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Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?

Legal Eagle 21 Aug 99 - 05:20 AM
Richard Bridge 21 Aug 99 - 12:43 PM
Eric 21 Aug 99 - 03:47 PM
Alan of Australia 22 Aug 99 - 06:42 AM
Richard Bridge 24 Aug 99 - 05:10 AM
Steve Parkes 24 Aug 99 - 08:41 AM
DonMeixner 24 Aug 99 - 11:27 PM
Bob Bolton 25 Aug 99 - 03:29 AM
Bob Bolton 25 Aug 99 - 03:30 AM
Richard Bridge 25 Aug 99 - 02:47 PM
Bob Bolton 26 Aug 99 - 02:51 AM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 02 Jul 04 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,Alistair 05 Aug 10 - 07:12 AM
Richard Bridge 05 Aug 10 - 07:40 AM
GUEST,Sue Hudson ex Tundra 06 Aug 10 - 08:32 AM
Terry McDonald 06 Aug 10 - 09:03 AM
Noreen 06 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 06 Aug 10 - 01:37 PM
greg stephens 06 Aug 10 - 01:52 PM
dick greenhaus 06 Aug 10 - 02:27 PM
Richard Bridge 22 Aug 10 - 10:12 AM
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Subject: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Legal Eagle
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 05:20 AM

Yes, this song is in the database, and credited to Pete Coe. But is that right?

Before I get started let me remark that some of the words in the database are I think not right. Yes I can post what I think are the right ones some time. Certainly I think he was a gay, not a bold, fusilier. Also he was bound for the wars in the low countries (and of course Engalnd has spent a lot of time at war with the DUtch) But on to the more interesting bits.

Now is this a Pete Coe or other contemporary song, or is it trad? Does anyone know for sure or ahs anyone any strongly persuasive information?

The song is of course well known in ROchester (Kent, UK). The common theory is that it is trad (ish) having been written by one Alex "Banjo" Patterson and take by him to Australiw when he was deported, where the Aussies recognised a good tune when they heard one and promptly turned it into "Waltzing Matilda".

However the tune does not really sound as if it belongs to the period of the vaarious Dutch wars.

Now another thoery is that the song sort of surfaced quite suddenly at the time when Doug Hudson and his the wife Sue wre playing quite a lot under the name "Tundra". (ealry 70's, approx) . They did release an album of self-written but traddish sounding Kent songs, but this is not on it. Doug is now quite the local folk potentate! But Sue was a history student then and they had a penchant for songs about local issues (Jezreel's tower amongst others, and another about the lady of ROchester castle). I don't think the words sound like Sue's style, but my wife does. So maybe, just maybe.....

Another friend of mine (now plays as Andy Martin, but way back then had a band called "Blackthorn" which featured a flatpicking guitarist, since, alas, succumbed to a heart attack who used to be in Suzi Quattro's band) says he was at a party in North London when the song was written by a guitar hero called John Zammett (not sure about this spelling).

Sooooooooooooooooo does anyone know the truth?????

PS sorry about the typing but this has got longer than I thought and I'm not going to risk the system eating it if I try to correct it.


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 12:43 PM

I'd like to know the answer to this too.


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Eric
Date: 21 Aug 99 - 03:47 PM

If this is the "Rochester Recruiting Sargeant" then I have it on a vinyl album by Strawhead from the 70's and, as far as I remember, the sleeve notes say that it was written by Pete Coe but used the tune of Waltzing Mathilda [which I was always taught was written by Banjo Patterson].


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 22 Aug 99 - 06:42 AM

G'day,
Towards the end of this thread you'll find a complete discussion. I've just refreshed it (Craigielea/Waltzing Matilda).

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 05:10 AM

I have Email from Pete Coe and am seeking his consent to posting part of it. Very interesting!


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 08:41 AM

Pete Coe told me (arond 1970-ish) that he had about one verse of the original, the rest being lost, and wrote the rest of it himself (hence the political slant!). Barrie Roberts complicated matters a year or two later by recording it for a Dutch folk archive and attributing it to "trad". I look forward to hearing Pete's comments.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: DonMeixner
Date: 24 Aug 99 - 11:27 PM

Ifn this is the song with the refrain

" Who'll be a soldier, Who'll be a soldier, who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?"

