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Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose

John MacKenzie 10 Sep 10 - 02:28 PM
Paul Burke 10 Sep 10 - 03:10 PM
Valmai Goodyear 10 Sep 10 - 07:54 PM
GUEST,Jon Dudley 11 Sep 10 - 12:32 AM
Jim Dixon 11 Sep 10 - 12:56 AM
Jim Carroll 11 Sep 10 - 03:00 AM
Richard Spencer 11 Sep 10 - 03:25 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 11 Sep 10 - 03:29 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 11 Sep 10 - 04:42 AM
John MacKenzie 11 Sep 10 - 06:50 AM
Liberty Boy 12 Sep 10 - 02:22 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 02:28 PM

This song has been running through my head ever since Whitby, when I heard Mick Ryan and Paul Downes singing it.
I looked in the DT and couldn't find it, which surprises me.
Mick and Paul have also recorded it on their CD, which is called Grand Conversation.
Well worth a listen.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: Paul Burke
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 03:10 PM

Tony Rose sang it... "Field Marshall Ney did him betray, for he was bribed by gold". I remember discussing this with my father (which places the recording before summer 1975) who pointed out that Ney was shot in the aftermath of Waterloo. But was such a rumour current at the time, in view of his somewhat erratic performance in the battle?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 10 Sep 10 - 07:54 PM

The Sussex source singer Gordon Hall sang it with slightly different words here and there.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: GUEST,Jon Dudley
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 12:32 AM

Thanks, Valmai, for reminding me of Dear Old Gordon Hall...this song really was his tour de force...always delivered in spectacular fashion too. He's sadly missed.
When you say 'source' are you sure you don't mean 'sauce' for he was normally accompanied by a pint of gin and tonic.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GRAND CONVERSATION ON NAPOLEON
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 12:56 AM

From a broadside in the Bodleian collection, Harding B 11(253):


THE GRAND CONVERSATION ON NAPOLEON
George Brown

1. It was over that wild beaten track a friend of bold Buonaparte
Did pace the sands and lofty rocks of St. Helena's shore,
The wind it blew a hurricane, the lightning's flash around did dart,
The sea gulls were shrieking, and the waves around did roar;
Ah! hush, rude winds, the stranger cried, awhile I range the dreary spot,
Where last a gallant hero his envied eyes did close,
But whilst his valued limbs do rot, his name will never be forgot,
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

2. Ah England! he cried, did you persecute that hero bold,
Much better had you slain him on the plains of Waterloo;
Napoleon he was a friend to heroes all, both young and old,
He caus'd the money for to fly wherever he did go;
When plans were ranging night and day that bold commander to betray,
He cried, I'll go to Moscow, and then 'twill ease my woes,
If fortune shines without delay, then all the world shall me obey,
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

3. That thousands of men he then did raise, to conquer Moscow by surprise,
He led his men across the Alps oppress'd by frost and snow,
But being near the Russian land he then began to open his eyes,
For Moscow was a burning, and the men drove to and fro;
Napoleon dauntless viewed the flame, and wept in anguish for the same,
He cried retreat my gallant men, for time so swiftly goes,
What thousands died on that retreat, some forced their horses for to eat,
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

4. At Waterloo his men they fought, commanded by great Buonaparte,
Attended by field-marshal Ney, and he was bribed by gold,
When Blucher led the Russians in, it nearly broke Napoleon's heart,
He cried my thirty thousand men are kill'd, and I am sold;
He view'd the plain and cried it's lost, he then his favourite charger cross'd,
The plain was in confusion with blood and dying woes,
The bunch of roses did advance, and boldly entered into France,
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

5. Then Buonaparte was plann'd to be a prisoner across the sea,
The rocks of St. Helena, it was the fatal spot,
Doom'd as a prisoner there to be till death did end his misery,
His son soon followed to the tomb, it was an awful plot,
It's long enough have they been dead, the blast of war around is spread,
And may our shipping float again to face the daring foes,
And now, my boys, when honours call we'll boldly mount the wooden walls,
The grand conversation on Napoleon arose.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 03:00 AM

Can I recommend that you should look out for the album issued issued by Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann of source singer Tom Costello of Spiddal, Co Galway, on which he sings this - makes the hairs on the back of my neck bristle even thinking about it - exquisite.
Donal Maguire makes an exellent job of it too, on his 'Clergyman's Lamentation' album.
Jim Carroll


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: Richard Spencer
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 03:25 AM

Is that recording still available Jim? I can't find anything on Google. Tom Costello's Napoleon is in Voice of the People, and it is truly magical


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 03:29 AM

Barry Dransfield sings it on his last CD Unruly. I heard him do it live with cello once too. Brilliant.

http://www.barrydransfield.com/pages/sales.htm


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 04:42 AM

I first heard Bert Lloyd sing this song at Peterborough Folk Club in about 1967/8.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 11 Sep 10 - 06:50 AM

Thanks Jim D for those words, they fit the tune better than the ones I linked to.
I have started to try and learn this song now, and I'm not finding it easy.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Grand Conversation on Napoleon Arose
From: Liberty Boy
Date: 12 Sep 10 - 02:22 AM

THE GRAND CONVERSATION ON NAPOLEON

It was over that wild beaten track, a friend of bold Bonaparte,
Did pace the sands and lofty rocks of St Helena's shore.
The wind it blew a hurricane, the lightning's flash around did dart,
The sea gulls were shrieking, and the waves around did roar.
Ah! hush, rude winds the stranger cried awhile I range the dreary spot,
Where last a gallant hero his envied eyes did close.
But while his valiant limbs do rot, his name will never be forgot,
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

Ah England! he cried, you did persecute that hero bold,
Much better had you slain him on the plains of Waterloo;
Napoleon he was a friend to heroes all, both young and old,
He caused the money for to fly wherever he did go.
When plans were ranging night and day, the bold commander to betray,
He cried, "I'll go to Moscow, and then 'twill ease my woes,
If fortune shines without delay, then all the world shall me obey;"
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

Thousands of men he then did rise, to conquer Moscow by surprise,
He led his men across the Alps, oppressed by frost and snow,
But being near the Russian land, he then began to open his eyes,
For Moscow was a-burning and the men drove to and fro.
Napoleon dauntless viewed the flame, and wept in anguish for the same,
He cried, "retreat my gallant men, for time so swiftly goes;"
What thousands died on that retreat, some forced their horses for to eat;
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

At Waterloo his men they fought, commanded by great Bonaparte,
Attended by field-marshal Ney, and he was bribed with gold;
When Blücher led the Prussians in, it nearly broke Napoleon's heart,
He cried, "my thirty thousand men are killed, and I am sold."
He viewed the plain, and cried "it's lost", he then his favourite charger crossed,
The plain was in confusion with blood and dying woes.
The bunch of roses did advance, and boldly entered into France —
This grand conversation on Napoleon arose.

But Bonaparte was planned to be a prisoner across the sea
The rocks of St Helena, it was the fatal spot,
And as a prisoner there to be, till death did end his misery.
His son soon followed to the tomb, it was an awful plot.
And long enough they have been dead, the blast of war is round us spread,
And may our shipping float again, to face the daring foe;
And now my boys when honour calls, we'll boldly mount the wooden walls;
This grand conversation on Napoleon did close.

Transcribed by Terry Moylan from the singing of Tom Phaidín Tom and published in The Age of Revolution in The Irish Song Tradition


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