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Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)

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GUEST,ratspituk@yahoo.co.uk 03 Jan 03 - 06:26 PM
nutty 03 Jan 03 - 06:48 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 Jan 03 - 05:32 AM
GUEST 04 May 04 - 05:40 PM
breezy 04 May 04 - 06:01 PM
Folkiedave 04 May 04 - 06:05 PM
GUEST 04 May 04 - 07:19 PM
GUEST,harvey andrews 04 May 04 - 07:20 PM
GUEST,harvey andrews 04 May 04 - 07:23 PM
John MacKenzie 05 May 04 - 03:20 AM
GUEST,M'Grath of Altcar 05 May 04 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,harvey andrews 05 May 04 - 05:13 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 05 May 04 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,crazyhorse 05 May 04 - 05:24 AM
GUEST,Raggytash 05 May 04 - 05:30 AM
GUEST,Concerned of Huddersfield 07 May 04 - 04:06 AM
GUEST,dave c 25 Oct 04 - 03:06 PM
harvey andrews 25 Oct 04 - 04:05 PM
YorkshireYankee 25 Oct 04 - 06:09 PM
harvey andrews 25 Oct 04 - 06:35 PM
14fret 25 Oct 04 - 06:42 PM
harvey andrews 25 Oct 04 - 06:54 PM
Susanne (skw) 26 Oct 04 - 07:03 PM
YorkshireYankee 26 Oct 04 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Dave B 25 Mar 05 - 05:24 AM
Susanne (skw) 25 Mar 05 - 07:56 PM
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Susanne (skw) 23 Aug 05 - 07:16 PM
GUEST,Tír Chonaill 23 Aug 05 - 07:26 PM
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GUEST,Tír Chonaill 23 Aug 05 - 07:42 PM
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GUEST 25 Aug 05 - 06:44 AM
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Subject: Lyr Req: soldier by Harvey andrew's please!!!
From: GUEST,ratspituk@yahoo.co.uk
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 06:26 PM

please can anyone help me find the lyrics for "soldier" by Harvey Andrews? it's really hard to find any of his lyrics on the net so any help would be vary gratefull!!!
thanks
Mart


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: soldier by Harvey andrew's please!!!
From: nutty
Date: 03 Jan 03 - 06:48 PM

HI Mart ..... If you had spent a little time reading the threads you could have found it for yourself.

HERE

cheers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: soldier by Harvey andrew's please!!!
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 Jan 03 - 05:32 AM

thread.cfm?threadid=28801&messages=34

Try this link.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOLDIER (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 04 - 05:40 PM

In a station in the city a British soldier stood
Talking to the people there if the people would
Some just stared in hatred, and others turned in pain
And the lonely British soldier wished he was back home again

Come join the British Army! said the posters in his town
See the world and have your fun come serve before the Crown
The jobs were hard to come by and he could not face the dole
So he took his country's shilling and enlisted on the roll

For there was no fear of fighting, the Empire long was lost
Just ten years in the army getting paid for being bossed
Then leave a man experienced a man who's made the grade
A medal and a pension some mem'ries and a trade

Then came the call for Ireland as the call had come before
Another bloody chapter in an endless civil war
The priests they stood on both sides the priests they stood behind
Another fight in Jesus's name the blind against the blind

The soldier stood between them between the whistling stones
And then the broken bottles that led to broken bones
The petrol bombs that burnt his hands the nails that pierced his skin
And wished that he had stayed at home surrounded by his kin

The station filled with people the soldier soon was bored
But better in the station than where the people warred
The room filled up with mothers with daughters and with sons
Who stared with itchy fingers at the soldier and his gun

A yell of fear a screech of brakes the shattering of glass
The window of the station broke to let the package pass
A scream came from the mothers as they ran towards the door
Dragging their children crying from the bomb upon the floor

The soldier stood and could not move his gun he could not use
He knew the bomb had seconds and not minutes on the fuse
He could not run and pick it up and throw it in the street
There were far too many people there too many running feet

Take cover! yelled the soldier, Take cover for your lives
And the Irishmen threw down their young and stood before their wives
They turned towards the soldier their eyes alive with fear
For God's sake save our children or they'll end their short lives here

The soldier moved towards the bomb his stomach like a stone
Why was this his battle God why was he alone
He lay down on the package and he murmured one farewell
To those at home in England to those he loved so well

He saw the sights of summer felt the wind upon his brow
The young girls in the city parks how precious were they now
The soaring of the swallow the beauty of the swan
The music of the turning world so soon would it be gone

A muffled soft explosion and the room began to quake
The soldier blown across the floor his blood a crimson lake
There was no time to cry or shout there was no time to moan
And they turned their children's faces from the blood and from the bones

The crowd outside soon gathered and the ambulances came
To carry off the body of a pawn lost in the game
And the crowd they clapped and cheered and they sang their rebel song
One soldier less to interfere where he did not belong

And will the children growing up learn at their mothers' knees
The story of the soldier who bought their liberty
Who used his youthful body as a means towards an end
Who gave his life to those who called him murderer not friend


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: breezy
Date: 04 May 04 - 06:01 PM

and widely known in the army to this day judging by the comments I've heard in recent years.

Does Harvey know about this posting, if he does I hope he doesnt mind!

I'm looking forward to him playing St Albans on June 11th for the 3rd year running this time at the Duke of Marlborough.

We re-open this Friday with Graeme Knights


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Folkiedave
Date: 04 May 04 - 06:05 PM

I saw Harvey sing this song on an RAF base. It went great, though I suspect some of the people whooping along missed the point.

Great song - and it was RAF Akrotiri - September 1980.

folkiedave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 04 May 04 - 07:19 PM

Folkiedave...you'd be amazed how many people missed the point, including the Govt and the Ministry of Defence. The key line is "the nails that pierced his skin" obviously a reference to nailbombs, but also a reference to crucifixion. Here were two warring factions, both killing each other, and both professing to have the truth about Christianity. So I put Christ in a uniform and he gave his life again that others might live.it may seem a naive song now but this was then, early 1970's.
The uniform was probably the step too far for many who could only see a soldier as a symbol and not as a human being.
At the moment we have the same thing with the torture pictures. Everyone is concentrating on the evil doers, but the ones who put aside their uniforms and their allegiances and their buddying to get these pictures released are the interesting ones. What has it taken for them to take such risks? In the end their humanity won out against their training and peer pressure. Their lives will be very difficult from this point, but if you want heroes...they're it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 04 May 04 - 07:20 PM

Above posting is from me. I'll go cookie chasing.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 04 May 04 - 07:23 PM

By the way, I have a search that tells me which organisations etc access my website. US Military have been there a few times.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: John MacKenzie
Date: 05 May 04 - 03:20 AM

Well Harvey, surely you know there is a spy or a subversive lurking behind every tree, and as for folk singers, why they shouldn't be allowed! Bringing all those things to folks attention like that, it's shameful. ;~)
John


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,M'Grath of Altcar
Date: 05 May 04 - 04:45 AM

I used to go to folk club in Skelmersdale where one of the residents did the song just about every week. Don't get me wrong Mr. Andrews, it's a superb song, but this character just did tooooo often.

