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Chord Req: Danny Deever (Kipling/Bellamy)

DigiTrad:
A PRESENT FROM THE GENTLEMEN
ENGLAND HAS TAKEN ME
ENGLAND SWINGS
GENTLEMEN-RANKERS
OAK, ASH, AND THORN
THE BASTARD KING OF ENGLAND
THE FRENCH WARS
THE LADIES
THE SONG OF THE BANJO
THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER
WHEN 'OMER SMOTE 'IS BLOOMIN' LYRE


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Keith A of Hertford 23 Mar 03 - 02:17 PM
Wotcha 23 Mar 03 - 02:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 02:30 PM
Leadfingers 23 Mar 03 - 02:37 PM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Mar 03 - 02:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM
Jeri 23 Mar 03 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,skippy 23 Mar 03 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 23 Mar 03 - 04:40 PM
GUEST 23 Mar 03 - 05:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Skippy 23 Mar 03 - 06:28 PM
Snuffy 23 Mar 03 - 06:40 PM
Jeri 23 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM
Snuffy 23 Mar 03 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Lyle 23 Mar 03 - 07:04 PM
BuckMulligan 23 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM
Jeri 23 Mar 03 - 07:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 07:57 PM
The Walrus 23 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM
ooh-aah 24 Mar 03 - 01:53 AM
Steve Parkes 24 Mar 03 - 04:06 AM
Micca 24 Mar 03 - 04:20 AM
Dave Bryant 24 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Santa 24 Mar 03 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Guest 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 AM
Steve Parkes 24 Mar 03 - 08:40 AM
Troll 24 Mar 03 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,KeithA working 24 Mar 03 - 10:22 AM
Rapparee 24 Mar 03 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 24 Mar 03 - 05:51 PM
Gareth 24 Mar 03 - 06:58 PM
BuckMulligan 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Mar 03 - 08:56 PM
ooh-aah 25 Mar 03 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,Keith A 25 Mar 03 - 03:15 AM
Teribus 25 Mar 03 - 06:09 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Mar 03 - 10:02 AM
The Walrus 25 Mar 03 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Q 25 Mar 03 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Q 25 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM
mg 25 Mar 03 - 03:26 PM
toadfrog 25 Mar 03 - 03:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Q 25 Mar 03 - 04:05 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Mar 03 - 05:20 PM
lamarca 25 Mar 03 - 06:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM
Joe_F 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 07:54 PM
mg 25 Mar 03 - 10:54 PM
GUEST,Keith A 26 Mar 03 - 03:07 AM
ooh-aah 26 Mar 03 - 03:11 AM
GUEST 26 Mar 03 - 05:37 AM
GUEST,Guest 26 Mar 03 - 07:37 AM
The Walrus 26 Mar 03 - 06:20 PM
Desert Dancer 26 Mar 03 - 06:39 PM
GUEST,Greyeyes 27 Mar 03 - 02:42 PM
GUEST,Lighter 27 Mar 03 - 03:08 PM
Mrrzy 28 Mar 03 - 10:49 AM
GUEST,Leslie Fish 09 Aug 08 - 06:29 AM
Snuffy 09 Aug 08 - 08:30 AM
JeffB 26 Aug 08 - 06:16 AM
The Walrus 26 Aug 08 - 12:36 PM
JeffB 26 Aug 08 - 12:43 PM
Mark Ross 26 Aug 08 - 01:40 PM
tonyteach1 04 Sep 11 - 09:00 AM
MGM·Lion 04 Sep 11 - 09:21 AM
Mathew Raymond 15 Aug 13 - 06:33 PM
Leadfingers 15 Aug 13 - 06:50 PM
Joe Offer 15 Aug 13 - 07:24 PM
Reinhard 16 Aug 13 - 12:19 AM
GUEST,Musket between courses 16 Aug 13 - 03:10 AM
Leadfingers 20 Aug 13 - 05:54 PM
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Subject: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:17 PM

Danny Deaver.
Reminded of this song by the incident in the 101st camp yesterday.
It is a powerful story, with strong hints of an untold story also.
It is a dialogue between a Colour Sergeant and 'Files-on-Parade'.
Is Files a device to mean any soldier, as in rank and file, or ranker? In another song the name Tommy Atkins was used for him.