I have it by Holdstock and MCLeod. The tape I'd guess is 15-20 years old.

Don


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Aug 99 - 03:29 AM

G'day all,

I think all this is in the thread that Alan linked above.

Paterson apparently wrote waltzing Matilda to fit a nice tune that Christana McPherson played at Winton (sheep) Station 1895 - and he may have included coded references to events of the great Shearers' Strike of 1891. Christina's tune was "Thou Bonny Wood of Cragielea" of which she had heard an Australian band arrangement in quick march time the year before at Warrnambool races.

The poem was later sold in a bundle of minor Paterson works and was picked up by Inglis Tea and they put out an arragement by Marie Cowan as an ad for their "Billy Tea". This became widely popular during WW1 (and undoubtedly Aussie Diggers sang parodies - as they did of eveything else.

The first recorded appearances of the "Rochester" verse is at least a generation later - about the time that Dad's war stories are becoming "Holy Writ" ... and being trotted out in the face of The War After The War To End All Wars.

A few years later, in the decade after the end of WW2, enthusiastic amateur folkorists start collecting Australian folksongs with the new-fangled magnetic tape recorders ... and they find a few references to this song that sounds like an older version of the popular Waltzing Matilda ... It sounds too good to be true ... and very probably is!

There are some interesting threads of the possible antecedents of Waltzing Matilda and it is possible that Paterson did polish up something older ... but unlikely that the older one would not pop up immediately the new one became widely known.

A lot of the terminology has a distinct Germanic background (that has been covered by Richard Magoffin in his series of books on Waltzing Matilda) but the odds on a genuine old English ancestor that totally escaped the intense collecting in England and floated to the surface in Australia, in 1930 something, are roughly London to brick!

It is worth remembering that I know at least a dozen other parodies of Waltzing Matilda ... that are clearly 20th century ... What are the odds that this is anything other than one that managed to pick up a fairly convincing patina before it was found?

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 25 Aug 99 - 03:30 AM

G'day all,

I think all this is in the thread that Alan linked above.

Paterson apparently wrote waltzing Matilda to fit a nice tune that Christana McPherson played at Winton (sheep) Station 1895 - and he may have included coded references to events of the great Shearers' Strike of 1891. Christina's tune was "Thou Bonny Wood of Cragielea" of which she had heard an Australian band arrangement in quick march time the year before at Warrnambool races.

The poem was later sold in a bundle of minor Paterson works and was picked up by Inglis Tea and they put out an arragement by Marie Cowan as an ad for their "Billy Tea". This became widely popular during WW1 (and undoubtedly Aussie Diggers sang parodies - as they did of eveything else.

The first recorded appearances of the "Rochester" verse is at least a generation later - about the time that Dad's war stories are becoming "Holy Writ" ... and being trotted out in the face of The War After The War To End All Wars.

A few years later, in the decade after the end of WW2, enthusiastic amateur folkorists start collecting Australian folksongs with the new-fangled magnetic tape recorders ... and they find a few references to this song that sounds like an older version of the popular Waltzing Matilda ... It sounds too good to be true ... and very probably is!

There are some interesting threads of the possible antecedents of Waltzing Matilda and it is possible that Paterson did polish up something older ... but unlikely that the older one would not pop up immediately the new one became widely known.

A lot of the terminology has a distinct Germanic background (that has been covered by Richard Magoffin in his series of books on Waltzing Matilda) but the odds on a genuine old English ancestor that totally escaped the intense collecting in England and floated to the surface in Australia, in 1930 something, are roughly London to brick!

It is worth remembering that I know at least a dozen other parodies of Waltzing Matilda ... that are clearly 20th century ... What are the odds that this is anything other than one that managed to pick up a fairly convincing patina before it was found?

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 25 Aug 99 - 02:47 PM

Yep, I think the info I have from Pete will fit in. He wanted me to send him the text I had to check it , so hopefuly tomorrow night...........