Until someone painted a football with black paint attached a lit sparkler and rolled it through the folk club door.........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,harvey andrews
Date: 05 May 04 - 05:13 AM

Well, that's another priceless story for the archive!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 05 May 04 - 05:21 AM

That person with the football and sparkler was non other than myself, Neil Hirst was the singer ........... he also ran the club until that night when he took his bat and ball home, packed up his guitar mid song walked out. I took his 3 guests and one guitar home in my MG Roadster (2 seater) with my good lady and my guitar (5 people, 2 guitars) I then went to Neil's house to offer apologies and to try and pour oil on troubled waters, he wasn't having any of it and I ended up running the eclub till it closed.
I must admit I also pinched the song from his repartoire and added it to mine,

Superb song Harvey, Cheers


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,crazyhorse
Date: 05 May 04 - 05:24 AM

I've sung this song twice in public once in about '73 at a catholic school PTA evening ( well I was young ) and once last year in canada in a bar. Both times part of the audience were sobbing their eyes out. This is one song that will always be "investigated seriously".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Raggytash
Date: 05 May 04 - 05:30 AM

The folk club in Skelmersdale was at the Knowle Brow pub, just for the record !, Story is circa 1978.

M'Garth I must know you, I married Christine Makinson who went to the club and to whom I'm still married I'm happy to say. Drop a line on a PM, see Punch the Horse thread for links I'm at work at the moment and don't have a cookie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Concerned of Huddersfield
Date: 07 May 04 - 04:06 AM

Brought this one back up as another thread has a request which can only be directed to Harvey, my advice to the Lady Guest who wants to hear "The Soldier" would be boost Harvey's a income tad and buy the CD


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,dave c
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 03:06 PM

does anyone know where i can download this song i heard it when i was a very young boy my father played once when we were driving and ive never heard it since, though ive never forgot it. so please let me know i would be very greatful


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: harvey andrews
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 04:05 PM

AAAAGGGGHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 06:09 PM

dave c,

You certainly have good taste. Delighted (but not surprised) to hear that Mr Andrews's powerful, moving song left such a deep impression. It is a stunning song, so perhaps you would consider it worth helping the man who wrote it (and earns his living by writing that song – and many other wonderful ones) to earn his living – by buying the CD which contains that song. You can go to Harvey's website and order it here (click on the "Writer of Songs" CD; Solidier is on the list, and you should even be able to hear a brief excerpt of it if you click on the "mp3" icon).

I think it's safe to say that you will not find the entire song (or, for that matter, many (if any) of Harvey's songs – at least in full) available as a free download, because if all/many of his songs could be downloaded for free, people wouldn't have much incentive to buy his CDs – and he would not earn enough to live on. You may feel that rich musicians should not be bothered over whether or not they can wring a bit of money out of you, but rest assured that folk musicians (like Harvey) do not fall into this category.

Good luck to you. May you buy the CD – and enjoy this superb song for many years to come.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: harvey andrews
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 06:35 PM

Yorkshire Yankee...You're a scholar and a gentleman sir. I salute you!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: 14fret
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 06:42 PM

Way back when.... I was shown lyrics written by Country Joe McDonald that predated Mr Andrews song. They were 'remarkably' similar!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: harvey andrews
Date: 25 Oct 04 - 06:54 PM

It was actually a Robert Service piece.The folk process in subconscious action, although I didn't realise it at the time, and it was only two lines. Mea culpa.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 26 Oct 04 - 07:03 PM

Harvey, just natural curiosity: Which were the two lines?

BTW, Yorkshire Yankee certainly is a scholar, but I'm doubtful about the 'gentleman' ... 'lady' would be far more appropriate! Hi Vicky!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 26 Oct 04 - 07:37 PM

Guten tag Susanne! I was considering posting something like:
"Although I'm not sure I qualify as a scholar – and I'm definitely not a gentleman – I will take that as a compliment."

But since you have clarified things, I no longer need to. ;-) Thank you!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Dave B
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 05:24 AM

Hi all,

Can anyone help, I'm learning to play guitar and I'd like the sheet music to Soldier and other of Harvey's folk songs. I bought "Writer of Songs", brilliant CD. It has inspired me so much that why I want to learn guitar..

Thanks

Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 25 Mar 05 - 07:56 PM

Dave, there's a link to Harvey's website a few postings up. Use it and write him an eMail. He's a gentleman, so I'm sure he'll help. Good luck with your guitar practice!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 21 May 05 - 07:07 PM

Does anyone know the name of the band who did a cover version of this song? It was on side B of a song(s) by the Angelic upstarts called "The thin red line" and "The Brighton bomb" The cover (from memory) of the LP was banned in the UK because it pictured Magartet Thatcher sat on a stick of TNT with her arms and legs blown off.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 05 - 05:26 AM

it was the Angelic Upstarts


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 May 05 - 02:14 PM

Duhhh Yeah of course it was! Don't know what I was thinking it was late! I much prefer thier version!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Jon
Date: 23 May 05 - 02:08 AM

Anecdote......
This song was banned by the BBC for many years, as too political.
Why is it that the "establishment" can never face up to the truth?

Also listen to "Anna My Love" by Harvey, probably my favourite.

But there again, almost anything by Harvey is great.

Dave B.......I don't have sheet music, I don't know whether Harvey has published any, but I do have chords for many of his songs. Which ones do you want? I'll try to help.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Nick
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 05:57 PM

has anyone got the guitar tab/chords for Soldier?


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Subject: Chords Add: SOLDIER (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Aug 05 - 06:54 PM

A.E.E7.D.A (repeat)
D.A.E.E7.D.A (repeat)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 01:19 PM

What incident is the song based on?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 07:16 PM

I could have sworn I posted the following in this thread some time ago. Can't find it, though, so here goes, from 'Lost Lives':

[1999:] 74. May 25, 1971   Michael G. Willets, West Belfast, Soldier, Parachute Regiment, 27, married

He was killed at Springfield Road RUC station by an IRA blast bomb thrown into the reception area. A car stopped outside the station and a man, described as dark haired and in his mid-20s, emerged with a suitcase which he hurled through the front door. Several civilians were sitting inside when the device was thrown. Among them were Patrick Gray, a 27-year-old electrician, his daughter Colette and their neighbour Mrs Elizabeth Cummings and her four-year-old son, Carl. In his book Bombs Have No Pity, Lieutenant-Colonel George Styles wrote: 'Immediately he saw the suitcase hit the floor, Sergeant Willets realised what was about to happen. He thrust the two children down into a corner and stood above them, shielding them as the 30lbs explosive in the suitcase went off. He was killed instantly but the children he'd protected escaped with their lives. The police inspector in the room was seriously injured and across the road a two-year-old, being pushed in a pram by his mother, was blown through a shop window. He was to regain consciousness only after months in hospital.'