We are not told why Deaver 'shot his comrade sleeping' but Files remembers Deaver as a good friend. Also , Deaver's soul passes 'overhead' so presumably heavennward.

We are told that the distress in the ranks is caused by both bitter cold and a touch of sun, so presumably was neither?

The grisled old Colourman says he is white at dread of what he has to watch, but he would have seen plenty of death, and in Victorian England public hangings were a common place

So what was going on here. Any suggestions?

Drinking bitter beer alone,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Wotcha
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:25 PM

Probably a reference to drill movements and the way units are organized to move in a military fashion from one point to another.
Check out an old drill and ceremonies manual to get the obscura ...
Cheers,

Brian


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:30 PM

I take it that "Files" means just that, the soldiers in ranks muttering to each other, one saying one thing and another responding. The kind of thing that drives drill sergeants mad.

Hanging a comrade is a bit different from a public hanging of a stranger - and in any case public executions had been abolished in England a generation or more before Kipling wrote Danny Deever/


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:37 PM

Keith it is plain to see that you are not ex service.Any thing that
happens to a comrade in arms has far more effect than the same thing happening to a stranger.I can still recall how I felt on hearing that
a casual acqaintance had been killed by terrorists in Aden.Hence the
Colour Sergeant and the 'Files on Parade'are definately affected by
the event in front of them.And drinking beer with a comrade does not make them good friends mate.Kipling was definately into the way the
Victorian Soldier thought and acted.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:59 PM

Leadfingers, check my photo on the members page.
I do know what you mean, but they did not just drink together, Files drank his (Deever's) beer a score of times. I guess Deever was a corporal or Lancejack, so not too close to the coloursergeant.
Kevin, I think you are right re Files.(BTW The Great Eastern are posting next Saturday as a Kareoke?)
Out and far tonight,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM

Maybe having people drink his beer was what pushed Danny over the edge...

Derek said the landlady at the Great Eastern told him she'd ditch the Karaoke and have a few of us instead. I only hope the bar isn't heaving with people who've come for the Karaoke and don't want diddly music.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 03:36 PM

I think blaming the bitter cold or the sun is a way to avoid admitting people are having a strong emotional reaction.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,skippy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:39 PM

Kieth:-
With referance to closeness of the ranks:-
'Is cot was right-'and cot to mine", said Files-on-Parade.
They slept next to each other


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:40 PM

Spot on Jeri. The lyrics always seemed plain enough to me, you just have to take them at face value.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:46 PM

I know this as a poem -

is it a song also?



What tune?


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:55 PM

Peter Bellamy put a tune to it and sang it, so it's a song now. (Well, other people had put tunes to it before, but he was the one who knew what he was doing when it came to that kind of thing.)

The point is, "Files" - assuming I'm right - isn't one person, it's a whole bunch of people on parade talking out of the side of their mouths. "Silence in the ranks!"


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Skippy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:28 PM

The "file" is the "length" of a marching body of men/women(PC).A "blank file" is the way of forming a group that is not devisible by three to allow the last but one rank to have one or two in it, hence any quantity may march together.
Fronm this comes "rank & file"


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:40 PM

You normally march in file and parade in rank. The British Army typically would have three ranks (front middle and rear) and as many files of 3 as were necessary


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM

Odd (or even) - the default number of files in the US is 4.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:48 PM

12-man squad? A full platoon of 30 would be 3 ranks x 10 files


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:04 PM

Kipling is one of my favorite poets, and the thing that makes him so great to me is that there can be multiple explanations for everything he has written. The more I learn of his childhood, the more explanations I see as possibilities of his "meaning." I offer a couple easy-to-get-at quotes here. (I have an intense dislike for blue clickies - give me the source!!)

From http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/dramatic.html
"If we were to tell the story of "Danny Deever" in prose, we would present two soldiers talking over a crime that has just happened. A fellow-soldier, Danny Deever, quarreled with his comrade and shot him while he slept. One of the speakers, nicknamed "Files-on-Parade" (a term which shows he is an ordinary private) is timid and sympathetic; the other, the Color-Sergeant," who has charge of the flags, is older, more experienced and "hard-boiled." The two soldiers watch the regiment form ceremonially ("in 'ollow square") while the disgraced Danny Deever is stripped of his insignia - "they've taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away." Then, after the slow roll of
the drums, the band strikes up a lively air the quickstep ") and the hanging is over."