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 26 Aug 99 - 02:51 AM

G'day again, all,

I suppose this bit of "thread Creep" is just an example of my eclectic leanings (or weird sense of the [in]appropriate), but I can't keep looking at all these "Marlborough" references without being reminded that the first song recorded as being performed (well, whistled, anyway) in Australia ... and learned by the Aboriginal natives ... was about Marlborough.

In an encounter with a group of natives, the officer in charge is recorded as having whistled the tune known then as "Malbrooke" (or "Malbrouck" ... the French have always had trouble with the English "...ough" endings) and the natives imitated it readily. I'm sure I have read elsewhere that when the French expedition under La Perouse arrived at Botany Bay - only 6 days after the arrival of the British "First Fleet" - the British and French officers dined together and found that the only song they had in common was "Malbrooke".

That the British officers knew it seems to reflect their Royal Navy antagonism towards the Army, since the French song is not exactly friendly to their old foe. The full title is "Malbrooke S'en Va-T'en Guerre" or (roughly) "Marlborough Has Gone To the Wars".

The tune in question is more or less that used today as "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" or "The Bear Came Over The Mountain" and the words go:

Malbrooke s'en va-t'en guerre - (Marlborough has gone to the wars)
Mironton, mironton, mirontaine! (Miroton = Beef & onion stew ...?)
Malbrooke s'en va-t'en guerre ...
Ne sais quand reviendra! (Don't know when he'll be back!)
Ne sais quand reviendra!
Ne sais quand reviendra!
Malbrooke s'en va-t'en guerre
Ne sais quand reviendra!

Anyway, this has much better documented provenance than "Who'll go A'Soldiering for Marlborough" ... and probably has a claim to be our first Australian (White Fella, anyway) Folk song.

Enjoy!

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 02 Jul 04 - 09:33 PM

May I lay down a strong denial of this silly story that I was responsible for some mysterious 'Dutch archive' misattributing Pete Coe's 'Who'll be a Soldier'?
I wasn't. It isn't true. It's what called a 'folklie'.


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: GUEST,Alistair
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 07:12 AM

I remember 'Tundra' well and saw them a number of times. I found this thread looking for the words to The Lady of Rochester, which I remember as a particularly beautiful balled. Anyone have the words?


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 05 Aug 10 - 07:40 AM

I think I have a recording of it, and maybe the sleevenotes too which might have the words, but have you tried asking Doug?


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: GUEST,Sue Hudson ex Tundra
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 08:32 AM

Good to learn the history of this song - I knew it as Pete Coe sang it (Tundra never did) and had heard all kinds of rumours of its mixed provenance. It has flavours of a broadside ballad in its style.

I thought I'd respond to references to Tundra, for the record. Most of the songs we performed/recorded were either from the oral tradition or from broadsheets and other historical written sources, using the originally intended melodies. They came from my research into sources including EFDSS, the British Library and local archives, as well as the Ballad Society publication, the Kentish Garland. However, several songs were written by Doug, including The Lady of Rochester Castle. Full sleeve notes and lyrics appear on the three main albums: Kentish Garland, Kentish Songster and Songs from Greenwich.


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 09:03 AM

Like Steve Parkes in his August 1999 post, I remember Peter Coe explaining the origins of the song when he was a guest at the Wessex Traditional Club in Bournemouth. He said that he'd come across the opening verse somewhere in print and that from its lyrics, it was obviously meant to be sung to the tune of Waltzing Matilda. He therefore wrote the rest of the song to fit that melody. I still have the poster sized 'broadsheet' of it, along with another of his songs, Joseph Baker.'


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Noreen
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 09:49 AM

MARCHING THROUGH ROCHESTER
(Pete Coe)


('Marlboro' should of course be 'Marlborough')


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 01:37 PM

Thanks, Noreen. This thread started in 19 and ought 99, and the link not at top of thread.


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 01:52 PM


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 06 Aug 10 - 02:27 PM

Of course, the tune used was not, in fact, the original tune for Waltzing Matilda.


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Subject: RE: Rochester/Fusilier/Is it really?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 22 Aug 10 - 10:12 AM

Alistair, if you are still there, I have found a print of the words to "The Lady of Rochester Castle".


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