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Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'

Lighter 28 Jan 18 - 09:32 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Jan 18 - 02:32 PM
Lighter 30 Jan 18 - 03:04 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Jan 18 - 03:21 PM
Lighter 30 Jan 18 - 03:30 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Jan 18 - 06:31 PM
Lighter 30 Jan 18 - 06:48 PM
Jim Dixon 30 Jan 18 - 07:09 PM
Lighter 31 Jan 18 - 06:04 PM
Lighter 02 Feb 18 - 08:51 AM
GUEST,Bob Coltman 02 Feb 18 - 05:58 PM
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Subject: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Jan 18 - 09:32 PM

On the album "Sons of Erin," Derek Warfield sings an Irish-American song of the Civil War called "The New York Volunteer." You can hear it on YouTube.

Warfield describes the song as "traditional." Can anybody identify the source of the words?

I suspect Warfield supplied the tune himself. It's "Whisky in the Jar" and fits very well.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE NEW YORK VOLUNTEER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 02:32 PM

From The Camp-Fire Songster (New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1862), page 23:

THE NEW YORK VOLUNTEER.

'Twas in the days of '76,
    When Freemen, young and old,
All fought for Independence then,
    Each hero brave and bold!
'Twas then the noble Stars and Stripes
    In triumph did appear,
And defended by brave patriots,
    The Yankee Volunteers.

CHORUS.—'Tis my delight to march and fight
        Like a New York Volunteer.

Now, there's our City Regiments,
    Just see what they have done:
The first to offer to the State
    To go to Washington
To protect the Federal Capital
    And the Flag they love so dear!
And they've done their duty nobly,
    Like New York Volunteers.

        'Tis my delight, &c.

The Rebels out in Maryland,
    They madly raved, and swore
They'd let none of our Union troops
    Pass through Baltimore;
But the Massachusetts Regiment
    No Traitors did they fear;
But fought their way to Washington,
    Like Yankee Volunteers.

        'Tis my delight, &c.

Now, there's the noble Sixty-Ninth,
    Just see what they have done:
They dug ten miles of trenches,
    Way down at Washington.
Now, they are reorganizing
    Under Thomas Francis Meagher,
And they'll avenge brave Corcoran,
    Like New York Volunteers.

        'Tis my delight, &c.

Then, there's the noble Firemen,
    Ever ready, one and all,
To quench the burning elements,
    And obey their Country's call;
They never shrink from duty,
    But you'll always find them near,
To avenge brave Col. Ellsworth
    Like New York Volunteers.

        'Tis my delight, &c.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 03:04 PM

Thanks, Jim.

But that's a different song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2MvHJMwIqmY

Worth listening to.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE YANKEE VOLUNTEER (ca. 1840)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 03:21 PM

The above song looks like it might be patterned on this one:

From A collection of American songs and ballads, 205 in number. With a ms. index at the British Library.

THE YANKEE VOLUNTEER.
Tune—"The Poachers."

The days of seventy-six, my boys,
    We ever must revere.
Our fathers took their muskets then,
    To fight for freedom dear.
Upon the plains of Lexington,
    They made the foe look queer.
O, 'tis great delight to march and fight
    As a Yankee volunteer.

The next, on famous Bunker hill,
    Our standard they did rear.
'Twas there our gallant Warren fell—
    I tell it with a tear.
But, for their victory that day,
    The foe did pay full dear:
O, 'tis great delight to march and fight
    As a Yankee volunteer.

Through snow and ice at Trenton, boys,
    They cross'd the Delaware.
Led by the immortal Washington,
    No danger they did fear.
'Twas there they took the Hessians, boys,
    Then back to town did steer.
O, 'tis great delight to march and fight
    As a Yankee Volunteer.

At Saratoga next, my boys,
    Burgoyne they beat severe;
And at the siege of Yorktown,
    They gain'd their cause so dear.
Cornwallis there gave up his sword,
    Whilst freedom's sons did cheer.
O, 'tis great delight to march and fight
    As a Yankee Volunteer.

Throughout our latest struggles, boys,
    We still victorious were;
And Jackson's deeds, at New Orleans,
    In bright array appear.
His virtues and his bravery
    Each freeman must revere.
O, 'tis great delight to march and fight
    As a Yankee Volunteer.

And should a foeman e'er again
    Upon our coast appear,
There's hearts around me, brave and true,
    Who'd quickly volunteer
To drive invaders from the soil
    Columbia's sons hold dear.
O, they'd each delight to march and fight
    As a Yankee Volunteer.

- - -
The above "book" appears to be a privately-assembled collection of broadsides. No date is given on the individual song sheet, but the British Library apparently dates the collection to 1840. This song sheet was apparently printed in Boston.

Another copy of the same lyrics appears in Songs, Odes, and Other Poems on National Subjects compiled by William McCarty (Philadelphia: William McCarty, 1842), page 236.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 03:30 PM

Am starting to think that the song is a pastiche assembled by Warfield from broadsides, with some of his own material added.

The phrase "fork up all the rhino" (hand over all the money) sounds like the 1860s, as does "skivering the would-be Southern Neroes," but the song overall has kind of a modern feel to me.

But I could be wrong.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 06:31 PM

The first line of Warfield's song: "I am a gallant hero, the southerners ne'er could frighten" has been quoted in another Mudcat thread: "Irish Emigrant Ballads and Songs Index where someone has listed all the songs from this book:

Irish Emigrant Ballads and Songs, edited by Robert L Wright (Bowling Green, Ohio : Bowling Green University Popular Press, ©1975)

(If you click the link, it might show you where you can find the book in a library near you.)

I see that my own local library system has a copy, but it would take a few days to get it.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 06:48 PM

Thanks again, Jim.

Luckily my library has a copy. I'll get it and report back soon.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Jan 18 - 07:09 PM

I found a research paper, formatted as a Word document, which says the lyrics were written by "comedian and vocalist Thomas Donnelly" and that the song was written in dialect. As an example, it quotes this verse:

I wint down to Virginny, with Corcoran's bould Haroes,
To have a hand at skivering the Southern would be Naroes,
They say that one can lick us five, but tho' I'm rather lazy,
I knocked blazes out of twelve of them, and done it mighty aisy.

It cites Wright's book as its source.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Lighter
Date: 31 Jan 18 - 06:04 PM

That's the one.

Should have the book tomorrow.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 08:51 AM

My detailed report disappeared at the touch of a button, so here's the gist.

The song ("Dedicated to the Brave Sixty-Ninth") appears in Wright's book as reprinted from "The Frisky Irish Songster" (N.Y., ca1862).

It was "Composed and sung by Thos. Donnelly, Esq., Comedian and Vocalist."

The tune is specified as "Whisky in the Jar."

Warfield's text is almost identical to Connolly's. The biggest difference by far is that Warfield rewrites the clumsy "The divil as much as a grease spot of thim you'll ever find, sir" as "The devil will make sport of them as you will ever find, sir."

Great song & performance. Thanks again to Jim Dixon for the lead.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Warfield's 'New York Volunteer'
From: GUEST,Bob Coltman
Date: 02 Feb 18 - 05:58 PM

However,, the "Yankee Volunteer" text, which is set to "The Poachers," which clearly means "The Lincolnshire Poacher." The chorus is the giveaway.

Lincolnshire Poachers:

Oh, 'tis my delight of a shiny night
In the season of the year


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