From http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/English/staff/jl/ar_rk_cg.html
"Yet again, Kipling reveals his fascination with failed relationships. More specifically, this parent/child conflict highlights the recurrent theme of how adulthood and childhood are frequently confused or completely inverted by Kipling. Adults who
behave childishly, indulging in vindictive, punitive games, are portrayed with macabre humour, as in 'The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat', or more vilely, as in 'Sea Constables'. Reversals can be seen generally in The Jungle Books, which present adult ideals in the format of children's literature; Mowgli and Kim are wise beyond their years, while in 'Tod's Amendment', a precocious child teaches politicians how to legislate. The poetry is less literal; authority figures may be likened to adults, such as the Colour-Sergeant of 'Danny Deever', who assumes a pastoral role over 'Files-on-Parade', but ultimately subsides under the childlike questions of a raw recruit."


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM

All of the above cogent commentary notwithstanding, has anyone thought about the possibility that Kipling's famous verses about the army and barracks life were, in fact, pretty much propaganda rather than anything to do with the reality of life in the Edwardian era regiments? The British press of the late Victorian/Edwardian era were pretty blatantly enlisted in the effort to glorify Empire and the soldiery, most of whom were (as usual) drawn from the populace that Kipling's readers would have crossed the street to avoid in real life. Just a thought....


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:29 PM

I'm not an expert in Army matters or marching. The U.S. Air Force are wimps when it comes to marching. Perhaps the number in a US platoon is different than it is in the UK, or perhaps the AF just likes 4 better than 3.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:57 PM

My impression is the RAF isn't really that much into marching either.

Any information about the number of files in other armies? And other times? What about the Romans, who were pretty big on marching. I imagine that is the kind of stuff the re-enactment bods would be into knowing about.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: The Walrus
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM

Just a couple of points.
Before the 1930s, the British Army formed in Four Ranks, and before 1908 (under the 'old' eight Company system) the Colour-Serjeant (or Colour-Sergeant, if you prefer) was a platoon (half-company) commander - The battalion was reformed into four companies of four platoons each commanded by an officer durting the period of the 'Haldane' reforms.
Deever was a private (hence " I've drunk his beer..." from Files - it just means that Deever 'stood his round' in the wet canteen<1>) the 'stripes' are good conduct stripes (so Deever was an 'old sweat').
And as to why he was hanged? I look to "The Young British Soldier"

" If your wife should go wrong with a comrade, be lothe,
"Don't shoot when you catch them or you'll swing, by my oath.
"Make him take 'er and keep 'er,
"That's Hell for them both,
"And you're shot of the curse of a soldier."

At least, that's how I interpret the poem.

Walrus

<1> In the pre-Great War Army it was forbidden for even a lance-jack to drink with privates, it would cost him his stripe.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: ooh-aah
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:53 AM

Any suggestion that Kipling was a mere propagandist for the British Empire is simplistic. Kipling is notorious for his Imperialist convictions, but if he were a mere tub-thumper he would neither have won the Nobel Prize nor enjoyed continuing wide readership (something quite amazing if one contemplates the overwhelming left-wing bias of most University English Lit. departments these days). If one has ever been to India the excellence of his writing becomes even more clear. Kipling was scarcely ever free from ambivalence in his writing about the Empire -'Recessional' is a fine example, a profoundly realistic and pessimistic poem penned at the peak of Empire fever around Queen Victoria's Golden jubilee. As for realism - Kipling was quite profoundly realistic in his depiction of Victorian soldiers, especially in India. If one travels to India and visits old British barrack blocks, one can almost feel his ghost, he described the conditions so well. He was not trying to glorify British soldiers, but gain understanding for them - he was irritated by the way the middle-class public of the day would sing (quite repulsively gung-ho)songs like 'Soldiers of the Queen' when there was a fight on and then, as Buck says, cross the street to avoid them in peacetime. I don't have the original with me, but one of his most famous poems goes something like:
         
       We ain't no thin red 'eroes, we ain't no blackguards too,
       But single men in barracks, most remakable like you
       And if sometimes our conduck isn't what you fancy paints
       Why, single men in barracks don't grow into plaster saints.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 04:06 AM

My "Complete Works" of Kipling is the version with the sickeningly sycophantic commentary. I don't intend to subject myself to the torture of reading that again, but I recall it describes "Files-on-parade" as a Greek chorus, always asking the right questions to enable the protagonist (the Colour-sergeant) to say what needs to be said.