In all, seven police officers, two soldiers and 18 civilians were injured. One of the policemen injured, Constable Ian Phoenix, had been chatting to Sergeant Willets just moments before the explosion. Constable Phoenix, who had served with the sergeant in the Parachute Regiment went on, after joining the RUC, to become a detective-superintendent. He was subsequently killed with other prominent anti-terrorist personnel in a Chinook helicopter crash on the Mull of Kintyre in 1994.

In their book, Phoenix, Policing the Shadows, Dr Susan Phoenix, the policeman's widow, and journalist Jack Holland give an account of the moments following the explosion. They write: 'Phoenix made his way to the entrance area, where he saw Sergeant Willets lying with the back of his head gaping open. A metal chunk from a locker hurled across the room by the force of the explosion had struck him. Local people had gathered outside and began to help clear the debris, offering what assistance they could. Ambulances began ferrying the injured to the nearby Royal Victoria Hospital. Lieutenant-Colonel (Peter) Chiswell was with Sergeant Willets, who was taken out on a door to the ambulance. A crowd of youths were waiting to greet them. They started to jeer and scream obscenities at the badly wounded soldiers. Said Chiswell, "My reaction was one of total disbelief that anyone could be so inhumane."'

Alan Judd, later an author, was a soldier writing at a desk in a room over the reception area. 'A jagged jet of flame shot up through the floor in front of me and I felt a hot stinging shock through the soles of my boots, the seat of my chair and my calves and thighs. I don't think I hit the ceiling, but I believe the desk did and the inkwell certainly did; its remains were later found embedded.'

The sergeant, who had been due to leave Northern Ireland with his regiment's 3rd battalion in a few days, died after two hours on the operating table. He was the first member of the Parachute Regiment killed in the troubles. In his book, Lieutenant-Colonel Styles added: 'Sadly, the family of the little boy blown into the shop were going to be hurt again through the terrorist war. One night the army broke up barricades set up in their street. The armoured bulldozer picked up the rubble of the barricade and shoved it straight into the front room of that family's house. Such families are the true victims of terrorism.'

Patrick Gray later described the dead sergeant as a hero. The paratrooper was posthumously awarded the George Cross. A labourer in his early 20s from the Falls Road was cleared of a charge of murdering Sergeant Willets. Two months before his death the sergeant was present when soldiers shot dead a civilian, William Halligan, in disputed circumstances on the Falls Road. (McKittrick et al., Lost Lives 74)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 07:26 PM

So he didn't "... lay down on the package and he murmured one farewell to those at home in England to those he loved so well"?

Nor did "They turned towards the soldier their eyes alive with fear
For God's sake save our children or they'll end their short lives here"

Dressed it up a lot Harvey, didn't you?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 07:33 PM

The word is "based"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 07:42 PM

"And the Irishmen threw down their young and stood before their wives"

That has to be the most insulting sentence I have ever had the displeasure to read

Can you explain what possessed you to write that line, Harvey?

You don't strike me as being a blatant propogandist.

What point am I missing here?

Surely not the same point that all the squaddies who love this song, miss?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 07:54 PM

Isn't it obvious? They got their children on the floor as fast as they could and stood to protect their wives. The point he's making is that in this situation everyone did the best they could. Unfortunately too many people don't listen to the lyrics but hear them through the distortion of their prejudices. The song is about man's inhumanity to man, and the key line has to be "the nails that pierced his skin". This reference to sacrifice and crucifixion is crucial to understanding the writer's point. The song is not propoganda, it is not on the side of anyone but those caught everyday in the modern world between a rock and a hard place. In the end it's a song of hope that the actions of the parents/husbands and of the soldier perpetuate the good in humanity against the murderous, often religion based lunacy of the few.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 08:14 PM

I'm not questioning the sentiment, at all.

I'm questioning the off-handedness of his treatment of the other victims of the bombing.
And the latent accusations of cowardice he levels at them.

Not to mention the song's factuality


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 08:18 PM

I have heard Harvey sing this on a live recording, and I know the lines that are emphasised


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 08:28 PM

I'm questioning the off-handedness of his treatment of the other victims of the bombing.
And the latent accusations of cowardice he levels at them

I don't hear this in the lyric.As I say above I hear a song where the only cowards are the one who threw the bomb and the crowd who jeered. The victims do their best no matter what side of the divide you wish to see them on.


In the end it's a song of hope that the actions of the parents/husbands and of the soldier perpetuate the good in humanity against the murderous, often religion based lunacy of the few.

That's what I hear.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 09:04 PM

Well then, I think in that case, a lot of the cheering, and banging of tables that I heard at the culmination of that live recording was just other people "hear(ing) them (i.e. the lyric) through the distortion of their prejudices".

I think the recording was from a British Army social club.

Be nice if Harvey was to answer this one.

Unless, of course, you speak for him...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 23 Aug 05 - 09:08 PM

'Margarita', on the other hand, has to be one of the finest songs in existence.

'Soldier' troubles me, however.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 05:12 AM

Well then, I think in that case, a lot of the cheering, and banging of tables that I heard at the culmination of that live recording was just other people "hear(ing) them (i.e. the lyric) through the distortion of their prejudices".

No doubt there's truth in that. It just shows the power of the song (and song in general) to affect people, and emphasises the need of the songwriter to be sure of what he's saying and how he says it. I think the song can be defended because, as you point out, he has written other songs on the same theme with equal passion, "Hey Sandy", "Margarita" "Song for Anne Frank". These are all about the innocent caught up in a madness.
I think the problem with "Soldier" is that he includes the soldier among the innocent, a young man who is a victim of unemployment and good PR. and some people have a problem with this.
However, it's happening again in Iraq where young men have been sent as "liberators" and "peacekeepers" but are finding themselves seen as "occupiers". The mother camped outside Bush's place is making the same point as the song in many ways, claiming her son didn't die defending his country against attack but died as a tool of politics, a man caught between the eternal rock and a hardplace, like the soldier in "Soldier."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 09:41 AM

What a stupid and pointless way to look at a song.

