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I Wanna Be in the Cavalry + The Idiot

GUEST,Bloodroot 29 Jul 10 - 08:12 AM
Jack Campin 29 Jul 10 - 08:22 AM
GUEST,watcher 30 Jul 10 - 06:15 AM
Jim Dixon 17 Mar 15 - 02:55 PM
Jim Dixon 17 Mar 15 - 03:11 PM
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Subject: I Wanna Be In The Cavlary-The Idiot
From: GUEST,Bloodroot
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 08:12 AM

Corb Lund has a fine song called I Wanna Be In The Cavalry. It's tune is so similar to The Idiot by Stan Rogers that he is given a song writing credit. Stan stated that the melody for his song was inspired by morris dancing tunes that he'd hear at festivals. I have a friend who claims that the tune is traditional American - It's The Cavalry Life For Me. Can anyone help me out here. I can't find reference to any such tune.


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Subject: RE: I Wanna Be In The Cavlary-The Idiot
From: Jack Campin
Date: 29 Jul 10 - 08:22 AM

It's a bit like "Green Mountain Petronella".


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Subject: RE: I Wanna Be In The Cavlary-The Idiot
From: GUEST,watcher
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 06:15 AM

Having listened to them both on youtube, the tunes (especially the Stan Rogers) keep running through my head but morphing into "Buttercup Joe".
Is that the original heard as a morris dance tune? It would certainly work for a cotswold double-step dance such as Abingdon or Fieldtown tradition


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Subject: Lyr Add: I WANNA BE IN THE CAVALRY (Corb Lund)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Mar 15 - 02:55 PM

I just heard this song for the first time and decided we ought to have the lyrics here. The song is in two parts, occupying cuts 1 and 14 on the same album. Cut 15, the last, is "Taps."

You can hear several recorded versions at YouTube, but my transcriptions were made from Spotify (although I am indebted to YouTube user WWEandTakerfan for clarifying a few things).

The first part is performed as a brisk military march with a rich accompaniment including a snare drum.


I WANNA BE IN THE CAVALRY
As sung by Corb Lund on "Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!" (2007) – cut 1.

CHORUS: Well, I wanna be in the cavalry if they send me off to war.
I want a good steed under me like my forefathers before.
I want a good mount when the bugles sound and I hear the cannons roar.
Well, I wanna be in the cavalry if they send me off to war.

Well, I want a horse in a volunteer force that's ridin' forth at dawn.
Please save for me some gallantry that will echo when I'm gone.
I beg of you, sarge: let me lead the charge when the battle lines are drawn.
Well, let me at least leave good hoofbeat they'll remember loud and long.

Well, I'd not a good foot soldier make; I'd be sour and slow at march,
And I'd be sick on a navy ship and the sea would leave me parched,
But I'd be first in line if they let me ride; by God, you'll see my starch,
Lope back o'er the heath with a laurel wreath underneath that vic'try arch.

CHORUS

Let me earn my spurs in the battle's blur where the day is lost or won.
I'll wield my lance as the ponies dance and the blackguards fire their guns.
A saber keen and a saddle carbine and an army Remington—
When the hot lead screams with the cold, cold steel, let me be a cav'lryman.

CHORUS, ENDING: ...if I must go off to war.

Let 'em play their flutes and stirrup my boots and place them back to front,
'Cause I won't be back on the riderless black when I'm finished in my hunt.
Well, I wanna be in the cavalry if they send me off to war.
Well, I wanna be in the cavalry but I won't ride home no more.


[The second part of the song is sung at a slower tempo, with more modest accompaniment, and no drum:]


I WANNA BE IN THE CAVALRY - REPRISE
As sung by Corb Lund on "Horse Soldier! Horse Soldier!" (2007) – cut 14.

Well, I wanna be in the cavalry if they send me off to war.
Well, I want a good steed under me like my forefathers before.

Courageous at first, we took their worst; our positions we held stout.
We clung to belief and we hung on the speech from our trusted leaders' mouths.
Overwhelming odds and a hopeless cause, and our cities overrun,
There were them that said we was badly led, and God, were we outgunned!

Well, I lost count of the worthy mounts that from under me were cut.
My fav'rite mare with her head in the air took the cannon in her gut.
In the first two weeks on that bloody creek, my brother lost his arm,
So only sixty days till all we prayed was to get us home unharmed.

Oh, for the day that we signed our names and the well that we were wished!
The men's congrats and the pats on the backs and the ladies that we kissed—
The band that played and the grand parade and the patriotic shouts—
They faded fast, didn't even last till the uniforms wore out.

There were none to replace nor to help us face the winters cold and bleak,
The chilled to the bone, the pneumonia prone, and froze our bootless feet.
Then the typhoid hit with its fevered fits, TB and disent'ry
That proved in the end to have killed more men than the vilest enemy.

We were fin'lly forced to feed on horse and carcass we could scrounge,
When the wagons stopped and we'd burnt their crops to hard and barren ground.
With morale in doubt and our pride run out, no honor did I see.
All I seen were a thousand dreams piled dead in front of me.

Well, I wanna be in the cavalry if they send me off to war.
Well, I wanna be in the cavalry, but I won't ride home no more.


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Subject: RE: I Wanna Be in the Cavalry + The Idiot
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Mar 15 - 03:11 PM

If you're looking for Stan Rogers' THE IDIOT for comparison, the lyrics are posted in the forum here and here; and the chords are here and here.


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