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No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics

DigiTrad:
A COUNTRY SONG
BLOODY ROTTEN AUDIENCE
BOGLED
DO YOU KNOW ANY BOB DYLAN?
FRONT ROW COWBOY
GLASGOW LULLABY
IF WISHES WERE FISHES
LEAVING NANCY
NO MAN'S LAND
NO MAN'S LAND (3)
NO USE FOR HIM
NOBODY'S MOGGY NOW
NOBODY'S MOGGY'S LAND (No Moggy's Land)
NOW I'M EASY
SAFE IN THE HARBOUR
SILLY SLANG SONG
THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA
THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA (2)
THE SONG OF THE WHALE
WHEN THE WIND BLOWS
WILLIE MCBRIDE'S REPLY


Related threads:
The Big mansion house on the hill Bogle (4)
Lyr Req: As If He Knows (Eric Bogle) (8)
Lyr Add: As If He Knows (Eric Bogle) (6)
Lyr Req: Kissing English Arses Talking Blues (11)
Lyr Req: Little Gomez (Eric Bogle) (20)
Lyr Req: Singing the Spirit Home ... (33) (closed)
Lyr Req: Missing word: Now I'm Easy (Eric Bogle) (20)
Chords Req: Vanya (Eric Bogle) (3)
Lyr/Chords Req: Eric Bogle:Only Susan learned (4)
Lyr Req: Jingle Jangle (Eric Bogle) (3)
Chord Req: Campbell's Daughter (Eric Bogle) (15)
Lyr/Chords Req: songs by Eric Bogle (6)
Lyr Req: No Man's Land with German lyrics (32)
Lyr Req: Since Nancy Died (Eric Bogle) (9)
Lyr Req: Wee China Pig (Eric Bogle) (7)
Lyr Add: The Dreamer (Eric Bogle) (1)
Lyr Add: Nobody's Moggy Now (Eric Bogle)^^^ (43)
Lyr Req: Endangered Species (Eric Bogle) (7)
Lyr Add: Little Gomez (Eric Bogle) (8)
Lyr/Chords Req/ADD: One Small Star (Eric Bogle) (15)
Lyr/Chords Req: several Eric Bogle songs (15)
Found, Eric Bogle Lyrics (11)
Chord Req: All the Fine Young Men (Eric Bogle) (11)
Lyr Add: Aussie Bar-B-Q (Eric Bogle) (11)
Chord Req: Somewhere In America (5)
Lyr Req: Hard Hard Times (Eric Bogle) (16)
Lyr Req: If Wishes Were Fishes (Eric Bogle) (20)
Lyr Req: Feed the Children (Eric Bogle) (13)
Lyr Req: Scraps of Paper (Eric Bogle) (11)
Recordings: Bogle - 'One Small Star' (3)
Lyr Req: Shelter (Eric Bogle) (11)
Chord Req: Somewhere in America (2)
Lyr Req: Freedom Makes Slaves (Eric Bogle) (3)
Chord Req: Romeo and Juliet in Sarajevo (E Bogle) (4)
Lyr Req: Always Back to You (Eric Bogle) (12)
Lyr Req: Unsung Hero & Heart of the Land (E Bogle) (11)
Lyr Req: The Song of the Whale (Eric Bogle) (6)
Lyr/Chords Req: Welcome Home (Eric Bogle) (5)
Lyr Req: Santa Bloody Claus (Eric Bogle) (14)
Lyr/Chords Req: Short White Blues (Eric Bogle) (9)
Lyr Add: Ice Queen (Bogle) (9)
Lyr Req: Across the Hills of Home (Eric Bogle) (4)
Chord Req: Jimmy Dancer (Eric Bogle) (3)
Lyr Req: Going Back to Dublin (Eric Bogle) (2)
Lyr Req: War Correspondent (Eric Bogle) (11)
Lyr Req: Plastic Paddy (Eric Bogle) (56)
Chord Req: Standing in the Light (Eric Bogle) (1)
Lyr Req: Do You Know Any Bob Dylan? (Eric Bogle) (15)
Lyr Req: Just Not Coping (Eric Bogle) (5)
Lyr Add: Owd Zither (Eric Bogle) (6)
Lyr Req: Australian Through and Through (E Bogle) (17)
Lyr Add: I Hate Wogs (Eric Bogle) (38)
Lyr Req: If Wishes Were Fishes (Eric Bogle) (15)
Lyr Req: Journeys (Eric Bogle) (4)
Lyr Req: Traditional Folksinger's Lament (E Bogle) (13)
Lyr Req: The Reason for It All (Eric Bogle) (3)
lyr/chords: Leaving the Land (Eric Bogle) (11)
Lyr Req: Cuddy River Reverie (Eric Bogle) (6)
Lyr Req: Wee China Pig (Eric Bogle) (5)
Lyr Req: Dedication Day (Eric Bogle) (5)
Lyr Req: Campbell's Daughter (Eric Bogle) (4)
Lyr/Chords Req: Rosie (Eric Bogle) (10)
Lyr Req: Silly Slang Song (Eric Bogle) (6)
Lyr/Chords Req: Now I'm Easy (Eric Bogle) (4)
Lyr Req: Never Again -- Remember (Eric Bogle) (9)
Lyr Req: The Barbie Song (Eric Bogle) (2) (closed)
Lyr Req: Harry's Wife (Eric Bogle) (3)
Lyr Req: The Great Aussie Takeaway (Eric Bogle) (9)
Lyr Req: Safe In The Harbour (6)
Lyr Req: Across the Hills of Home (Eric Bogle) (5)
Eric Bogle parodies (16)
Lyr Add: Leaving Nancy (Eric Bogle) (4)
Lyr Req: Leaving Nancy (Eric Bogle) (5)
Lyr Add: Belle of Broughton (Eric Bogle) (1)