Should we blame 'Roddy McCorley' for giving the wrong date, 'Loughgall ambush' for not mentioning all people killed, 'Three score and ten' for getting date and numbers wrong and so on?

Should we scrutinise Picasso's 'Guernica' to see if he got a detail wrong, blame Goya for painting only a small fraction of those killed?

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 01:16 PM

I think the problem with 'Soldier' is the off-handedness of his treatment of the other victims of the bombing.
And the latent accusations of cowardice he levels at them.

How much is poetic license, how much is singing to the Gallery?

Harvey?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 01:23 PM

I have to say that I heard the recording I'm talking about first about 25 years ago, and have been wanting to know Harvey's thoughts ever since


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 02:48 PM

... and the biggest pedant on this forum (Wolfgang) is trying to stop you becoming one, Pete.

Never come across this song before...

..'Endless Civil War'
..' The blind against the blind'

Heavily biased if you ask me.

But you're not asking me..., you're asking the author


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 03:16 PM

' The blind against the blind'

Classic neutrality!A plague on both your houses etc, etc. But then not to you if you support one side against the other i suppose. Which attitude leads in the end to the death of innocents.
Hopefully, the phrase endless civil war will become redundant soon, but i doubt it somehow. Too many people seem to enjoy their hatred on both sides of the various divides in the world.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 24 Aug 05 - 10:38 PM

Look Guest, your thoughts are all very interesting (that is if you're the same one who is posting all the time...), but we're getting nowhere here, unless your words are endorsed by Harvey himself.

In case you think I'm taking the piss; I'm not.

That song fuelled many's a squaddie before he went out on foot patrol in the North of Ireland in the early '80's (which, as I say, was the first time I came across the song).

There are many inaccuracies in the song, which (whether you like it or not) causes a certain slant to the message that he obviously is trying to make.

This being so, it really behooves "...the songwriter to be sure of what he's saying and how he says it."

How sure was Harvey..., do you think?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 06:44 AM

I agree we've reached stalemate. I think it's the same with all art, when it's released, with no matter what intentions, the creator doesn't know what will happen, what interpretations it will attract,how it may come to be used.We listen or we read or we see the work and we each get something different from it. I think all you can do is look at the body of work of someone and see if there's a consistent message. As I've said above I think there is.Maybe he's written it better in other songs.
I think a new thread could examine the artists responsibility for other people's interpretation of their work. Maybe Salman Rushdie could start it!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 01:14 PM

"And the Irishmen threw down their young and stood before their wives"

That has to be the most insulting sentence I have ever had the displeasure to read

Can you explain what possessed you to write that line, Harvey?

You don't strike me as being a blatant propogandist.

What point am I missing here?

Surely not the same point that all the squaddies who love this song, miss?


Very possibly it is...

I believe Harvey's point "was about the senselessness of violence, applied on a personal level". (see below for origins of quote)

I've been part of a group Harvey discussed this song with; he mentioned that it has often been misunderstood. People (on both 'sides') frequently pick up on certain bits & don't seem to notice other bits (often in keeping with whatever view(s) they hold). I believe this song is one of those songs where a person's interpretation of it may well tell one more about the person it belongs to than it does about the song (perhaps a bit like a Rorschak(sp?) test)...

I think the problem with 'Soldier' is the off-handedness of his treatment of the other victims of the bombing.
And the latent accusations of cowardice he levels at them.


I have to say that the line you quote (in bold, above) does not strike me as being at all insulting to Irishmen -- are you sure you've understood it correctly? As people have mentioned above, this line is saying that the other men there (who -- it seems safe to assume -- were all/mostly Irish) put themselves between the bomb and their loved ones. I don't consider that cowardly -- the thought anyone might consider it cowardly has honestly never occurred to me (before now). Or am I misunderstanding why it offends you?

As far as the "off-handedness of his treatment of the other victims of the bombing" goes, I don't think he's trying (in the song) to 'dismiss' or disregard the other victims, but this song focuses (as so many do) on one person, i.e., "the senselessness of violence, applied on a personal level". The "personal level" (IMO) is precisely what makes this song (and many others) so powerful, and why so many people feel they can relate to it.

That song fuelled many's a squaddie before he went out on foot patrol in the North of Ireland in the early '80's (which, as I say, was the first time I came across the song).

There are many inaccuracies in the song, which (whether you like it or not) causes a certain slant to the message that he obviously is trying to make.

This being so, it really behooves "...the songwriter to be sure of what he's saying and how he says it."

Harvey was not trying to say/show that British soldiers are wonderful and the Irish are cowards (although no doubt many soldiers may have read it that way); he wanted to get across the irony/tragedy of people jeering -- based on erroneous assumptions -- at a man who had just sacrificed his life for people on their own side (and without worrying about which 'side' the lives he was protecting belonged to).

It's true Harvey has taken 'poetic license' to make the song more dramatic and moving. I would object to that if he represented the song as a factual account of a historical event -- but he doesn't give names or dates. Apparently he "was so struck by the incident that he wrote the song to make the point that soldiers, too, are human." (Quote is from this post by Susanne (skw) in the "Origins: Harvey Andrews' 'The Soldier'" thread.)

Susanne's post (you'll need to scroll down below the words of the song) also includes a couple of other quotes that seem pertinent here:

[1972:] If you can con an ordinary man into protecting your interests, he gets done when the crisis comes, not you. Many soldiers are not professional killers, they're kids who couldn't get a job, and as unemployment has soared, recruiting for the army has increased by over 60% in three years. The average soldier is unimportant in the final analysis, it's the ones who shelter behind him that count [...] and they always seem to survive! (Notes Harvey Andrews, 'Writer of Songs')

[1979:] His next major song, however, inadvertently created a controversy which, for a while, clearly damaged Andrews' standing and viability. 'Soldier', in spite of an unambiguous sleevenote, was widely interpreted as a pro-establishment glorification of military heroism and, therefore, by left-wing logical extension, of authoritarian violence; whereas in fact it was a simple (if lyrically somewhat overwritten) story of a young man caught in an impossible situation. The song was neither for the British authorities nor against the Irish rebels; it was about the senselessness of violence, applied on a personal level. [...] Harvey Andrews' Belfast song ('Soldier') was not a lasting success (though it remains popular, for obvious reasons, with army audiences in Ulster and Germany). (Woods, Revival 115f)

This post (by Rick Fielding, to the same thread) might also be helpful; here's an excerpt: "Harvey performs for a wide variety of audiences, and in the two concerts that I've attended, appears to have no other agenda than his own personal one, namely: "telling a story" from his point of view, in the most literate way he can. ... "The Soldier" is not his only song that's ruffled a few feathers. His use of irony has at times meant that some missed a song's meaning entirely! C'est la Vie."

