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Tune Req: Number 1 Canadian General Hospital

George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca 21 Jul 15 - 08:06 PM
Joe Offer 21 Jul 15 - 11:26 PM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 15 - 12:11 AM
Joe Offer 22 Jul 15 - 12:26 AM
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Subject: Tune Req: Number 1 Canadian General Hospital
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 08:06 PM

This song was a song dedicated to the Nursing Sisters of the Canadian Military from the First World War.
The words are found at the web-page http://pw20c.mcmaster.ca/case-study/angels-mercy-canada-s-nursing-sisters-world-war-i-and-ii



The lyrics are

No 1 Canadian General Hospital

Nursing Sisters' Theme Song


 

In my sweet little Alice Blue gown,

When I first came to Birmingham town.

I had had a bad trip, in a nasty old ship

And the cold in my billet, just gave me the pip.

We came out to nurse our own troops,

But were greeted with measles and whoops.

Now I'll be a granny, and sit on my fanny,

And keep warm with turpentine stupes.

 

In my sweet little Alice Blue gown,

When I return to my home town

They will bring out the band, give the girls a big hand,

Being a nurse in the force, I'll be quite renowned.

And I'll never forget all the fun,

That I had, since I joined Number One

I was happy and gay, to have served with MacRae

In my sweet little Alice Blue gown.

 

We think this is sung to the tune of "Little Alice Blue Gown". Haven't confirmed it. Does anyone know of a source to verify?


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Subject: RE: Tune Req: Number 1 Canadian General Hospital
From: Joe Offer
Date: 21 Jul 15 - 11:26 PM

Hi, George -
With lyrics like that, the melody just has to be "Alice Blue Gown." "(In my Sweet Little) Alice Blue Gown" was published in 1919, with words by Joseph McCarthy and music by Harry Tierney. It's from the musical play Irene. The lyrics of this song describe Alice Roosevelt Longworth's favorite shade of blue. Alice was Teddy Roosevelt's daughter. [source: The Great Song Thesaurus, Oxford University Press]

Lots of YouTube recordings: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%22alice+blue+gown%22

Googling for turpentine stupes brings up lots of information on the song. This article says the tune for the song is "Bless 'Em All," but that has to be wrong.


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Subject: ADD: Night-Gown of Blue
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 12:11 AM

NIGHT-GOWN OF BLUE

In my sweet little night-gown of blue,
On the first night that I slept with you,
I was both shy and scared, as the bed was prepared.
And you played peek-a-boo with my ribbons of blue.

As we both watched the break of the day,
And still there in submission I lay,
You said you adored it; but, damn it, you tore it,
My sweet little night-gown of blue.


Tune: Alice Blue Gown

Notes:
Indirectness and delicacy are rare in men's songs about women, but
this one did appear in an RCAF song sheet. There is still that twist at the end—the nervous woman is perhaps not as delicate or as dominated as she would have even herself believe.
Since the lyrics are set to the same melody as "Sweet Little Air Force Blue Suit", the two songs offer a ready example of the different orientations of men and women, at least toward clothing. Women view clothing as an important element in expressing their personalities, while men see clothes as essentially a disguise that gets in the way of reality.

Page 134, Songs from the Front & Rear: Canadian Servicemen's Songs of the Second World War, by Anthony Hopkins (Hurtig Publishers, Edmonton, 1979)


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Subject: ADD: The '39-'45 Star
From: Joe Offer
Date: 22 Jul 15 - 12:26 AM

THE '39-'45 STAR

It's the thirty-nine—forty-five star,
It's the best little ribbon so far.
I've got one on my chest
And one on my vest,
And one on my pyjamas when I go to rest.
It's the thirty-nine—forty-five star,
It's the best little ribbon so far;
But I doubt if I'll wear it,
There's too many to share it,
The thirty-nine—forty-five star.

Tune: 'Alice Blue Gown'

Notes
The veteran soldier is quite capable of feeling contempt for medals, which are trivial when compared with the sweat and blood he has expended and the time he has served.


Page 190, What a Lovely War: British Soldiers' Songs from the Boer War to the Present Day, by Roy Palmer (Michael Joseph, London, 1990)


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