BobKnight 14 Feb 12 - 06:12 AM
GUEST,999 14 Feb 12 - 06:26 AM
Bernard 14 Feb 12 - 07:23 AM
maeve 14 Feb 12 - 07:28 AM
Silas 14 Feb 12 - 07:41 AM
Bernard 14 Feb 12 - 08:15 AM
Bernard 14 Feb 12 - 08:21 AM
BobKnight 14 Feb 12 - 08:25 AM
Bernard 14 Feb 12 - 08:32 AM
Dave Hanson 14 Feb 12 - 08:51 AM
Bernard 14 Feb 12 - 09:35 AM
Jon Corelis 14 Feb 12 - 10:30 AM
Lighter 14 Feb 12 - 10:46 AM
Silas 14 Feb 12 - 10:50 AM
Tattie Bogle 14 Feb 12 - 11:00 AM
Morris-ey 14 Feb 12 - 11:18 AM
Lighter 14 Feb 12 - 12:20 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 14 Feb 12 - 12:26 PM
GUEST,henryp 14 Feb 12 - 01:11 PM
Leadfingers 14 Feb 12 - 01:24 PM
Keith A of Hertford 14 Feb 12 - 01:26 PM
BobKnight 14 Feb 12 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Songbob 14 Feb 12 - 02:44 PM
JHW 14 Feb 12 - 02:58 PM
Dennis the Elder 14 Feb 12 - 04:56 PM
Bugsy 14 Feb 12 - 07:24 PM
Rapparee 14 Feb 12 - 09:24 PM
Jon Corelis 14 Feb 12 - 10:18 PM
Dead Horse 14 Feb 12 - 10:49 PM
Keith A of Hertford 15 Feb 12 - 06:18 AM
Backwoodsman 15 Feb 12 - 06:54 AM
gnomad 15 Feb 12 - 07:45 AM
BobKnight 15 Feb 12 - 08:45 AM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 15 Feb 12 - 08:51 AM
Silas 15 Feb 12 - 08:59 AM
thetwangman 15 Feb 12 - 09:00 AM
thetwangman 15 Feb 12 - 09:51 AM
Jon Corelis 15 Feb 12 - 10:22 AM
JHW 15 Feb 12 - 10:37 AM
Jon Corelis 15 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM
Dennis the Elder 15 Feb 12 - 01:01 PM
GUEST,Ray 15 Feb 12 - 01:57 PM
Will Fly 15 Feb 12 - 02:08 PM
HWinWindies 15 Feb 12 - 02:14 PM
RobbieWilson 15 Feb 12 - 04:33 PM
Lighter 15 Feb 12 - 04:54 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 12 - 04:08 AM
GUEST,Allan Conn 16 Feb 12 - 11:02 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Feb 12 - 02:43 PM
Rog Peek 16 Feb 12 - 04:09 PM
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Subject: DT Correction: No Man's Land (Eric Bogle)
From: BobKnight
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 06:12 AM