Anyway, I hope you will not feel I've been at all unfriendly in what I've written above. I've been waiting for Harvey to pop in & answer this himself, but I think he may well be on the road & without Mudcat access at the moment, and since I've been in the position of hearing him speak very frankly about this song and what his intentions were, I thought I might be able to post something helpful.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 01:22 PM

Sorry... I inadvertently Posted instead of Previewing, which may lead to some confusion. These bits:

That song fuelled many's a squaddie before he went out on foot patrol in the North of Ireland in the early '80's (which, as I say, was the first time I came across the song).

There are many inaccuracies in the song, which (whether you like it or not) causes a certain slant to the message that he obviously is trying to make.

This being so, it really behooves "...the songwriter to be sure of what he's saying and how he says it."


should all (not just the first bit) have been in italics; otherwise it looks (as it does in the post above this one) like I'm the one saying "There are many inaccuracies..." and "This being so..."


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 01:33 PM

So, in reality the soldier didn't throw himself on the bomb.
And the children were already on the floor.
He (like the others in the room), turned his back on the bomb, and was killed by flying shrapnel.

It seems anyone could have been killed, which makes the whole thing more random than personal.

It's very simple to choose one's 'facts' when writing a song, especially when you have wide canvas to work on.

I'll wait and see what Harvey says...

Thanks, though.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 25 Aug 05 - 01:42 PM

No, YY, I deliberately italicised the word 'obviously', only.

I recognise the underlying sentiment.

If I can do that, I'm not really coming from 'one side' or the other.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 05:48 AM

Can I just make a comment here....?

If the song is that factually incorrect, it cannot really be based on any incident in particular, can it?

It becomes a hodge-podge of emotions based on what could have been, should have been, and wished that had been.

A work of fiction, in other words.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOLDIER (Harvey Andrews)
From: Tam the man
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 07:20 AM

This is taken from a website called My Songbook.
Susanne´s Folksong-Notizen English Notes

Soldier
(Harvey Andrews)

In a station in the city a British soldier stood
Talking to the people there if the people would
Some just stared in hatred, and others turned in pain
And the lonely British soldier wished he was back home again

Come join the British Army! said the posters in his town
See the world and have your fun come serve before the Crown
The jobs were hard to come by and he could not face the dole
So he took his country's shilling and enlisted on the roll

For there was no fear of fighting, the Empire long was lost
Just ten years in the army getting paid for being bossed
Then leave a man experienced a man who's made the grade
A medal and a pension some mem'ries and a trade

Then came the call for Ireland as the call had come before
Another bloody chapter in an endless civil war
The priests they stood on both sides the priests they stood behind
Another fight in Jesus's name the blind against the blind

The soldier stood between them between the whistling stones
And then the broken bottles that led to broken bonmes
The petrol bombs that burnt his hands the nails that pierced his skin
And wished that he had stayed at home surrounded by his kin

The station filled with people the soldier soon was bored
But better in the station than where the people warred
The room filled up with mothers with daughters and with sons
Who stared with itchy fingers at the soldier and his gun

A yell of fear a screech of brakes the shattering of glass
The window of the station broke to let the package pass
A scream came from the mothers as they ran towards the door
Dragging their children crying from the bomb upon the floor

The soldier stood and could not move his gun he could not use
He knew the bomb had seconds and not minutes on the fuse
He could not run and pick it up and throw it in the street
There were far too many people there too many running feet

Take cover! yelled the soldier, Take cover for your lives
And the Irishmen threw down their young and stood before their wives
They turned towards the soldier their eyes alive with fear
For God's sake save our children or they'll end their short lives here

The soldier moved towards the bomb his stomach like a stone
Why was this his battle God why was he alone
He lay down on the package and he murmured one farewell
To those at home in England to those he loved so well

He saw the sights of summer felt the wind upon his brow
The young girls in the city parks how precious were they now
The soaring of the swallow the beauty of the swan
The music of the turning world so soon would it be gone

A muffled soft explosion and the room began to quake
The soldier blown across the floor his blood a crimson lake
There was no time to cry or shout there was no time to moan
And they turned their children's faces from the blood and from the bones

The crowd outside soon gathered and the ambulances came
To carry off the body of a pawn lost in the game
And the crowd they clapped and cheered and they sang their rebel song
One soldier less to interfere where he did not belong

And will the children growing up learn at their mothers' knees
The story of the soldier who bought their liberty
Who used his youthful body as a means towards an end
Who gave his life to those who called him murderer not friend

Susanne's Folksong-Notizen

[1972:] If you can con an ordinary man into protecting your interests,
he gets done when the crisis comes, not you. Many soldiers are not
professional killers, they're kids who couldn't get a job, and as
unemployment has soared, recruiting for the army has increased by over
60% in three years. The average soldier is unimportant in the final
analysis, it's the ones who shelter behind him that count [...] and they
always seem to survive! (Notes Harvey Andrews, 'Writer of Songs')

[1973:] Written from newspaper clippings. (Forces Folk 11/73, p 10)

[1975:] Hugh [Fraser] has a friend, an officer in the Brigade of Guards,
just back from a tour of duty in Northern Ireland. While they were there
forty of his men bought themselves out of the Army, as their wives would
not have them being shot at in Ireland. Meanwhile, partly because of the
boom, but partly because of Ireland, the recruiting figure for April
this year was half the number for April 1972. (Cecil King, Diary
1970-1974, July 3rd, 1973, p 297)

[1979:] His next major song, however, inadvertently created a
controversy which, for a while, clearly damaged Andrews' standing and
viability. 'Soldier', in spite of an unambiguous sleevenote, was widely
interpreted as a pro-establishment glorification of military heroism
and, therefore, by left-wing logical extension, of authoritarian
violence; whereas in fact it was a simple (if lyrically somewhat
overwritten) story of a young man caught in an impossible situation. The
song was neither for the British authorities nor against the Irish
rebels; it was about the senselessness of violence, applied on a
personal level. [...] Harvey Andrews' Belfast song ('Soldier') was not a
lasting success (though it remains popular, for obvious reasons, with
army audiences in Ulster and Germany). (Woods, Revival 115f)

[1990:] In Northern Ireland, this song written in 1972 by a professional
songwriter, Harvey Andrews, has become very widely known among soldiers,
and at the same time divorced in classic folk-song style from its
author. (Palmer, Lovely War 18)

In 1971 in Belfast a soldier called Sergeant Willis cleared a room of
civilians because of a bomb. As he went to close the door afterwards,
the charge exploded, and he was killed. [...] Harvey Andrews, was so
struck by the incident that he wrote the song to make the point that
soldiers, too, are human. (The incident of the soldier's embracing the
bomb was poetic licence.) Broadcasts of Andrews' record were banned for
some time by the BBC lest feelings be exacerbated in the nationalist
community of Northern Ireland. The Ministry of Defence advised (and
still advises) soldiers not to sing the song in pubs where it might
cause trouble. Some have interpreted this as a ban. Nevertheless, they
sing it 'all the time', according to one source, on military transport
and in messes and canteens. It has been said that some units require
newcomers to learn to sing or recite the song before they become fully
accepted. Andrews' authorship is not widely known, and many different
stories about the song's origin circulate. [...]

