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Over the hills and far away.

DigiTrad:
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY (2)
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY (4)
OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY (OHIO, 4)
SO EARLY IN THE MORNING


Related threads:
Lyr Req: Over the Hills and Far Away (65)
(origins) Origins: Over the Hills and Far Away / O'er the... (39)
Chord Req: Over the Hills and Far Away (33)
Lyr Req: Over the Hills and Far Away (Napoleonic) (3)
over the hills and far away (2)


GUEST,Stan 03 Aug 12 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,999 03 Aug 12 - 06:02 PM
Blowzabella 03 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM
GUEST,Stan 03 Aug 12 - 06:41 PM
Blowzabella 03 Aug 12 - 06:43 PM
Blowzabella 03 Aug 12 - 06:46 PM
GUEST 03 Aug 12 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Stan 03 Aug 12 - 06:53 PM
MGM·Lion 03 Aug 12 - 10:08 PM
Tattie Bogle 04 Aug 12 - 04:34 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Aug 12 - 06:08 AM
GUEST 04 Aug 12 - 08:55 AM
Dave the Gnome 04 Aug 12 - 11:07 AM
Steve Gardham 04 Aug 12 - 01:28 PM
GUEST,MC Fat 04 Aug 12 - 02:49 PM
dick greenhaus 04 Aug 12 - 08:08 PM
MGM·Lion 05 Aug 12 - 12:18 AM
GUEST 05 Aug 12 - 02:25 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Aug 12 - 02:25 AM
GUEST 05 Aug 12 - 02:28 AM
GUEST 05 Aug 12 - 02:33 AM
MGM·Lion 05 Aug 12 - 02:34 AM
GUEST,stallion 05 Aug 12 - 02:44 AM
Steve Gardham 14 Aug 12 - 05:56 PM
Bugsy 14 Aug 12 - 08:10 PM
GUEST,Heather 14 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM
GUEST,Ian1943 15 Aug 12 - 10:21 AM
GUEST 15 Aug 12 - 12:59 PM
redhorse 15 Aug 12 - 01:40 PM
Richard Bridge 16 Aug 12 - 04:18 AM
Edthefolkie 16 Aug 12 - 08:35 AM
GUEST,Shimrod 16 Aug 12 - 02:18 PM
Steve Gardham 16 Aug 12 - 03:15 PM
GUEST,dick greenhaus 17 Aug 12 - 08:14 PM
Edthefolkie 18 Aug 12 - 05:08 AM
GUEST 18 Aug 12 - 10:03 AM
GUEST,Stan 18 Aug 12 - 10:07 AM
MGM·Lion 11 Aug 13 - 12:58 PM
Gurney 12 Aug 13 - 01:06 AM
IanC 13 Aug 13 - 11:03 AM
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Subject: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 05:55 PM

For some reason or other I've had 'Over the hills and far away' on my mind tonight. For most of my life this has been a kind of pre folk song. I probably first heard it at infants school 50 + years and more ago and never thought much of it. I really noticed it for the first time recently at the end of an episode of the Sharpe TV series.

"King George commands and we obey
Over the hills and far away."

It brings to focus the lives of the ordinary soldiers, not just British but also French, German, Belgian, Spanish and all the rest. Who walked from France to Spain to Waterloo and back carrying rifles, muskets, kit, foraged food and who knows what. At great personal risk and for very little money.

So I'm looking at the song in a new light. I really like this version but I can't find who sings it. I've come across the Martin Wyndham-Read version which refers to Queen Ann's command and a good version too, but who sings at the end of the TV programs?


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: GUEST,999
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:02 PM

Sharpe

Hearing it may make it easier for some folks. (Love this take, btw.)


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: Blowzabella
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:36 PM

The singer in the Sharpe series is actor / musician (amongst many other talents) John Tams - he played Rifleman Hagman in the series too and is often found singing around the campfire.

The song actually dates further back than the Napoleonic Wars - think it dates back to Marlborough's time, with the chorus being sung as 'Queen Anne commands ... '

I dare say that if you do a search, loads of threads will come up :)


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:41 PM

Thanks for that. John Tams. Nice singing and nice northern accent.

999 I found that clip as well but my memory is of it being sung unaccompanied at the end of an episode. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: Blowzabella
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:43 PM

There's an interesting Wiki entry here too LINKY


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: Blowzabella
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:46 PM

And more on John Tams Here


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: GUEST
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:50 PM

Rich pickings indeed. Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 06:53 PM

Oops that was me. Cheers.