A word of warning - if you sing "No Mans Land," sometimes known as Willie McBride, or The Green fields Of France, do NOT use lyrics you find on the internet - they are absolute rubbish. I down-loaded lyrics for this song, then checked it against the original version by Eric Bogle. Whole lines had been changed -others lost entirely. It's the worst case of screwed up lyrics I've ever seen - so to everybody, I would suggest you check the words with Eric Bogle's original version on Youtube - you may be in for a nasty surprise. I know this can sometimes be passed off as "The Folk Process," but I'm talking of whole lines being reversed, dropped, changed and generally screwed around with. Here, near as dammit are the original words.

NO MAN'S LAND
(Eric Bogle)

How do you do, Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit here, down by your grave side
And I'll rest for a while in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day Lord, and I'm nearly done
I see by your grave stone your were only nineteen,
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916
Well I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean,
Or Willie McBride was it slow and obscene

CHORUS:
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they sound the fife lowly
Did the rifles fire o'er ye as they lowered you down
Did the bugles sound the last post in chorus
Did the pipes play "The Flooers of the Forest."

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind,
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined
And though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you always nineteen
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane
In an old photograph torn, and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame
CHORUS

Well the sun's shining now on these green fields of France,
The warm wind blows gently and the red poppies dance
The trenches have vanished, long under the plow,
No gas, and no barbed wire, no guns firing now
But here in this graveyard, it's still no man's land,
The countless white crosses, in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned
CHORUS

And I can't help but wonder now Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here, know why they died
Did you really believe them when they told you the cause,
Did they really believe that this war would end war
The suffering, the sorrow, the glory the shame,
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again and again, and again and again
CHORUS


    Note from Joe Offer 18 Mar 2013 (also posted in the DT Attributions thread):
    "No Man's Land" by Eric Bogle
    filename[ NOMANLD
    Looks like an exact transcription of the lyrics from ericbogle.net - just one typo in the second line - the word "gy" is obviously incorrect. I question "no Willie McBride" in the first line of the fourth verse, but that's also what they have on the Bogle Website.
    BobKnight's transcription and the DT version are essentially the same, with a few minor differences. I will agree that Bob's transcription is generally closer to to the lyrics Bogle sings on the By Request CD.
    Note that ericbogle.net claims to be the official Eric Bogle Website. It does seem authentic, but note that it is located in South Africa. Even "official Websites are often wrong.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: GUEST,999
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 06:26 AM

Good one, Bob.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:23 AM

Thanks, Bob.

I don't object to the 'folk process' as such, and it has to be said that words to songs often change simply because someone has misheard them...

For example, what about the Dubliners on the BBC2 Folk awards? The first line of Dirty Old Town 'I met my love by the gasworks cross'!! Ewan wrote 'croft' - and the gas works in question is only around a mile from the Lowry Theatre where the awards were presented!!

My real gripe is with those conceited people who change the words because they don't like the ones that were written, particularly when the writer is still living. The songwriter probably worked long and hard to get the words right, so who are they to change them? More to the point, why sing the song?!

