song sheets often cited no tune; lyrics were composed for the printers, for a few shillings. Some acquired music later or were fit to a well-known tune.

A similar song, "The Gown of Green," printed by Pitts, London, also cites no tune (Mounted on the same sheet, Firth c.14(199)).

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: North of America
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 04:41 PM


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: North of America
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Nov 09 - 05:10 PM

I've wondered whether broadsides were always published with a tune/melody in mind, or if sometimes the expectation was that people would add their own tune or recite the ballad as poetry.
Anybody know?

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: North of America
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 25 Nov 09 - 06:33 PM

Joe: My guess is, broadsides were probably being sold at the time a song was quite popular, and was being sung in the music halls, and maybe even by the street vendors who sold the broadsides. So people would already know the tune, at least well enough to sing an approximate rendering of it.

When I was a kid, there were fan magazines aimed at teenagers, and sold from magazine racks in grocery stores, drug stores, etc., that printed lyrics of many of the then-current "top 40" songs in addition to articles about the performers. I don't remember the names of these magazines, but I think Tiger Beat is a more recent incarnation of the same genre. (At least I thought they published lyrics but I couldn't find any lyrics at their web site just now. It's been a long time since I actually looked at the magazine.)

Kids nowadays probably turn to the Internet for lyrics, but I'll bet the same demand still exists.

I figure broadsides must have been an earlier way of satisfying that same demand—not that the buyers were necessarily teenagers, but I suppose they might have been.

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