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Subject: RE: Over trhe hills and far away.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 03 Aug 12 - 10:08 PM

Another ref ~ In Dorothy L Sayers detective novel of 1933, Murder Must Advertise, Lord Peter Wimsey, disguised as an advertising copywriter disguised as a harlequin [still with me?],plays the tune on a penny whistle to lure and fascinate the rich playgirl Dian de Momerie, thru whom he hopes to discover who is running London's drugs trade. Sayers gives the words as "Tom Tom the Piper's son Learned to play when he was young. The only tune that he could play Was 'Over The Hills And Far Away'."

~M~


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 04:34 AM

Was delighted to see/hear John Tams himself in action yesterday afternoon at Sidmouth Folk Week. He sang "Over the Hills" as an encore after the sell-out concert featuring "The War Horse" by Michael Morpurgo. Michael read the story, JT and Barry Coope provided the music - what a concert!


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 06:08 AM

Someone rather unexpected, I recall hearing once, said that "Over the hills and far away" was one of the most perfect atmospheric and wistfully meaningful lines of verse ever composed. Could it have been T S Eliot? If so, I haven't managed to track down where

Does anyone know whose critical point this was?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 08:55 AM

I think it was the winner in a popularity poll in some literary magazine for the loveliest phrase in the English language. 'Once Upon a Time' came second.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 11:07 AM

People keep asking me to sing over the hills and far away.

Can't think why...

:D (tG)


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 01:28 PM

I think 'Over the hills and far away' is the first line of an even older song than 'The Recruiting Sergeant' which itself dates from Queen Anne's time.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST,MC Fat
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 02:49 PM

At the end of 'Jamie Foyers' I add 'Over the Hills' substituting the line 'Our cause commands and we obey'


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Aug 12 - 08:08 PM

Well, it was popular enough by 1712 to be included as one of the tunes in The Beggar's Opera.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 12:18 AM

Beggar's Opera ? 1728.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 02:25 AM

I first heard it as sung by M W-R around 1972 but subsequently visited CSH where the librarian dug out a book with zillions of verses and kindly photocopied some for me(was copying them long hand) I like John Tams adaptation of the words but don't sing them, I sing th ones from the book. Another book worth re-visiting or discovering is Lewis Winstocks "Songs and Music of the Redcoats" which I believe has the M W-R version in it, if you can see your way through the tub thumping bits there are some great songs in it that I do but haven't heard anyone else doing. There is an LP of the same name, which I have, that has a few on with M W-R, the Yetis, Kieth Kendtick, Bob Fox et al .


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 02:25 AM

Found - on, of all places, an Internet Bible site -----

'G. K. Chesterton described it as "the finest line in English literature and the silent refrain of all English poems".'

~M~


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 02:28 AM

oops getting a bit carried away with myself, its Gerry Fox not Bob Fox!!! memory not what it was!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 02:33 AM

and the Druids not the Yetis, bloody hell!!!! Had a rush of nostalgia and didn't check my facts, there was a time when I forgot nothing now I just don't remember anything in the right order, bloody frustrating - hence bloody Franklin is often dead before he has set off!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 02:34 AM

Full quote ~~

"Over the hills and far away"− has been called the most beautiful and haunting expression in the English language. G. K. Chesterton described it as "the finest line in English literature and the silent refrain of all English poems". Another great writer said that if he could be credited with inventing it, he would gladly toss all his other works onto a rubbish heap. Over The Hills and Far Away - A Word from Ken
Internet Bible College - Thursday, June 30, 2011


Anyone come across the other, unattributed, refs anywhere?

~M~


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST,stallion
Date: 05 Aug 12 - 02:44 AM

The last guest posts are from moi who has lost his cookie and password isn't working and Mudcat doesn't seem to want to e-mail it to me


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 05:56 PM

I'm sure this info must be elsewhere in the DT and on threads but I'm adding it here just in case. Looking at D'Urfey's Pills version The Recruiting Officer of c1719 it implies that it was based on the earlier song Jockey's Lamentation which precedes it in Vol 5 with usual splendid tune. The chorus of Jockey is various repetitions of the line 'Over the Hills and far away, the wind has blown my plaid away.' which of course gave rise to the children's rhyme 'Tom Tom the Piper's Son'. Has anyone got earlier editions of Pills to verify if either or both songs are in those?


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Bugsy
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 08:10 PM

Here's another "OTHAFA"
Over the hills and far away - Kevin Johnson

and a good one too IMHO


CHeers

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST,Heather
Date: 14 Aug 12 - 11:43 PM

'Over the hills and far away she danced with Pigling Bland' by Beatrix Potter. the last line of her book 'Pigling Bland'


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Subject: ADD: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST,Ian1943
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 10:21 AM

OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY

Tom, Tom the Piper's Son
Played to me when I was young
And the only tune that he could play
Was 'Over the hills and far away'

Were I laid on Greenland's Coast and in my arms I held my lass
Warm against the eternal frost,how soon that half year's night would pass

And I would love you all the day
Every hour we'd kiss and play
If with me you'd fondly stray
Over the hills and far away

Were I sold on Indian soil, soon as the burning day would close
I would mock their sultry toil and on my charmer's breast repose

And I would love you all the day
Every hour we's kiss and play
If with me you'd fondly stray
Over the hills and far away

Over the hills and a great way off
The wind doth blow my topnot off.