A case in point being a time when I was singing Alan Bell's 'Windmills' on live radio - with Alan sitting next to me joining in on the chorus! Before I sang it, I asked him to check I had the words right, and one word (yes, just one!) was wrong - but it meant I was able to sing the song as Alan wrote it.

Okay, I will concede that an historical or other factual inaccuracy could be an exception, and words that a singer may be uncomfortable with, or could offend their audience, may be another... but then again, why sing the song at all?

I'm lucky enough to know Ted Edwards as a friend, and I sing some of his songs - I'm one of the 'cronies' on his CD 'Ted Edwards... and Cronies'. The CD came about because Ted had a stroke many years ago, which sidelined his performing career.

The number of people singing Ted's 'Coal Hole Cavalry' (which he describes as a medley of his greatest hit!) using words Ted didn't write is amazing (the song itself is amazing, too!)... in the first line, most people sing 'cobbles', where Ted wrote 'flags' (meaning paving stones). However, I digress!

I don't have a big problem with people altering unimportant words to suit their own speech patterns - particularly when a song is in dialect that is 'foreign' to the singer - but yet again, why sing the song in the first place?

Where the original version of the lyric is known, I would suggest a singer owes it to the songwriter (as Bob has done) to research what was originally written to be as fair as possible to the songwriter. Traditional songs (as defined by 'author unknown') are a different matter, simply because (in most cases) no-one really knows what was originally written.


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Subject: Lyric Correction: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: maeve
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:28 AM

The version entered into the DT needs tweaking
@displaysong.cfm?SongID=4251


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Silas
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:41 AM

Well, 'On Morcambe Bay' that has been talked about so much siung by ChristyMoore, has completely different words than those written by Kevin Littlewood....


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:15 AM

Ah yes, Christy Moore... he doesn't let accuracy get in the way of a good song!! ;o)

It's surprising how many people think he wrote 'Ride On', too...

I'm not knocking Christy, he's done a great job in bringing folk to the attention of many people. Planxty... need I say more?


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:21 AM

How about this, then? I lifted it from this website...


WILLIE MCBRIDE'S REPLY
Lyrics: Stephen L. Suffet

This is the reply that Willie McBride gives to Eric Bogle, set to the same tune as 'No Man's Land'.


My dear friend Eric, this is Willie McBride,
Today I speak to you across the divide,
Of years and of distance of life and of death,
Please let me speak freely with my silent breath.

You might think me crazy, you might think me daft,
I could have stayed back in Erin, where there wasn't a draft,
But my parents they raised me to tell right from wrong,
So today I shall answer what you asked in your song.

Yes, they beat the drum slowly, they played the pipes lowly,
And the rifles fired o'er me as they lowered me down,
The band played "The Last Post" in chorus,
And the pipes played "The Flowers of the Forest."

Ask the people of Belgium or Alsace-Lorraine,
If my life was wasted, if I died in vain.
I think they will tell you when all's said and done,
They welcomed this boy with his tin hat and gun.

And call it ironic that I was cut down,
While in Dublin my kinfolk were fighting the Crown.
But in Dublin or Flanders the cause was the same:
To resist the oppressor, whatever his name.

Yes, they beat the drum slowly...,,,.

It wasn't for King or for England I died,
It wasn't for glory or the Empire's pride.
The reason I went was both simple and clear:
To stand up for freedom did I volunteer.

It's easy for you to look back and sigh,
And pity the youth of those days long gone by,
For us who were there, we knew why we died,
And I'd do it again, says Willie McBride.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: BobKnight
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:25 AM

I don't mind the folk process either, but the version I downloaded was like that line in the last verse - it was "butchered and damned." :)


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:32 AM

Hah!


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 08:51 AM

When Luke Kelly sang ' Dirty Old Town ' he sang the proper words, the newest Dubliner, Patsy Watchorn obviously doesn't know them, in fact he is the only new member I do not particularly like, he sounds like a showband singer.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Bernard
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 09:35 AM

Eggcisely!