"File" as in "rank and file", "single file", etc.

Killing anonymous enemies in the heat of battle is a world away from being made to watch the cold-blooded execution of a comrade, far removed from the violent passion of his crime. The front-rank/rear-rank are moved by the powerful emotion of the situation; the colour-sergeant excuses their reactions by inventing reasons, in that "I'm your mother now!" way that they sometimes have.

Steve


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOMMY (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Micca
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 04:20 AM

Ooh-aah, as you say , to see kipling for an apologist for Empire is avery simplistic view and as the poem you mentioned seems appropriate for the times I have copied to here, Tommy (Thomas) Atkins is the archytypical "common Soldier" of the British Army

TOMMY
(Rudyard Kipling)

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
    But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
    While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
    But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
    There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
    O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM

I expect the derivation of "Tommy Atkins" has probably been mentioned before on the cat, but it seems to fit in here.

At one time when soldiers signed up, they were presented with a form to fill in. Form filling and of course literacy were fairly rare at that time, so one part of the form was an example and filled out in the name of an imaginary Thomas Atkins. It is said that many recruits (especially if they were illiterate) merely copied the letters from the example and therefore signed on in that name.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:28 AM

It should be remembered that the Indian Army poems come from the young Kipling, before his main public success, and the more jingoistic works from his later days as something of an Establishment figure.

Not the first nor last individual to become more conservative in his views with increasing age.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 AM

Whilst there's a Kipling thread going (which I did'nt spot when writing a separate thread a minute ago)- does anyone have the words to 'back to the army again'. Another Kipling poem set to a tune by Bellamy I think.

I've got the 'widow's uniform' recording- but can't make out all the words- I know the song well- but don't want to mumble those bits, or make something up! can anyone help?
Thanks alot
Guest


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 08:40 AM

Here are more Kipling poems that you can shake a stick at, including "Back to the army again".

Youre not Beau Guest, by any chance? Oh no, that was the Frencg Foreign Legion, wasn't it?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Troll
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:07 AM

Files-on-Parade is a single man. He was the first man in the first squad of the company and the rest of the company "guided" on him. He man even have been in front of the First of the first. It was he who set the line on which the other men "dressed their ranks".
He ahs also been called the "right guide" in other armies. I am not familiar with the disposition of troops on parade in the British Army during the last 19th century to know the position of the Colour Sergeant but he must have been close enough to "Files" to talk without being observed by the officers or -infinitely worse- the Sergeant Major.
I'll dig out my old drill manuals and see what I can find.

troll


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,KeithA working
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:22 AM

Troll, you mean what we now call Right Marker? That is interesting, and significant to the song. Thanks.
Wanting my beer today,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:46 AM

Or, in the US Army, the guidon bearer (pronounced "guide-on"). First position in the right file.

The US Army currently uses four squads of ten people each for a platoon: two fire teams (or sections), one of 5 and one of 4, plus the squad leader. Three "rifle" or work platoons, plus a headquarters platoon of varying size, make up a company. Four companies to a battalion.

Usually. Sections can be added or subtracted, special missions can do special things, etc.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:51 PM

I can't look it up now, but Robert Graves has got an interesting little essay uncovering the real [original] Tommy Atkins. Anyone know this?


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:58 PM

Alledgedly - and this is Folklaw - I can not back this with research - during one of Wellington's Battles, a dying Redcoat was carried past the Duke. Despite being in pain he answered his name - "Thomas Aitkin".

Many years later when the Duke of Wellington was "Comander in Chief" he was asked to approve the name of the specimne soldier whose name would be the one used as an example in Army forms.

He reflected and said "Thomas Aitkin" - Hence Tommy as the colective noun for the British Squaddy.

True or not, it's good story.

Gareth

BTW How did "GI Joe" originate ????


