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Lyr Req: Many Young Men of Twenty Said Goodbye

Wolfgang Hell 20 Nov 97 - 10:37 AM
Martin Ryan 20 Nov 97 - 12:03 PM
Wolfgang 21 Nov 97 - 07:42 AM
22 Nov 97 - 06:09 PM
Mysha 26 Oct 07 - 02:42 PM
Shaneo 26 Oct 07 - 03:05 PM
Mysha 26 Oct 07 - 04:23 PM
Rabbi-Sol 26 Oct 07 - 04:25 PM
Big Al Whittle 26 Oct 07 - 04:30 PM
Shaneo 26 Oct 07 - 04:37 PM
Effsee 26 Oct 07 - 09:37 PM
goatfell 27 Oct 07 - 07:14 AM
Snuffy 28 Oct 07 - 08:14 PM
Susanne (skw) 28 Oct 07 - 08:32 PM
Gulliver 01 Nov 07 - 01:03 AM
GUEST,Johnn Currie 14 Mar 14 - 05:01 PM
Jim Dixon 16 Mar 14 - 11:32 AM
Jim Dixon 16 Mar 14 - 12:58 PM
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Subject: Lyr Add: MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY (from J McEvoy)
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 20 Nov 97 - 10:37 AM

I guess that this song is fairly recent, for the versions found in the songbooks hardly differ at all. The version below comes from the life singing of Johnny McEvoy nearly thirty years ago in Frankfurt, when he still promised to be a folk singer.

Wolfgang

MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY

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 factories 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.

Last night I held my darling 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 darling in the glen.
No more we’ll watch the small birds as they fly.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

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

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

EDIT: The last 2 verses were added from Johnny McEvoy's album "Legends of Irish Music" (1968).


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Martin Ryan
Date: 20 Nov 97 - 12:03 PM

Wolfgang

As far as I remember, its from a play called "Sive", by the Kerry playwright John B. Keane. Written about the late fifties?

Speaking of Johnny McEvoy: he wrote "Ballad of John Williams", which is in the DT - a fine song, in my humble.....

Regards


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Nov 97 - 07:42 AM

What a beautiful song, Martin, I had never seen or heard it before. Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From:
Date: 22 Nov 97 - 06:09 PM

The version I knew was different, and was about emigration to North America.

The chorus went, as best I can recall:

Many young men of twenty said good-bye
They left the mountains and the glens
The lassies and the fine young men
I saw a tear on every girl and boy
Many young men of twenty said good-bye

That's all I can recall. It was done many years ago by the Irish Rovers when they were still singing mostly "Celtic" music. I recall that they did this particular song on a live album.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY (Irish Rovers)
From: Mysha
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 02:42 PM

MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY
As sung by the Irish Rovers on "The First of the Irish Rovers" (1980?)

SPOKEN: This is a song about emigration, the curse of Ireland today, and many young men of twenty say goodbye.

CHORUS: Many young men of twenty said goodbye.
They left the mountains and the glens,
The lassies and the fine young men.
I saw a tear on every girl and boy.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

1. I sold my house and land, me boys.
I wandered far away, me boys.
I left me wee girl Annie far behind.
I know I'll not forget that day,
When the big ship sailed away.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye. CHORUS

2. I left her standing on the strand,
With my dear old parents by the hand.
With me bundle tied around my back,
I left Ireland ever more
And sailed off to a foreign shore.
Many young man of twenty said goodbye. CHORUS

3. I promised to return some day,
But the years so quickly slip away.
My dear old parents, they've already gone.
And Annie too, I'm sad to say,
Was married a year ago, last may.
Why must young men of twenty say goodbye? CHORUS

I don't have this one, myself, but when I was younger my mother had that first album of The Irish Rovers, simply called "The Irish Rovers". I've tried to write it down as I recall it, a few decades later. The album, I believe, has been reissued on CD, now as "The First of the Irish Rovers".

As a child, the irony of this band of Irish, living in America, calling emigration a curse, was lost on me. It's all the more poignant now, as in all these years I've never heard an Erin band perform this song. As far as I know the sentiment could indeed be written down by an emigrant. The more so because it appears to be a variation of an Old World song, but doesn't seem to fit that song's meter, as if recollections of back home were getting hazy.