My point was, considering they were within spitting distance of the location Ewan wrote about, you'd have though someone would have researched it... especially as it was being broadcast, and probably recorded (albeit unofficially!) for posterity...

I agree, Patsy Watchorn doesn't even sound like a 'Dubliner' - he lacks the raw edge we've all come to know and love!


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 10:30 AM

An Irish Airman Foresees His Death

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

                        -- W. B. Yeats


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 10:46 AM

Now that's what I call a poem.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Silas
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 10:50 AM

Yes, cheered me up no end.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 11:00 AM

Check the tune and all!
Eric Bogle sings the word "down" in the chorus just one semi-tone below the previous note e.g. G to F#, whereas the Fureys sing it a tone and a half below, e.g. G to E - hence you have a crunchy clash of notes if some people are singing one version and some the other!


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Morris-ey
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 11:18 AM

I believe the Fureys also sing the line "The countless white crosses, in mute witness stand" as "The countless white crosses, stand mute in the sand"


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Lighter
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 12:20 PM

Of course I meant Yeats's poem.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 12:26 PM

Bernard - there was no need to go abroad to get Stephen Suffet's song - it's here in the DT: WILLIE MCBRIDE'S REPLY.

Mick


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:11 PM

And there's another parody called NOT WILLIE MCBRIDE that begins;

Have you heard of that song about Willie McBride?
If I hear it again, it'll turn me inside,
For it's sung in the springtime and sung in the fall,
But mostly by people who shouldn't sing at all.
You go down to the pub on a Saturday night
For a pint and a song and things are all right,
Till some drunken punter comes up by your side
Saying, 'Shing ush that shong about Willie McBride.'


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Leadfingers
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:24 PM

While I cannot argue about 'Getting the words right' with current composed songs , I find that over a period of years , the way I would phrase something often varies from what the original composer wrote . This is a totally random example of 'the folk process' and is NOT a deliberate change of lyrics !


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:26 PM

Did Eric Bogle write "white crosses" and not "tomb stones"?


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: BobKnight
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 01:41 PM

He sings "White crosses," on the version I got of him singing it on youtube, which is where I copied the words directly from his singing.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: GUEST,Songbob
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 02:44 PM

As an occasional singer of written songs (as opposed to, I guess, not-written ones) I find that I'll sometimes find a line that I just can't hack. One that's either hard to sing or clumsy or just half-assed. And I'm talking about my own songs!

The process of writing goes on forever. The song is a road, and the road goes on forever. No song is ever "finished;" some just escape.

Sometimes something I wrote doesn't sing well, or is clumsy or even just wrong, and it takes a while of singing it to realize that the word or phrase or line doesn't work, or the verse could even be dropped, or two verses shoved together, throwing out half of each to do so. It's a process, and getting there is half the fun. So I rewrite, sometimes on the fly, or change styles and accompaniment.

But I have been known to rewrite a word or two of other folks' songs as well. I sing "Old Bill Pickett," which ends with these lines:

"Old Zack Miller wrote these lines,
And left them there for me to find
To put to music and sing to you."

Well, I didn't find the lines and put 'em to music. So I changed it to:

"Old Zack Miller wrote these lines,
And left them there for me to find
To learn the music and sing to you."

The first version can only be sung by one person -- the writer, Mark Ross, and anyone who sings it as written is essentially taking on Mark Ross' persona as he sings (You can do that in first-person songs like "Oh, my name's Napoleon Boounaparte..." or "My name is is Sam Hall, damn your eyes!", but Old Bill Pickett isn't that kind of song).

There's a Tom Paxton song I sing, "Out of Luck and Out On Another Highway," where he had a bridge that I thought made a damned fine chorus; so I and my friends sing it that way, despite how he wrote it.

