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Lyr Req: Many Young Men of Twenty

DigiTrad:
MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY?


Related thread:
Chord Req: Many Young Men of Twenty (6)


JedMarum 18 Oct 99 - 09:01 AM
Jeri 18 Oct 99 - 09:16 AM
Big Mick 18 Oct 99 - 09:43 AM
Jeri 18 Oct 99 - 11:01 AM
JedMarum 18 Oct 99 - 11:14 AM
Martin Ryan 18 Oct 99 - 12:49 PM
Big Mick 18 Oct 99 - 01:07 PM
JedMarum 18 Oct 99 - 01:26 PM
Jon Freeman 18 Oct 99 - 01:29 PM
Melbert 18 Oct 99 - 03:04 PM
JedMarum 18 Oct 99 - 04:50 PM
Susanne (skw) 18 Oct 99 - 04:57 PM
Reiver 2 18 Oct 99 - 06:23 PM
Big Mick 18 Oct 99 - 06:29 PM
DonMeixner 18 Oct 99 - 11:29 PM
JedMarum 19 Oct 99 - 01:29 PM
John Moulden 19 Oct 99 - 02:27 PM
Melbert 19 Oct 99 - 06:57 PM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 20 Oct 99 - 12:13 AM
Big Mick 20 Oct 99 - 10:32 PM
Susanne (skw) 21 Oct 99 - 05:03 PM
Malcolm Douglas 22 Oct 99 - 12:39 AM
Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON 23 Oct 99 - 12:07 AM
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Subject: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 09:01 AM

I saw a reference to this song in one of the threads. I had searched the DT for it and not found it. Does anyone have any inof on it? I don't understand the story behind it.


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 09:16 AM

It's called RAMBLIN' ROVER by Andy M. Stewart.


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 09:43 AM

Wrong song, friend Jeri. I believe this one deals with the time following the Rising of '16 and prior to the Civil War. It was during this time that Michael Collins conducted his guerrilla war, but it also went on around Ireland.

I will try to find the complete lyrics and give you a better explanation if someone doesn't beat me to it.

Mick


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Jeri
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 11:01 AM

Oy - no wonder I couldn't think of why an explanation was needed.


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 11:14 AM

Actually, I was looking for a song that goes something like:

Many young men of 20 said goodbye
On that long day
from the break of dawn until the sun was high
many young men of 20 said good bye
many young men of 20 said goodbye ...

the song seems to depict a scene where all the young men are sailing, as if to war, perhaps, to face dangers, and to leave their loved ones behind ...


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 12:49 PM

THe Irish playright John B Keane used this as the title of a play. I'm not sure if the song itself was used. My mind's ear seems to hear someone like Kenneth McKellar singing it. Certainly the tune sounds more Scottish than Irish to me.

Regards


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 01:07 PM

Yeah, Martin, it does have a Scottish type of lilt. The Wolfetones did this on one of their albums. It either is about the lads marching off to join up in the guerrilla war against Great Britain, or it depicts the later conflict during the Civil War, where the Provo's marched off and ended up fighting former comrades because they couldna bear to see the 6 counties pealed off and they split with the Original IRA. I will find it here somewhere.

Mick


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 01:26 PM

the Wolftones are the only ones I've heard sing the song.


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Jon Freeman
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 01:29 PM

I'm sure that I've heard the Dubliners do the song as well but I lost most of Dubliners stuff so I can't tell you which album

Jon


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Subject: Lyr Add: MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY
From: Melbert
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 03:04 PM

I found this song on one of those cheap cassettes from Woolworths called (imaginatively) "The Best of Irish Ballads"

The lyrics are as below. Although it was sung by an Irish guy called John Aherne, the use of the words "glen" and "lassies" do suggest (to me at least) a Scots origin.

Many young men of twenty said goodbye
On that long day
from break of dawn until the sun was high
Many young men of twenty said goodbye

They loved the mountains and the glens
the lassies and the fine young men.
I saw the tear of every girl and boy
Many young men of twenty said goodbye

My boy Jimmy left that day
when the big ship sailed away
He sailed away and left me here to die
Many young men of twenty said goodbye

My Jimmy said he'd sail across the sea
He swore an oath
He'd sail back one day and marry me.
My Jimmy said he'd sail across the sea

But my Jimmy let me down
and now they mock me in the town
Oh my Jimmy please come back to me
Oh my Jimmy please come back to me.

The dawn was dark upon the mountain rim
The day he left
I knew I bore the living child of him.
I knew I bore the living child of him

And that child is borne to me
My Jimmy's far across the sea
The dawn is dark on upon the mountain rim
Here I stand and wait for my love Jim.
^^
Line Breaks
added.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 04:50 PM

I don't recall the illigitimate baby part of the song, but the first few verses are surely the ones I heard from the Wolftones. Thanks!