Mysha


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Shaneo
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 03:05 PM

The song was made famous in Ireland by The Wolfe Tones


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Mysha
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:23 PM

Hi Shaneo,

Are you refering to the lyrics Wolfgang posted in the first message, which seem to be a short version of the lyrics about the young men sailing of to the Great War, or to the emigration lyrics I posted two messages above?
Though I can find very easily on the web that The Wolfe Tones recorded a version, I have considerable difficulty in determining what lyrics and melody variation they used. The tune going with the emigration lyrics is different in some ways; I guess the tell-tale is that it doesn't have the short second line that the war-version has.

                                                Mysha


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:25 PM

It is on the Wolfetones album "Across The Broad Atlantic" which I have. It is cut #4. The album was put out by Triskel Records.

                                                SOL


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:30 PM

Hm....... it goes back further than that. It was one for the tenors to belt out. I even saw it appear in the the TV comedy show It ain't half hot, Mum. It was that sort of 'end of pier'/workers playtime standard when I was a kid.


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Shaneo
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 04:37 PM

I am referring to Wolfgang's version, except the 'Tones have a different second verse which goes like this.

They left the mountains and the glens
The lassies and the fine young men
I saw a tear in every girl and boy,
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

*************
I'm surprised this has not been recorded by more singers.
Has anybody got the chords there .
Of course The Wolfe Tones don't sing it anymore since Derek left.


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Effsee
Date: 26 Oct 07 - 09:37 PM

The Dubliners recorded this with Ronnie Drew doing the singing. I'd have to go searching to find the album it was on though.


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: goatfell
Date: 27 Oct 07 - 07:14 AM

i just like the song


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Snuffy
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 08:14 PM

The Dubliners version has the first verse as posted by Wolfgang at the top of the thread, then continues as a lament by a girl for her Jimmy who's gone across the sea and left her pregnant.

I'll see if I can find my copy in the next few days.


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 28 Oct 07 - 08:32 PM

Effsee, it was on 'At It Again' (1967), later reissued as 'Seven Deadly Sins' as a double with 'Seven Drunken Nights'.


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Subject: RE: Many young men of twenty
From: Gulliver
Date: 01 Nov 07 - 01:03 AM

The song is from the play of the same name, by John B. Keane, first produced in 1961. I remember seeing the play as a kid in the Gate Theatre, around 1966, and thinking it was a great song. The play is set in that period, late 50s/60s.

Don


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Many Young Men of Twenty Said Goodbye
From: GUEST,Johnn Currie
Date: 14 Mar 14 - 05:01 PM

As I remember it; it is the version cited by Mysha, from tape recordings that I heard in bars in Phila on St Patrick's Day, that I recollect I have loved the song since then (1995 or thereabouts).

It has always sparked a question in my mind, what is the significance of age 20? I suppose that you had to be that old to emigrate or fight. No one seems to have an answer


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Subject: Lyr Add: MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY SAID GOODBYE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 11:32 AM

I heard this version on Spotify:


MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY SAID GOODBYE
As sung by Barrowside on "Kathleen" (2010)

Many young men of twenty said goodbye
All that long day
From break of dawn until the sun was high.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

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

I met my love upon the mountain rim.
The day he left,
I knew I bore a living child of him.
I knew I bore a living child of him.

And the child was born to me.
My Jimmy's far across the sea.
Jimmy's gone and here alone am I.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

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

But my Jimmy let me down.
Now they mock me in the town.
O my Jimmy, please come back to me.
O my Jimmy, please come back to me.

They left the mountains and the glens,
The lassies and the fine young men.
I saw the tears of ev'ry girl and boy.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.


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Subject: Lyr Add: MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY (Wolfe Tones)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Mar 14 - 12:58 PM

MANY YOUNG MEN OF TWENTY
As sung by the Wolfe Tones on "Across the Broad Atlantic" (1976) and "25th Anniversary" (1989).

CHORUS 1: Many young men of twenty said goodbye
All that long day
From break of dawn until the sun was high.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

1. They left the mountains and the glens,
The lassies and the fine young men.
I saw a tear on every girl and boy.
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

CHORUS 2: Last night I held my darling in my arms.
"Farewell, my love!
It breaks my heart to see you cry.
Farewell my love, for maybe I will die."
Many young men of twenty said goodbye.

2. My boy Willie sailed away.
And the big ship went away.
He sailed away and left me here to cry.
For many young men of twenty said goodbye.

REPEAT CHORUS 1.

3. I wish that I was back again
Beside my darling in the glen.
We'd sit and watch the small birds as they fly.
For many young men of twenty said goodbye.

REPEAT CHORUS 1.

[On the above albums, the choruses are sung by the group; the verses are sung by a solo voice. There is also a live version on "On the One Road" (2009) in which the words are the same, but they vary the arrangement.]


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