So I agree mostly with this thread -- certainly for Eric Bogle's songs, since those are crafted really well, and for lots of others' songs, too -- but reserve the right to fix what I think needs fixing in any song I sing. Call it "personalizing."

And I expect to be taken to task if I let that tendency get out of hand. It goes with the territory.

Bob Clayton


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: JHW
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 02:58 PM

Thanks Bob for giving this another mention. The 'Irish' version does upset me with its dumbed down lyrics and ironed out melody though its much more likely this is the one you'll hear. I say Irish because I asked one performer where he got it from and he showed me a book of 101 Irish songs.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 04:56 PM

Must admit the last time I spoke to Eric Bogle he stated that he did not mind his songs, particularly this one being changed. He was quite pleased that his song became popular even though many of the words and the title, had been changed. Many writers often change the words of their own songs, if they believe they need it, John Conolly and Punch and Judy man for example.
For those of us that attempt to write songs, how many are not happy with the first or even one hundred and first, attempt and change it. I tried singing the proper version of No Mans Land at a folk club only to be requested to sing the one that was made famous and everybody knew. Must admit I much prefer the original version.
Many songs are claimed to be Irish JHW, John Conolly's Fiddlers Green also appears in many song books as Irish traditional. Rose of Allendale is claimed both by the Iris and by the Scots and I believe it to be English (Northumberland)
Life is not simple and certainly folk music seems to have a life of its own, that's what I like about it. I certainly believe I have the right to change any song if I believe I should, and on the odd occasion do so. Fortunately for the rest of the world not many people hear me sing, just an unfortunate few in West and South Yorkshire.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Bugsy
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 07:24 PM

Here's a link to Eric's official website with lyrics.
Eric's official lyric

Hope this helps

Cheers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Rapparee
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 09:24 PM

Dadgummit Bugsy, that's what I was gonna do!


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 10:18 PM

Someone should set that Yeats poem to music (I don't know if anyone has already.)

Jon Corelis
Kaleidoscope: Great Poems Set to Music


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Dead Horse
Date: 14 Feb 12 - 10:49 PM

Erics lyrics


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:18 AM

I wonder why "white crosses."
Crosses are not used in the British and Commonwealth cemeteries for the very good reason that many were not Christians.
No distinction for rank, race or creed.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 06:54 AM

Because it's a nice piece of symbolic imagery?
Would make sense.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: gnomad
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 07:45 AM

A little licence exercised by EB. While British and Commonwealth graves had a bow-topped stone (in many cases incorporating a religious symbol in the inscription) the French used white crosses extensively.

The hypothetical WMcB would more likely be found under a British-type stone, but there are certainly plenty of white crosses to be found.

A few images.

"White crosses" makes the point quickly, effectively, and brings to my mind some powerful photos. The slight technical quibble is just that, and does not detract from the song in the least, IMO.

My main regret about the changes that have occurred over time (apart from the butchery committed by certain performances) is that EB dropped his earlier reference to "the bugles sing the last post in chorus"; a fine choice of word, and most apt.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: BobKnight
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 08:45 AM

Not just "white crosses," but "countless white crosses," giving the poetic device of alliteration. :)


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 08:51 AM

Jon - a quick search for "An Irish Airman..." song returns several versions, including versions by Shane McGowan (on a Yeats' tribute album) and The Waterboys.

Several of his early poems have been set and Yeats himself used to sing some of them (though by all accounts he was a terrible singer).

Mick


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Silas
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 08:59 AM

The French white crosses are concrete, the Americans used white crosses, the Germans used black for some reason.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: thetwangman
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 09:00 AM

Patsy Watchorn was a fine singer in his younger days. I don't think it's fair to compare a 67 year old Patsy with a 30 year old Luke or Ronnie. Ronnie's voice wasn't what it used to be when he was 67 and poor old Luke's voice wasn't the best when he passed away at the age of 43. I thought Patsy looked rather humbled at the awards as I don't think he felt the award was really for him.