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 PM

ooh-aah, and Micca - of course you're right about the "merely" part, so I re-read my post, and (whew) there's nothing in it to indicate that I wished to convey that Kipling was "merely" a propagandist. I would though like to know where he's widely read these days. I mean, other than amongst Mudcatters. And students of Edwardian imperialist propaganda (;>}...


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 08:56 PM

"GI" was short for (take your pick) "galvanized iron" or "government issue". Thus the big garbage cans that I had the excruciating pleasure of scrubbing out by hand when on KP duty were "GI cans". There are those who used to think "GI Joe" came from that.

But everything that a soldier had, ate, fired, or wore was government issue, of course, and standardized to a fare-thee-well. Just as the Army wanted to think of the individual soldier: A standardized manpower unit, so to speak. Thus, the generic soldier "in the rear ranks", as it were, was GI Joe.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: ooh-aah
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 12:04 AM

I take your point Buck, but 'pretty much propaganda' IS quite close to 'merely'!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Keith A
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:15 AM

Buck, Kippling's If was voted most popular poem here just a couple of years ago.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Teribus
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 06:09 AM

Gareth the story re Thomas Atkins is true according to Wellingtons various biographers - and if memory serves me correctly the original pay-book is on display at Stratfield-Saye, in Hampshire.

The poem of Kipling's appears to be set at a time when the British army marched in column of fours, not threes (each row of the column being four men, each line being the rank). The change from fours to threes was made to make them less susceptible to straffing by aircraft in the First World War.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 10:02 AM

Form fours! Right turn!
How can we keep the money we earn?
Oh! Oh! Oh! It's a lovely war!


That explains that, then.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: The Walrus
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 02:55 PM

Terribus,

The shift from 4 ranks to three came about in the 1930s (about the same time that appalling "stamping" foot drill became popular with Drill-Pigs.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:18 PM

The complete Kipling poems may be found as well at Kipling Poems

Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay but was sent to England for schooling at age five. Stalky and Co. was written about these days.

When he was sixteen he returned to Lahore (1882) where he worked on the Civil and Military Gazette and on the Pioneer. His military poems were written in his spare time. After seven years, he returned to England and published his Barrack-Room Ballads.
He knew whereof he wrote.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM

Try again: Kipling Poems


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: mg
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:26 PM

there is a website by someone in England where he collects all the kipling tunes put to music. I put Helen all alone to a tune. It is very war-related, at least to my mind..a man and a woman who have each seen the elephant and have to part because of it...let her go and find a mate and I will find a bride..knowing not of Limbo Gate and who is trapped inside??? There is knowledge under heaven only one should own??? So Helen went from me she did Helen all alone...

Read that poem for sure if you like Kipling.

mg


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: toadfrog
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:44 PM

References to close-order drill practices have no parallel in the U.S. Army. We dropped close-order drill about the beginning of World War II.
Rapaire: I believe you, but they sure must have changed the structure of the rifle company quite a lot since I was in. Then, everything was triangular (3 rifle squads of 12 men to a platoon, 3 rifle platoons and a machine gun section to a rifle company, etc.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: GETHSEMANE (Rudyard Kipling)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:50 PM

Vin Garbutt did a fine song version of "If" on his LP "Little Innocents. "As a way of life I can't fault it", he commented.

Here's a poem (and a song as well) by Kipling which is maybe particularly apt right now:

Gethsemane (pub. 1919)
1914-18


The Garden called Gethsemane
In Picardy it was,
And there the people came to see
The English soldiers pass.
We used to pass - we used to pass
Or halt, as it might be,
And ship our masks in case of gas
Beyond Gethsemane.

The Garden called Gethsemane,
It held a pretty lass,
But all the time she talked to me
I prayed my cup might pass.
The officer sat on the chair,
The men lay on the grass,
And all the time we halted there
I prayed my cup might pass.

It didn't pass - it didn't pass -
It didn't pass from me.
I drank it when we met the gas
Beyond Gethsemane!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 04:05 PM

Peter Bellamy recorded 12 of the Barrack-Room Ballads in 1976, Green Linnet or Free Reed records. These vinyls were deleted, but someone may have put them out on tape or cd. Barrack-Room Ballads

He was not the only one to sing these songs or to put music to them.
Some poems from Kipling's other works have also been put to music.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:20 PM

Toadfrog said: References to close-order drill practices have no parallel in the U.S. Army. We dropped close-order drill about the beginning of World War II.