The text has appeared in the 'Soldier', the 'Methodist' magazine, and
the 'Manchester Evening News' (where in 1988 it won a poetry competition
for a youth who sent it in over his own name). (Palmer, Lovely War 199)

[1997:] Someone told me my song was banned in the army, so I thought the
ones to know would be the Ministry of Defence, and asked them. [...]
They even had it in their files that the song was 'written by Harvey
Andrews, who'd been in 2nd Para'. I never was in the army in my life!
(Harvey Andrews, pr. comm.)
See also http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=28801

Quelle: England
S-Index


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 08:21 AM

From the thread Tam linked to above, Pistachio had to say
"the younger men, who hadn't heard the story, ended up silent and the middle third sat with tears in their eyes in rememberance."

Hadn't heard the story?
What story?

And what were the middle third 'remembering'

Harvey, you milked the situation for every tearjerk.

And I can't believe you weren't aware of it at the time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Tam the man
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 08:47 AM

i was only passing on the words to the song that's all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 09:06 AM

I know Tam, and thanks.

I just copied and pasted the link, that's all.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Tam the man
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 09:42 AM

Oh all right.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 01:14 PM

Tam, I suspect the website you cut & pasted from is Susanne (skw)'s website, as the material you posted is almost exactly the same
as the material (and song lyrics) posted by Susanne (skw) in the post/thread I linked to a few posts above yours...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 26 Aug 05 - 04:28 PM

GUEST, Tír Chonaill: No, YY, I deliberately italicised the word 'obviously', only.

I understand... what I was trying to do was differentiate what you had said (from what I was saying) by putting it in italics. If I had finished my post properly (instead of prematurely submitting it), I'd have needed to further differentiate the word 'obviously' -- possibly by making it bold as well as italic, or something like that. (I'd been planning to write a little bit more, but when I found
I was suffering from premature epostulation ;-), I decided to leave it -- except for trying to explain the most confusing bits.)

I recognise the underlying sentiment.

If I can do that, I'm not really coming from 'one side' or the other.


Fair enough. But you strike me as intelligent enough to 'recognise the underlying sentiment' -- whether or not you're coming
from 'one side' or the other.

So, in reality the soldier didn't throw himself on the bomb.
And the children were already on the floor.
He (like the others in the room), turned his back on the bomb, and was killed by flying shrapnel.


In 1971 in Belfast a soldier called Sergeant Willis cleared a room of civilians because of a bomb. As he went
to close the door afterwards, the charge exploded, and he was killed. [...]


Yes, he turned his back on the bomb. On the other hand, it sounds like he cleared the room of civilians before doing so. I also assume that going to close the door was an action taken to try to help protect people/minimise the effects of the bomb.

It seems anyone could have been killed, which makes the whole thing more random than personal.

It seems to me the person closing the door would be more likely to be killed/injured than anyone else at that point (since
the room had been evacuated), but I consider that to be beside the point; you can tell a story from the point of view of
one person -- whether or not their death is random or not -- and that person's story is still 'personal' (by definition).

It's very simple to choose one's 'facts' when writing a song, especially when you have wide canvas to work on.

Yes, he could have chosen a different bombing victim to write about, but it seems reasonable to me to choose (for a/the song)
the point of view of the person whose job it was to try to protect the other people there -- and who ended up dead. That
doesn't mean he was trying to make the Irish look bad (which is what I think this discussion is about, although I could be wrong...).

GUEST, Tír Eoghain: If the song is that factually incorrect, it cannot really be based on any incident in particular, can it?

It becomes a hodge-podge of emotions based on what could have been, should have been, and wished that had been.

A work of fiction, in other words.


Yes... a work of fiction -- 'inspired by'/'based on'/'a fictionalised account of' a real event(s). I consider all three expressions to be
pretty much interchangeable. I've never seen/heard Harvey say the song is "factual" and I don't think he would be upset to have
his song called fictionalised and/or "a work of fiction" (although -- again -- it's possible I'm wrong).

Harvey Andrews, was so struck by the incident that he wrote the song to make the point that soldiers, too,
are human.


I guess I just don't see what's wrong with that. You can argue that he made it a bit melodramatic -- I wouldn't disagree. You can say that he is trying (and succeeding) to manipulate people's emotions -- and I'd agree with you there, too. But then again, what song, book, painting, movie doesn't try to manipulate our emotions? You could possibly criticise him for doing this in a blatant, clumsy way... which is a more subjective criticism.

IMO, what Harvey did that was worthwhile was to present a point of view that folks may not have been very aware of at that
point -- the PoV of an "average Joe" soldier who wasn't keen to be there in the first place, a pawn unhappily caught in a struggle
he didn't really identify with either 'side' of, getting criticised no matter what he did -- rather than the PoV of a Unionist, Republican, government official etc.

You could (and many have) write a song/story/etc from any of those other points of view. I feel what made it special -- and more interesting -- was telling it from the PoV of someone who did not want to be (and normally would not have been) involved...

I hope Harvey will eventually get around to answering this himself, but I'm pretty sure it won't happen for at least a week or two, because I believe he'll be off teaching a songwriting course from Sunday to Sunday, and may already be enroute.

Cheers -- YY


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Tam the man
Date: 28 Aug 05 - 08:32 AM

yes it was


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,mandie
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 04:16 AM

i wos very young when i heard this song. im now 30 and have come across it again. and i remember it word for word. it doent matter what countrys are at war its still a 'hit the heart song' i still cant understand why british an irish havent united now. i know a few irish and they have listened to the song and think the same as me. its not about the irish or the british its about a soldier who served his duty and done what he thought wos right.
    Re release the song harvey!
          Mandie


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Sep 05 - 12:10 PM

Tir
Eye witness accounts were clear that the soldier could have saved himself, but chose instead to usher the people out first.
When the explosion came, his body was between the bomb and the people.
To me there was nobility in his act, but none at all in the moron who threw the bomb into that room of people, and then ran away to save his own worthless life.
To me the soldier was the better man.
Tell us why you disagree.