I think it was in the "Beggars' Opera" and I really enjoy singing it


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 12:59 PM

I love this song; I tend to sing the version from "Songs and Music of the Redcoats" which is an extension of the Recruiting Officer version, with more verses.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: redhorse
Date: 15 Aug 12 - 01:40 PM

I understood the Beggars Opera version was a rewrite by John Gay of a popular song of the time: which ties in with Marlborough


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 04:18 AM

IMHO the Tom, Tom stuff is from a wholly different song.

The version of which I know is: -


OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY (2)

Hark now the drums beat up again
For all true soldier gentlemen
So let us list and march I say
O'er the hills and far away

Cho: O'er the hills, and o'er the main
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain
Queen Anne commands and we obey
O'er the hills and far away

There's twenty shillings on the drum
For him that with us freely comes
For volunteers shall win the day
O'er the hills and far away

Come gentlemen that have a mind
To serve a queen that's good and kind
Come list and enter in to pay
O'er the hills and far away

And we shall live happy lives
Free from squalling brats and wives
Who nag and vex us every day
O'er the hills and far away

'Prentice Tom may well refuse
To clean his angry master's shoes
For now he's free to run and play
O'er the hills and far away

No more from sound of drum retreat
When Marlborough and Galway beat
The French and Spaniards every day
O'er the hills and far away.





The references to Marlborough and Galway might appear to place the depicted events in around 1707, as part of the War of the Spanish succession, well before Queen Anne's death, and the treaty of Utrecht was in 1713, also before Queen Anne's death.   England was, during the war, allied to Holland and the French were allied with the Spaniards. See http://www.victorianweb.org/history/MarlboroughWars.html

However Marlborough did not die until well after Anne's death, although he was not well from about 1715 onwards.


Sharpe is set in the Napoleonic wars from 1809 onwards, so I suspect that the use of the song in the series merely represents the survival of the song from earlier times.


For a French folk song about Marlborough, see here: -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlbrough_s%27en_va-t-en_guerre


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 08:35 AM

The version first used in "Sharpe" appears to have been subtly edited by Tam. All part of the folk process (ducks hastily).

By the way, John's accent is sort of from the Cotmanhay/Ilkeston area of the Erewash (pronounced Erry Wash) Valley. The learned tome "Ey Up Mi Duck" by Richard Scollins and John Titford is very useful as a phrasebook.

Sorry to go round Horsley Woodhouse to get to Nether Heage, yoth.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST,Shimrod
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 02:18 PM

"The version first used in "Sharpe" appears to have been subtly edited by Tam."

You mean he's mangled the tune?


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 03:15 PM

Richard,
As stated above, looking at the way they are presented in Pills it would appear that 'The Recruiting Officer' got its tune and part of its chorus from 'Jockey's Lamentation' which is where 'Tom Tom TPS' seems to have also come, both prior to 1719. If I can get hold of an earlier edition of Pills online I could work out how much earlier the 2 songs are.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST,dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Aug 12 - 08:14 PM

The Recruiting Officer's words:

Our 'prentice Tom may now refuse
To wipe his scoundrel Master's Shoes,
For now he's free to sing and play
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

We all shall lead more happy lives
By getting rid of brats and wives
That scold and bawl both night and day -
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

Courage, boys, 'tis one to ten,
But we return all gentlemen
All gentlemen as well as they,
Over the hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 05:08 AM

Sorry, I meant that Tam had modified the words very slightly to suit the action eg King George instead of Queen Anne. If the tune's been modded for Sharpe it may be down to Dominic Muldowney, who did the orchestrations/composing.

I must admit when I first heard the Sharpe version it seemed a bit different from the one I heard at school. But who's to say that John Gay, Thomas D'Urfey and various stage & pub singers didn't change it earlier? (Ducks again)


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 10:03 AM

It' a grand tune, and one that , apparently, spread quite rapidly in the early 18th century. It survuved in the US as a play-party (Jolly is the Miller) at least as late as the 1950s.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: GUEST,Stan
Date: 18 Aug 12 - 10:07 AM

Is it just me or does anyone else get that funny feeling at the mention of Flanders?

It was just about 1 month less than 100 years after Waterloo when Canadian John McCrae penned 'In Flanders Fields. 200 years after Marlborough and getting close to 100 years from today.