Patsy, like a lot of Irish singers, normally sings "gasworks wall" instead of "gasworks croft", which is a real bugbear of mine. I think "wall" became the norm in Ireland after Luke Kelly made a mistake on the Dubliners original recording of the song in 1968. Luke, who obviously knew the correct words, sang "croft" on the first verse, but on repeating the first verse at the end of the song he hesitates slightly and sings "factory wall" twice. I'd say most of the ballad groups on the Irish scene at the time would have got the words from this recording. A lot of them, maybe not knowing what a "croft" was, ended up singing "wall" instead, and that's what everybody would have heard in the pubs.

I have to say I was surprised to hear Patsy sing "cross" at the folk awards as I've never heard him sing that before. Maybe somebody "in the know" tried to point out the correct words but Patsy misheard them. You know what the English are like with their funny accents.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: thetwangman
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 09:51 AM

Now that I think about it, the Dubs were probably asked by the producers to sing Dirty Old Town for the finale because they were in Salford. Knowing that Patsy normally sings "wall", I would have pulled him aside to make sure he got the words right. Maybe somebody had the same thought but there was a mix up and we ended up with "cross".


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 10:22 AM

Thanks to Mick Pearce for the note on the Yeats song. I'll look up those versions -- in fact, I'd like to find the Yeats tribute album.

Jon Corelis
Kaleidoscope: Great Poems Set to Music


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: JHW
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 10:37 AM

I didn't know EB had dropped "the bugles sing the last post in chorus" but I will continue with it on the rare November occasions that I sing it as it sounds fine to me.
I do prefer John Conolly's original Punch and Judy Man chorus.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Jon Corelis
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 10:38 AM

My own opinion is likely to find equal disfavor from both sides of the issue. Odd, how often that happens.

I find "No Man's Land" a good example of why anti-war songs are almost always bad songs. It reminds me of Keats's comment that "We hate poetry that has a palpable design design upon us - and if we do not agree, seems to put its hand in its breeches pocket." Songs like this seem to say, "If you don't like me, then you're not against war." They also provide a spurious moral comfort by implicitly (as in "No Man's Land") or explicitly (as in Dylan's "Masters of War") blaming war on "them" -- them being capitalists/fascists/arms-merchants/jingoists/fill-in-the-blank. If war is "their" fault, then it can't be the singer's, or the listener's. Thus the song constructs a cozy moral cocoon, in which we can congratulate ourselves for not being evil. Finally, on a somewhat deeper and subtler level, such songs actually provide an apologia for war by implying that war is a tragedy -- and a tragedy by definition (cf. the phrase "tragic inevitability") is something that can't be stopped and is no one's fault. I don't know how to stop wars, but I'm pretty sure that looking wistfully at the sky and whispering "Why?" isn't going to do it.

As for "Willie McBride's Reply," I've never actually heard the song, but judging from the lyrics, I'd call it the most hilarious embodiment of jock-strap militarism since "The Ballad of the Green Berets."


Jon Corelis
Windows of Air: Songs by Jon Corelis


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Dennis the Elder
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 01:01 PM

JHW. Thats the chorus I sing also. I got the chance a few months ago to talk to John at a Keith Marsden Tribute in Morley and told him of my (and I now know, your) preference, he was not upset. His attitude is that he is honored every time anyone sings any of his songs. I know of one occasion when he was giving a concert and asked a friend of mine to sing one of his songs "Esplanade" has he had heard him sing it well in the past.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: GUEST,Ray
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 01:57 PM

Some singers have been known to change their own words. I'm not sure what he's singing nowadays but I have a recording of Richard Thompson singing "Down Where the Drunkards Roll" where he changes the line "You can be lord Jesus, all the world will understand" to "You can mock lord Jesus, all the world will understand".

Then there are those who change tunes. If you listen to someone singing the "City of New Orleans" you can tell whether they learned the tune from John Prine who made it famous or the late Steve Goodman who wrote it.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Will Fly
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 02:08 PM

Well then - what about the so-called "folk process"?