Somebody should have told that to the torturers who trained me during the Korean time!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: Lyr Add: RECESSIONAL (Rudyard Kipling)
From: lamarca
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 06:08 PM

The database of Kipling poems set to music is on the Kipling Society's pages - here's the link:

http://www.kipling.org.uk/settings1.htm

My husband and I have been singing "Recessional" as a concert closer recently. Unfortunately, its warnings against the hubris of Empire are just as appropriate today as they were when Kipling wrote it for Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - and after its publication, he was shunned by the Establishment for his heresy of suggesting that a solo World Power runs the risk of ignoring the limitations on Power and sinking into oblivion...


Recessional
A Victorian Ode
(1897)

GOD of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM

I believe "Lesser breeds without the law" probably actually meant the Kaiser's Germany.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM

G. K. Chesterton, who was antiimperialist, wrote a scathing satire on "Recessional" ("Post-Recessional):

God of your fathers, known of old,
For patience with man's swaggering line,
He did not answer you when told
About you and your palm and pine,
Though you depoloyed your far-flung host
And boasted that you did not boast.

. . .

We fancied heaven preferring much,
Your rowdiest song, your slangiest sentence,
Your honest banjo banged, to such
Very recessional repentence;...

But it ends

Bless you, you shall be blameless yet,
For God forgives an men forget.

It's hard to hate Kipling.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:54 PM

But quite impossible not to love Chesterton.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: mg
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 10:54 PM

is there a tune to the gas one? I sing it to Auld Lang Syne...

Also there is one called when you go to London town, grieving, grieving, take your flowers and set them down at the place of grieving...

as I suffered so have you and that will ease the grieving..I sing that to some version of Banorie??

And of course there is one that is obviously to the tune of we'll rant and we'll roar...we'll duck and we'll dive like little tin turtles??

and one that is obviously maid of amsterdam..in Lowestoff? the keel was laid and she was made for the ___trade..

the leading stoker's _____
the ____ stoker's 17..he don't know what the judgment means..
mg


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Keith A
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 03:07 AM

Re Gethsemane, Thanks Kevin.
Kippling's only son was killed in WW1. He spent years vainly searching for his grave.
It didn't pass.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: ooh-aah
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 03:11 AM

I'm afraid I don't love Chesterton at all, though I admit his writing is of high quality. If he didn't constantly introduce setentious Catholic propaganda in so much of his stuff I might like him better. A further point about Kipling is that he learned some hard lessons in WW1, when his beloved son John died - he wrote perhaps his most moving and deeply felt story 'The Gardener' afterwards. Chesterton on the other hand continued with his bombastic 'Soldiers of the Lord' rubbish, long after the war when he should have known better - reading 'The Eternal Man' leads one to believe that he learned nothing at all from the carnage. 'The Gardener' also has a Christian conclusion, but it is introduced in a way that does not insult the intelligence of the audience, or distort the story.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 05:37 AM

Mary, If no one posts another tune, I think I will try Derwentwater Farewell ,as Easter approaches and the war goes on.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 07:37 AM

Well cheers for some bloody brilliant websites, and an excellent thread on Kipling. I'm a comparitively young folky (20 yrs old) and have been mad on the poem's that have been set to tunes.

I find that for an unaccompanied singer like me, many of the songs are suitable, even if the words sometimes take some remembering. These new websites will keep me busy while i'm finishing this year of university working in Vietnam.

Thanks again
Chris


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: The Walrus
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 06:20 PM

Mary,

Ihave been known to sing "Gethsemene" to the tune of the hymn "There is a Green Hill" - I suppose it's the Easter connection, - I do like the idea of it to "Derwentwater's Farewell" though.

Walrus.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Desert Dancer
Date: 26 Mar 03 - 06:39 PM

Guest Chris, here's one more: John Roberts & Tony Barrand (English expats in New England) did an album called Naulakha Redux. Lyrics, notes, and ordering info are at the Golden Hind website. Mostly Peter Bellamy's settings, but a few others, as well.