(If the bomber is/was a friend of yours, no offence to you.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 09 Sep 05 - 04:16 AM

Perhaps Tir, your preconceptions prevent you from seeing the humanity of a soldier.
You see a group of identicals acting in coordination, and forget that they are just individuals practiced in team work.
You forget that under the carapace of equipment, in each there beats a heart like yours, with the same dreams and fears, hopes and regrets.
And that is what Harvey was trying to say to you with his song.

Open your mind, and your heart, and read the song again.
Try to see that The Soldier is a man like you.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: YorkshireYankee
Date: 10 Sep 05 - 10:29 AM

-r-

Hoping Harvey might notice this thread...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Tiocfaidh
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 12:32 AM

There you go, Ciaran, your preconceptions prevent you from seeing the humanity of a soldier.

Refresh...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 12 Sep 05 - 09:58 PM

Humanity of a soldier?

British one I take it?
Like the one who knew I played a violin, but busted my metacarpals anyway?

Sort of introduced me to worthless lifeforms in general, that did...

Anyway this was Pete's question, Tiocfaidh.

I'm interested in finding out why so much poetic and dramatic license was used in such a 'humanitarian' song, and I'm wondering how aware Harvey was of it's potential at the time.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 06:11 AM

Tit Eoghain,
What that bastard of a soldier did to you was unforgiveable.
No wonder you feel as you do.
I would.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 Sep 05 - 10:18 AM

(But if you were active in PIRA, and the soldier been at your mercy, would you not have tortured and then killed him? )


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 15 Sep 05 - 06:46 PM

I think he was 9 or 10 years old at the time, Keith, but your voyeurism never ceases to amaze me.

Harvey still on tour?

Fair play to him....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 12:36 PM

Thanks TC, that changes the whole context of the story.
Surprising that TE did not mention it, and it raises some questions.
What were the circumstances of this brutal attack on the tiny violinist?
Was a prosecution instigated, perhaps by the hospital staff if no one else?
Did the Nationalist parties and press not take up the case? Were there demonstrations? Riots?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 01:26 PM

Can I ask a favour of the critics of this song? Do a digitrad advanced search using the terms 'Irish' and 'rebel'. See how many songs come up. Do a random sample of those songs and see how many mention the British as cowardly, brutal, savage or any other such term. I used to get in a bit of a tizzy about this but our good friend, Big Mick, and I had a long and sensible discusion about it and agreed that, after all, they were just songs. They reported important events of the time. They are a good folklorish tradition and help keep folk music alive and well.

Now can I ask another favour of the critics? Can you agree to do the same with this song. It is a record of a contemorary event done by a master of the contemporary folk song. It may or may not be entirely accurate. Are all the Irish rebel songs entirely accurate? Are you prepared to let the English celebrate an act of bravery in song? Or is that something only the Irish are allowed to do? Will you join me in not criticising someone elses culture because it is not something you are comfortable with?

Many thanks in advance.

Dave the Gnome


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 01:35 PM

Some think this song to be maudlin, mawkish, and manipulative tripe. It would hope that these judgements are aesthetic, and not merely partisan. As to my judgement, well, I will only say that, after all these years, it continues to have the same effect on me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 03:48 PM

It raises some questions does it, Keith?

Life is very cut and dried for you in Hertford isn't it?
Tragedy is just something that you want to hear all about.

And you like to think you hold the 'moral high ground'
You're worse than a ambulance chaser, Keith, and you're losing respect big time.

I am not here to satisfy your morbid curiousity.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: CET
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 07:09 PM

"You're worse than a ambulance chaser, Keith, and you're losing respect big time." Oh, really? Not from me he isn't.

I don't get any sense from Keith that he claims to be the only occupant of the moral highground. I do get that sense from you. He openly stated that what the soldier who assaulted you did was reprehensible. Your contribution to this debate seems to be to turn livid with rage at any suggestion that evil has been done in the Republican cause as well.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 08:01 PM

I don't have to turn livid, CET. What I can do is witness someone treat the incident like another piece of gossip.

Keith is a voyeur, CET.

See, this is the way it works... 7 British soldiers beat the living daylights out of a kid (whose family have no Republican links whatsoever) walking home from violin practice one night, who invariably gets hospitalised for some months. Police arrive promptly get the details, and a complaint is made.
Father gets shot at 2 weeks later while at work; maybe warning shots, maybe gunman had too many whiskeys the night before, who knows.
While kid is still in hospital, house gets petrol bombed. 999 is dialled. 3 hours later police arrive with Fire engine. House badly damaged.
For the next 15 years members of family get harassed at checkpoints, and twice a year (July & Christmas) home gets petrol bombed.

One night when kid is about 18 or so, a shot rings out, and erstwhile kid falls to ground.

Dilemma, while the Earth turns ever more slowly: Does erstwhile kid try to make his way to hospital?

There are similar stories among some of my friends here.

You mistake 'lividity' for 'wanting answers', CET

That is the kind of thinking that starts messes like the one I have described.

Happy, Keith?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Eoghain
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 08:12 PM

You would be surprised at how bitter we aren't.
You dont need to be bitter. You only have to know

And if you don't understand what that means, you don't understand the nature of the human condition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 16 Sep 05 - 08:24 PM

Ciaran you had no need to do that.

I would imagine, however, that each one of those 'lonely British soldiers wished he was back home again.'

They always used to say that!

Do you know what else they used to say?

"I was just following orders"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 04:17 AM

No-one want to take me up on my suggestion yet?

DtG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Tír Chonaill
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 04:22 AM

I don't think we're criticising a culture, Dave


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 06:03 AM

They always used to say that!

Do you know what else they used to say?


"They". There's the point of the song. There's no such thing as "they", only him/her.
We hear the same about Moslems, Jews, etc."They" makes it possible to hate in the abstract and kill in the reality.
No doubt "they" called the Irish "they" too.
Makes it a whole lot easier to keep the fire burning. Them and Us.
The song is about a man who was not a "they", if only for a moment.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 08:52 AM

My last line may have given the impression I was talking about a whole culture, TE. For that I apologise. What I meant by culture in this instance was the song itself. I should have just said critisising the songs of someone elses culture.

I just wanted to ask if the critics of the song would join me in my decision not to criticise any song simply because it encroached on their sensibilities. I am more than happy to agree that even the more exteme anti-English songs sung by the Irish (and other nations!) do not upset me any more. Why should a song which is not even anti-Irish, but simply a celebration of someones selfless act, stir such ill feeling amongst the usualy very tollerant Irish faction of the Mudcat?