It appears we're quite happy to accept variant versions of traditional songs, the authorship of which has not yet surfaced, and we accept these variant products of the folk process. When the same process occurs with more modern songs whose authorship we know - shock horror.

Interesting...


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: HWinWindies
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 02:14 PM

Keith, on many Commonwealth grave markers crosses are carved bas-relief on the stones.
Almost all French are white crosses. The German markers are simple black-painted metal crosses, and the cemetries seemed far less visited, but they were theinvading force not the defending force. Apparently there was considerable opposition to German Cemetries from the local towns and villages immediately following the 1914-1918 war.
I remember discussing this with Eric Bogle in Port Fairy Folk Festival in 1983 but was too drunk to remember the answer.
Harry


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 04:33 PM

Bogle's song was not written by someone sitting in their garden shed thinking "Right, let's write an anti war song" I have heard him say that he wrote it following a visit to a cemetery in Northern France. It was an emotional response to something he saw and which gave him pause for thought. It does not matter whether most war graves have crosses or not I have no reason to doubt the truth of what he said he saw.

Without wishing to teach Granny about egg sucking there are clearly people unaware of two other points he used to make in introducing this song. 1) The title: What struck him was the age of the fallen; they were only boys, hence "still no man's land" The term no man's land is multi layered, resonant.   2) It was never intended as an Irish song. The pipes playing the Scottish lament Floo'ers o' the Forest is redolent of Scottish or expat Scottish troops.

Lastly if you want to know if this is a good song then have a look round a room of ordinary people when it is being sung even half well. Not people whose main interest is how the singer compares to their own mastery but people touched by a voice they can hear reminding them of something too easily and too often forgotten


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Lighter
Date: 15 Feb 12 - 04:54 PM

I generally agree with Jon Corelis, except that the "Reply" seems to me to be no less committed to the truth than the original. It also has more interesting details.

Both, however, are mainly rehashes of favorite cliches - quite unlike Yeats's "Irish Airman."

In other words, if you don't already share the writer's opinion, either one is likely to nettle you considerably. But if you do share it, you'll feel that satisfying pang of sympathy.

Both Bogle's and Suffet's lyrics say far more than Barry Sadler's "The Ballad of the Green Berets." The "folk" however, bought two million copies of that one in the first six weeks alone, mainly, I suspect, because it was catchy, topical, and had a heroic death and symbolic resurrection at the end.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 04:08 AM

Fasteddy.....

Many recordings of Hamish Henderson's 'Banks of Sicily' have lyrics which have been drastically changed. The Clancy's version is an example.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: GUEST,Allan Conn
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 11:02 AM

"The pipes playing the Scottish lament Floo'ers o' the Forest is redolent of Scottish or expat Scottish troops."

I think you are right and it could possibly be localised even further. Bogle is a Scottish Borderer. The song Flowers Of The Forest originally pertained to the young men of Ettrick Forest who never came back from the Battle of Flodden. The song has a special place in the minds of many people from the central Borders. I did read that Hamish Imlach said that whilst they were touring together Bogle wrote most of the song in a hotel room in Germany sometime after Bogle had visited cemeteries in France. Seemingly the name "McBride" had stuck in Bogle's mind - let's face it probably because of no other reason other than it rhymes and scans with graveside! I suspect that the rest of the detail is all probably poetic license. The song is about all the war dead not just one individual. Whether the McBride in question was actually a Willie - or a Tom, Dick or Harry, and whether he was Scottish or Irish or Martian isn't really the point.


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 02:43 PM

The Floo'ers O' The Forest was composed after the Battle of Flodden as a lament for the fallen of both sides, the late Ray Fisher sang a very beautiful version of the song.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: No Man's Land - Check The Lyrics
From: Rog Peek
Date: 16 Feb 12 - 04:09 PM

On both the live version on utube, and the version on "Eric |Bogle By Request" Eric sings:

"Did the bugles sing the last post in chorus."

Rog


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