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Origin: Battleship of Maine

DigiTrad:
BAWBEE ALLAN
COLONEL NIGHN
IF I LOSE, LET ME LOSE
MY SWEETHEART WENT DOWN WITH THE MAINE
NINETEEN TWENTY EIGHT
THAT CRAZY WAR


Related threads:
Battleship of Maine: Pro or Anti War? (25)
Lyr/Chords Req: Remember the Maine? (7)


RangerSteve 20 Jan 02 - 07:01 PM
Mountain Dog 20 Jan 02 - 07:08 PM
Rolfyboy6 20 Jan 02 - 07:56 PM
BanjoRay 20 Jan 02 - 07:56 PM
Rolfyboy6 20 Jan 02 - 08:09 PM
toadfrog 20 Jan 02 - 10:15 PM
Rolfyboy6 20 Jan 02 - 11:01 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Jan 02 - 11:43 PM
RangerSteve 21 Jan 02 - 06:36 AM
Charley Noble 21 Jan 02 - 10:31 AM
Irish sergeant 21 Jan 02 - 05:38 PM
Charley Noble 30 Dec 12 - 11:54 AM
GUEST 06 Feb 16 - 05:12 PM
12-stringer 06 Feb 16 - 10:40 PM
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Subject: War/Battleship of Maine
From: RangerSteve
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 07:01 PM

My friends daughter needs this info: Who wrote/sang War(What is it good for), and is there an author for the song "The Battleship of Maine". Thanks in advance, Steve.


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: Mountain Dog
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 07:08 PM

Hi, Steve

I have a CD with "The Battleship of Maine" performed by The New Lost City Ramblers. The liner notes indicate the Ramblers' source was "Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers" on Victor #20936. No indication as to the writer or year of recording by Red's Rollers.

I seem to recall it was Edwin Hawkins, the R & B artist, who had the hit "War" ('unh!, what is it good for? Absolutely nuthin!') in the late 60s?


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 07:56 PM

That's Edwin STAR who did "War, What Is It Good For? (Absolutely Nothin'). War, What is it good for


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: BanjoRay
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 07:56 PM

You can hear the original on the Honking Duck website of 78s. The recording details are:

The Battleship of Maine
Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers
Original Issue: Victor 20938
Recorded: August 12, 1927
John "Red" Patterson: Banjo and vocal
Dick Nolan: Tenor, banjo
Lee Nolan: Guitar
Percy Sefiff: Fiddle

Cheers
Ray


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Subject: Lyr Add: BATTLESHIP OF MAINE
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 08:09 PM

McKinley called for volunteers, then I got my gun.
First Spaniard I saw coming, I dropped my gun and run;
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
Chorus:
At war with that great nation, Spain.
When I get back from Spain, I want to honor my name,
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.

2. The blood was a-running, and I was running, too.
I give my feet good exercise, I had nothing else to do
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
Chorus:

3. When they were a-chasing me, I fell down on my knees.
First thing I cast my eyes upon was a great big pot of beans.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
Chorus:

4. The beans they was greasy, the meat it was fat.
The boys was fighting Spaniards, while I was fighting that.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
Chorus:

5. What kind of shoes do the Rough Riders wear?
Buttons on the side, cost five and a half a pair.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
Chorus:

6. What kind of shoes do the poor farmers wear?
Old brogans, cost a dollar a pair.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
Chorus:


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: toadfrog
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 10:15 PM

Rollyboy: For future reference, it is highly recommended that one search DT to see if something is already posted before posting a song. "Battleship" is here.


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: Rolfyboy6
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:01 PM

So? Good song ain't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Jan 02 - 11:43 PM

Regardless of its origin, it's been a remarkably durable Army song. In WWI, it was "That Crazy War"; it ws likely around in WWII; surfaced as "Fighting for that bastard Singman Rhee" in Korea, and "Fightting for that bastard Colonel Nihn" in Vietnam. Same tune, similar verses, same structure, different choruses.

"The reason I am running is because I cannot fly" has got to be one of the finest lines in folksong.


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: RangerSteve
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 06:36 AM

THanks to everyone who answered this. I kind of believe that there is no one particular author, the verses were probably added by different people.


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: Charley Noble
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 10:31 AM

Good work!


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Subject: RE: BS: War/Battleship of Maine
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 21 Jan 02 - 05:38 PM

Given the life of the song and the soldierly propensity for adding verses to it or altering verses. The lyricist was probably some unnamed soldier with time on his hands. Many of the soldiers who were called up or enlisted to fight Spain never saw combat. The war lasted but a few months. I've always suspected that the lyricist most likely got no closer to Cuba than Key West but he may have. One can never tell with things like that. Kindest regards, neil


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Subject: RE: Origin: Battleship of Maine
From: Charley Noble
Date: 30 Dec 12 - 11:54 AM

refresh!


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Subject: RE: Origin: Battleship of Maine
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Feb 16 - 05:12 PM

Does anyone have the lyrics to the Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers
version of the battleship of maine? There's a verse I can't quite make out that I don't see in other written versions of this song.


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Subject: RE: Origin: Battleship of Maine
From: 12-stringer
Date: 06 Feb 16 - 10:40 PM

Rolfyboy's post, above, from 2002, transcribes the NLCR version of the song. The source credited is Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers, but the lyrics, as published in the NLCR Song Book (1960s; reprinted c1990 as The Old Time String Band Song Book) are not totally faithful to the original recording. E.g., Patterson's closer on the verse is "I was fighting for that Battleship of Maine," while the NLCR Song Book gives it throughout as "It was all about that Battleship of Maine." There are several other variations of text, none particularly major.

NLCR Song Book omits one verse from the Patterson recording. Perhaps this is the one you're having trouble with?

They chased me all over Cuby, I thought I'd lose my life
Before I'd go back to wah again I'd send my darling wife
To fight for that Battleship of Maine.


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