I'm not suggesting the song shouldn't be sung but it does get to me.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 11 Aug 13 - 12:58 PM

From: Richard Bridge - PM
Date: 16 Aug 12 - 04:18 AM
IMHO the Tom, Tom stuff is from a wholly different song.

.,,.
Slowburn response after a full year less exactly a week ~~

'Different song' only in that there happen to exist two distinct Toms, both pipers' sons, in two distinct rhymes: the one who learned to play when he was young, & the only tune... -- which ties in with this thread;

& the other, who stole a pig and away did run. The pig was eat and Tom was beat and Tom went roaring down the street;

which larcenous & justly punished peculator otoh doesn't.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: Gurney
Date: 12 Aug 13 - 01:06 AM

Another variant. Can't remember where I got it from. Same tune, but in March-time and upbeat. I learned it in a Scots accent.
List Bonny Laddy.

A ricky hoose an' a runny old barn
Three little bairns an' a wife to burn (?Burden?)
Three beats o' the drum, that'll rid ye o' them all
So list, bonny laddy, an' come awa'.
CH.
(An' it's) Over the mountain, an' over the main,
Through Gibralter, France and Spain (Gib-er-alter)
Victoria commands by land and sea
(So) List bonny laddy, an' come wi' me.

If ye happen to hae a sweetheart wi' bairn
ye may rid your hand o' that ill-spun yarn
Ye needna pay a farthing, according unto law
Just list, bonny laddy, an' come awa'

Oh, ploughman laddy! The danger you're in
If your ousen(?)may scare, or your horse may ruin
and the farmer will grudge to pay your penny fee
Just list, bonny laddy, an' come wi' me.


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Subject: RE: Over the hills and far away.
From: IanC
Date: 13 Aug 13 - 11:03 AM

Hi

A few years ago, I did some double-sided A4 flyers about different traditional songs, with the song and an illustration on one side, and some historical analysis based on my research on the other. I had easy access to the British Library then ...

Here's the text from the flyer I did from this song. I hope it's useful. I usually keep the formatted text, jpg and detailed notes on a web page and it's here.
__________________________________________________________________

Over The Hills and Far Away

Hark! now the drums beat up again,
For all true soldier gentlemen,
So let us list and march I say,
Go o'er the hills and far away;

Over the hills and o'er the main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
Queen Ann commands, and we'll obey,
Over the hills and far away.


There's twenty shillings on the drum,
For him that with us freely comes,
'Tis volunteers shall win the day,
Over the hills and far away

Come gentlemen that have a mind,
To serve a Queen that's good and kind;
Come list and enter into pay,
Over the hills and far away

No more from sound of drum retreat,
While Marlborough, and Galway beat,
The French and Spaniards every day,
Over the hills and far away


Over The Hills and Far Away

A robust militaristic song, with a really beautiful tune. The earliest known printing is in the 1706 edition of D'Urfey's "Pills To Purge Melancholy", though an excerpt of this version is also printed in George Farquhar's play "The Recruiting Officer", also first performed in 1706. The song as published in D'Urfey has a clear satirical element and gives the impression of either having been written, or at least altered, for this particular publication.

The song may well have originated as a real recruiting song, and versions with less satirical content were apparently used for this purpose during the 18th Century, our version being one such. Whatever the case may be, these words are clearly associated with the reign of Queen Ann and more particularly with The War Of The Spanish Succession. Interestingly, Marlborough didn't invade Spain, via Portugal, until two years after the song was published. However, the basis of the war, along with existing treaties, made this course of action pretty well inevitable.

Though it's often suggested that the tune is older than D'Urfey's words, it may well not be. Another song to the same tune, "Jockey's Lamentation", appears in the 1719 version of "Pills To Purge Melancholy" and also in some 18th Century broadsides in the Roxburghe collection. The tune is, however, noted in the broadside version as a "Pleasant new playhouse tune". This may simply link it to Farquhar's play, which was performed widely during the 18th Century (and has been ever since).

As well as "Jockey's Lamentation", there have been a number of other songs written to the same tune, usually quoting or parodying "Over The Hills". Of these, the most well known are John Gaye's parody for his Beggar's Opera (1728) "Were I Laid On Greenland's Coast" and the children's nursery rhyme "Tom He Was A Piper's Son", itself printed in the 1719 version of "Pills To Purge Melancholy".

Both song and tune seem to be of English origin, though it spread quickly to the colonies, and particularly to America (Queen Ann's war was also being fought there). An American version of the song was noted in Maryland in 1754, though it first appeared in print in Scotland in 1768. By the end of the century, it had become sufficiently part of the Scottish tradition that both the song and at least one Scottish parody were included in "The Scots Musical Museum" (1804).


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