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 17 Sep 05 - 01:50 PM

TC my reply is here


Tir Eoghain, yours is a shocking story and I am sorry for it.
Also sorry to revive painful memories.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Craig Hopper
Date: 20 Apr 06 - 01:31 PM

Hi
I have recently come across this song. michael willets G.C. was a close freind of my father who was also serving in Belfast at the time of michael death. it is a wonderful song just like to say thankyou


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,jim
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 04:27 PM

Tir,

You really talk rubbish and after the sympathy vote. Your story is so far fetched its unbelievable. I served in NI throughout the 70's and 80's and can tell you this. We had a job to do and we did it well.

Thank you Harvey I first heard the song in about 1975 and have loved it ever since.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 14 Nov 06 - 06:41 AM

Bad link above.
This was my reply to TC
detail.cfm?messages__Message_ID=1565474


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,edwar368
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 07:40 AM

I also have just come across this thread, and I want to thank you for the song Harvey. Mick Willets was my uncle and I was only 7 at the time, but I remember the time vividly and writing this is bringing tears to my eyes. I also agree that with some of the other posters, that to generalise as "us" and "them" is the road to ruin. All cultures/races/nationalities have their good and bad people. If we want to polarise, let all the "good" people of all races/religions stand together against the "bad" (and I realise this is a really bad generalisation, as to who defines "good", but hey, I can dream)
This obviously had a deep effect on me as I have just completed 25 years in the army myslelf.

Thanks again


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 02:12 PM

Boring....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Jacqued
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 02:47 PM

Harvey, you can't spell AAAAAAGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Regards,
Ed


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: Gulliver
Date: 23 Nov 06 - 01:28 AM

I first heard this song in a youth club off Trafalgar Square in the early seventies. Before going to London I had narrowly escaped one of the Dublin bombs (in Talbot Street, allegedly carried out by the UVF assisted by elements in British intelligence). Even back then we suspected British military collusion--it was no coincidence that a vote on security was taking place in the Dail at that time. I had also travelled around Northern Ireland on behalf of a youth organisation and been stopped, searched and generally hassled several times by the soldiers. The place was crawling with them--everywhere I went there were guns pointing at me. I couldn't forget that these, or their colleagues, had been responsible for Bloody Sunday.

London was my first stop on a planned world tour. It was a relatively difficult time for the Irish in the UK (it got worse later). Friends of mine had been attacked at work, others hassled leaving Irish pubs by police, the situation was tense. On the evening I arrived in the club I got into a blazing row with the organizers due to their current newsletter, which consisted mainly of "Irish" jokes, showing just how thick the Irish were--in short, racist. I broke off the discussion and went to listen to the music and chill out. Then I heard this song. I felt sick. I left and never went back.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 06 - 04:57 AM

Badly written, tasteless, style-less, going for the sympathy vote, and twee in the extreme.
And a bundle of lies, to boot!

This song is one of the finest examples of that very 'British' of all pastimes: The attempt at the re-writing of history.

Harvey Andrews is just one in a long line of British propagandists, an ambulance chaser of the musical genre.

It's a crap song.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 02 Dec 06 - 08:57 AM

I served AND lived in NI
I know the song and listen to it as a song
ALL writers have used poetic licence throughout the ages
Was Shakespere an ideological propagandist
Or Stephen King
Was Churchill a war monger
Or Hitler

The songs we hear, the books we read, and all we do in life still gives us one thing. OUR OWN THOUGHTS.

Please remember this, wherever you are in the world, whatever your race, creed or colour. In the end we all die........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Ian
Date: 06 May 07 - 06:34 AM

I was a soldier in the 70's and 80's and this song was something I have always remembered. It was a very rare thing that showed us as people and not uniforms. I served in NI and like most soldiers had no deep feelings or thoughts - our feeling were directed against the people who would murder us at any opportunity - (9 May 71 and Squires Hill to name but the first) and know I just wanted to do my job, not let my mates down and come home safe.
It is just a song - but one that described very well how we felt and often thought. Puzzled by the hatred, confused by the sectarian hatreds, wishing we were home and how we also hoped we might behave if ever faced with our greatest fear. We certainly felt like "pawns" in the game and generally unappreciated for the often difficult job we were tasked to do. It was a song that spoke to us and it should be no surprise at its enduring popularity amongst soldiers.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: guitar
Date: 06 May 07 - 07:50 AM

I just like the song when I heard it at first.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Guest - Ex WRAC
Date: 14 Aug 07 - 07:21 AM

I remeber this song being barred from our barracks in the mid 8o's, I owned a copy and had it consfiscated by the SIB on a routine inspection - we played it really loud and often - which is why I suppose they nicked it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,dave
Date: 13 Sep 07 - 04:45 PM

This song is one of the finest examples of that very 'British' of all pastimes: The attempt at the re-writing of history.


The double standards of some irish republicans never ceases to amaze me, was it the residents of dublin who threw the rotten veg at the leaders of the easter rising in 1916 or has that been airbrushed out of history?

Harvey thank you very much for a superb song that is really moving no matter how many times you listen to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Kt
Date: 05 Aug 08 - 03:59 PM

I heard this song and I was so moved by it I wanted to find out more as I was also told it was based on fact.
When I first listened to it I heard it as a story,
Then as i read/heard it more I began to understand that each side has done so much to each other that neither will accept STILL that there is any good in the other. I read all of the above threads and links and when i read them can now understand how 'wars' and 'conflicts' come about. Can't it be understood that horrible things have been done in the past by each side to each other. This song recognises the humanity, the pathos of a young man who joined an army thinking it would be more of an adventurous holiday in the sun in Cyprus and then found it to be very different. I heard, in the song, that it was the Irish risking themselves by putting their bodies in front of their wives and children as they turned to the Englishman to help. Nothing cowardly.
The only cowardly acts were from the the young men who jeered afterwards and of course, the ones who threw the bomb and I expect, somewhere, someone is singing songs that have been composed about both of these parties. I expect they have been portrayed in a heroic light as well ... and so it will go on.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,Trophyrider (Southampton)
Date: 05 Oct 08 - 07:57 AM

Did 7 tours in the late 70s and early 80s and this song was played on almost every casette player and whistled by every squaddie in the sangers. Always bought tears to the eyes and goosebumps to the skin. Bloody brilliant stuff Mr Andrews.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Soldier (Harvey Andrews)
From: GUEST,chico
Date: 07 Jan 14 - 04:58 PM

I am sixty now, first served in the province in 1972. Each time I went back I saw the small changes that had been made, and that the only way to peace was for the sides to talk. Harvey's song is that a song.
If you try to use it to score points you have truly missed the story it tells, why man can be so cruel and yet so selfless.


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