~ Becky in Tucson


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Greyeyes
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 02:42 PM

Story of the origin of Tommy Atkins can be found here. Blicky
However it may not be entirely valid, despite Wellinton's biographers, as there are several references to Tommy Atkins in War Office documents as early as 1743.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 27 Mar 03 - 03:08 PM

In the late 1950s, I heard someone on TV utter the phrase, "They're hangin' Danny Deever for the wearin' of the green." When I encountered Kipling's poem in school I immediately set it to that tune, and it works very well.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Mrrzy
Date: 28 Mar 03 - 10:49 AM

They say that in the Army, the Kipling's mighty fine
But if you try to kipple me I'll jump on your behind! Oh, I don't want no more of Army life....


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Leslie Fish
Date: 09 Aug 08 - 06:29 AM

Oh yes, plenty of folkies and filkers have put tunes to Kipling's poems -- including me. And yes, he was far more than an Imperial apologist; his poems are as singable, and his prose as readable, today as more than a century ago.

There are MP3s of Kipling poems set to my tunes at my website (www.lesliefish.com) and Joe Bethancourt's (link). Joe does an especially haunting version of "Helen All Alone".

I have three albums of my tunes to Kipling's poems, and a fourth in the works. Enjoy!


--Leslie Fish <;)))><
www.lesliefish.com


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Subject: ADD: Elegy in a Country Churchyard (Chesterton)
From: Snuffy
Date: 09 Aug 08 - 08:30 AM

Oo-aah thinks Chesterton learned "nothing at all from the carnage". I, however, find this as powerfuland as relevant today as "Recessional"

ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD
(G. K. Chesterton)

THE men that worked for England
They have their graves at home:
And birds and bees of England
About the cross can roam.

But they that fought for England,
Following a falling star,
Alas, alas for England
They have their graves afar.

And they that rule in England,
In stately conclave met,
Alas, alas for England
They have no graves as yet.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: JeffB
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 06:16 AM

In the last verse of "Follow me 'ome" the funeral squad form up on the command "Thirteen rank". Anyone know just what this means?


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: The Walrus
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 12:36 PM

In the 1914 Drill Manual (itelf based on earlier editions), there is the following:-

"...The firing party, consisting of 1 serjeant, 1 corporal and 12 privates, will be drawn up two deep, one pace interval between files, facing the building where the body is placed. The corporal will be on the right of the front rank. The serjeant will give all words of command, and be posted in rear of the centre. Arms will be at the slope..."

So there is a firing party of 13 men -

I assume this is the
..."Three rounds blank" an' follow me,
An' it's "Thirteen rank" an' follow me...


Any help?

Tom


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: JeffB
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 12:43 PM

Yep, that's it. Thanks very much Tom.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Mark Ross
Date: 26 Aug 08 - 01:40 PM

Leslie Fish, where are you? I'd like to get in touch with you.

Mark Ross


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: tonyteach1
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 09:00 AM

One of the nice aspects of Kindle ownership is the ability to download stuff quickly and very cheaply I have got the Barrack Room Ballads on my E book

We have the Peter Bellamy stuff - some of the tunes are good but (takes deep breath) cannot stand his voice for any length of time


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 04 Sep 11 - 09:21 AM

Belatedly ~~ Peter Bellamy set 'Danny Deever' to Derwentwater's Farewell. He also wrote an effective tune for Kipling's moving lament for his dead son,'My Son John', despite its rambling and irregular metre. Both originally on the Barrack Room Ballads vinyl LP.

~Michael~


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Subject: Chord Req: Danny Deever
From: Mathew Raymond
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 06:33 PM

Great song can anyone help?


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Danl wiuny Deever
From: Leadfingers
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 06:50 PM

The tune is Derwentwaters Farewell - Not that much time now , but CAN post after the weekend .


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Subject: ADD: Danny Deever (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 15 Aug 13 - 07:24 PM

I don't see the lyrics posted anywhere at Mudcat, and that's a shortcoming that ought to be remedied. Please note, however, that Mathew requested chords.