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 04:57 PM

It's on the Dubliners' "A Drop of the Hard Stuff"(1967) as well, but I haven't compared Mel's words with that recording and I don't have any other info, only that John B. Keane is mentioned as the author. - Susanne


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Subject: Lyr Add: MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY (from J McEvoy)
From: Reiver 2
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 06:23 PM

The version I have is from a Johnny McEvoy recording, "The Golden Hour of Johnny McEvoy." All I have is a cassette tape that I copied from somewhere, so I have no more info about it. The words are slightly different from those quoted above, but it's clearly the same song.

1) Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye",
On that long day,
From break of dawn until the sun was high,
Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye."

We left the fac'tries and the farms,
And rallied at the call to arms,
All the lassies turned their heads to cry;
Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye."

2) Last night I held my darlin' in my arms,
"Farewell, my love.
It breaks my heart to see you cry;
Farewell, my love, for maybe I will die."

I wish that I was back again,
Beside my darlin' in the glen.
No more I'll watch the sma' birds as they fly.
Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye."

3) Last night we sang and kissed the girls goodbye,
And now we come,
With beating drum, to live or die.
Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye."

We marched to meet a foreign foe,
To fight young men we did not know;
The waving flags are straining to the sky.
Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye."

Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye..."
Many young men of twenty said, "goodbye..."

One interesting difference is that in Mel's version the song is sung by a woman as a lament to a loved one going off to war. In this version, it is the man about to go off to war who is doing the singing. I'd just taken it as a powerful anti-war song, making the point that it's always the young men who are being sent off to fight other young men. I'd be most interested if anyone can find out if there are more specific roots to this song.


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Big Mick
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 06:29 PM

This certainly tells a different tale than what I was thinking...........I must have gotten my lines crossed with another song, happens as you age. This is obviously a song that deals with the Irish that took the shilling to fight in foreign wars for the English. Many promises were made to them about what they would receive when they returned. When the got home, they couldn't even find work. I believe that they staged a national protest over this issue. Something about fighting just to have a job. It drove many of these men to the Republican cause. Someone must have more to the story.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: why From: DonMeixner
Date: 18 Oct 99 - 11:29 PM

I have a fine recording of this song on a very early, if not the first, Irish Rovers album. It was introduced as a song about the evils of Immigration.

Don


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Oct 99 - 01:29 PM

it's a good song ... but it certainly sounds like it was inspired by a specific incident.


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: John Moulden
Date: 19 Oct 99 - 02:27 PM

The context of this song, as I first heard it was in the play of the same name by John B Keane. It is the one with the baby in it and it has always been my understanding that he wrote it. Certainly there are no previous prints, nor any versions from tradition. All the performances are from groups like the Dubliners or the Wolf Tones or from popular Irish singers like Johnny McEvoy. This argues a recent origin and John B's is certainly the earliest. The reason for the two differing versions is presumably because someone needed a shorter song or because they needed it to fit a different context. As such it's quite quick - the first publication was late fifties/early sixties.


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Melbert
Date: 19 Oct 99 - 06:57 PM

I'll be in Listowel in a couple of weeks. That's JBK's home town. I'll pop into his bar and check!


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 20 Oct 99 - 12:13 AM

This is directed to Big Mick, in response to your post of October 18. You refer to the Provisional IRA as having been in existence during the Civil War. It was my understanding that the Provos didn't exist until shortly before the current troubles started in 1969, when they broke away from the Official IRA. Back during the Civil War, the antagonists were the Irish Free State Army under Michael Collins, who supported partition, and the IRA under De Valera, who opposed it.

Jack Hickman


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Big Mick
Date: 20 Oct 99 - 10:32 PM

Jack, you are absolutely correct. Jazus but I get in these busy times and my mind doesn't work. You are right on the mark. Thanks for correcting that for me. But I am still trying to grapple with the Irish who "Went away to fight a war, that small nations might be free". It is the same as the one I think is referenced in this song.

Mick


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 21 Oct 99 - 05:03 PM

Mick, what's your problem with that phrase? It isn't in the song, but any reference like that would make very clear the reference was to the First World War, which was ostensibly fought for the rights of small nations (though not necessarily the ones one's own side dominated). The phrase occurs in 'The Foggy Dew', for instance. Hope this helps - nor sure though ... - Susanne


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 22 Oct 99 - 12:39 AM

I think that Susanne is right; it's obviously nothing to do with any war -guerrilla or otherwise- against the English state. The Great War seems most likely, and that was nothing to do with "taking the shilling" to fight wars for "the English"; the working classes of a good few nations were persuaded to "volunteer" for that war. They all believed that they were fighting for their own countries.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: why Many Young Men of Twenty?
From: Jack Hickman - Kingston, ON
Date: 23 Oct 99 - 12:07 AM

If the truth were known, the young men who flocked to join the British army in either world war, whether Irish, Scottish or dissenter, weren't motivated by altruistic notions. It was the prospect of 3 squares and a new pair of boots.

Jack Hickman


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