DANNY DEEVER
(Rudyard Kipling)

"WHAT are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.
"To turn you out, to turn you out", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes you look so white, so white?" said Files-on-Parade.
"I'm dreadin' what I've got to watch", the Colour-Sergeant said.
For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
The regiment's in 'ollow square-they're hangin' him to-day;
They've taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away,
An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

"What makes the rear-rank breathe so 'ard?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's bitter cold, it's bitter cold", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes that front-rank man fall down?" said Files-on-Parade.
"A touch o' sun, a touch o' sun", the Colour-Sergeant said.
They are hangin' Danny Deever, they are marchin' of 'im round,
They 'ave 'alted Danny Deever by 'is coffin on the ground;
An' 'e'll swing in 'arf a minute for a sneakin' shootin' hound-
O they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'!

"'Is cot was right-'and cot to mine", said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's sleepin' out an' far to-night", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"I've drunk 'is beer a score o' times", said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's drinkin' bitter beer alone", the Colour-Sergeant said.
They are hangin' Danny Deever, you must mark 'im to 'is place,
For 'e shot a comrade sleepin'-you must look 'im in the face;
Nine 'undred of 'is county an' the regiment's disgrace,
While they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

"What's that so black agin' the sun?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny fightin' 'ard for life", the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What's that that whimpers over'ead?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny's soul that's passin' now", the Colour-Sergeant said.
For they're done with Danny Deever, you can 'ear the quickstep play,
The regiment's in column, an' they're marchin' us away;
Ho! the young recruits are shakin', an' they'll want their beer to-day,
After hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.


There's an interesting study of this poem at Wikipedia. I particularly liked this part:
    The Barrack-Room Ballads, as the name suggests, are songs of soldiers. Written by Kipling, they share a form and a style with traditional Army songs. Kipling was one of the first to pay attention to these works; Carrington noted that in contrast to the songs of sailors, "no-one had thought of collecting genuine soldiers' songs, and when Kipling wrote in this traditional style it was not recognised as traditional". Kipling himself was fond of singing his poetry, of writing it to fit the rhythm of a particular tune. In this specific case, the musical source has been suggested as the Army's "grotesque bawdy song" Barnacle Bill the Sailor, but it is possible that some other popular tune of the period was used. However, the ballads were not published with any music, and though they were quickly adapted to be sung, new musical settings were written; a musical setting by Walter Damrosch was described as "Teddy Roosevelt's favourite song", and is sometimes encountered on its own as a tune entitled They're Hanging Danny Deever In The Morning. To date, at least a dozen published recordings are known, made from 1893 to 1985.
    The tune "They're Hanging Danny Deever in the Morning" was played from the Campanile at UC Berkeley at the end of the last day of classes for the Spring Semester of 1930, and has been repeated every year since, making it one of the oldest campus traditions.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Danny Deever (Kipling/Bellamy)
From: Reinhard
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 12:19 AM

Kipling himself was fond of singing his poetry ?

This paragraph in Brian Mattinson aeticle on Kipling and Music says something else:

It is said that Rudyard Kipling was tone deaf, 'my ears being wavering', and, as his daughter has affirmed, completely unmusical. According to Andrew Lycett , singing in the choir at Westward Ho! 'was a struggle; in a letter to a family friend, Rudyard complained that, in preparation for a concert, he was forced to attend choir practice for an hour every Thursday, Friday and Sunday. 'The constant la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la brings out all sorts of queer notes. I can't make out where I get 'em from.' 'He admitted towards the end of his life that Allah had excluded all music from his 'make-up except the brute instinct for beat, as necessary for the manufacture of verse'.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Danny Deever (Kipling/Bellamy)
From: GUEST,Musket between courses
Date: 16 Aug 13 - 03:10 AM

My good friend Mitch used to sing this to the Peter Bellamy tune. I used to find it haunting then, 30 odd years ago and reading the words now takes me back.

Mitch sang comedy and parody mainly but his military past did cause the odd delve into thoughtful song.

Thanks for reviving this Joe.


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Subject: RE: Chord Req: Danny Deever (Kipling/Bellamy)
From: Leadfingers
Date: 20 Aug 13 - 05:54 PM

Chords in C (Just the way I do it)

DANNY DEEVER
(Rudyard Kipling)
C                   G C               F    Dm   Am
"WHAT are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.
    C                G   C             F                            To turn you out, to turn you out", the Colour-Sergeant said.
       C                F                      C    Dm   Am
"What makes you look so white, so white?" said Files-on-Parade.
      C                  F                  C      G       C   
"I'm dreadin' what I've got to watch", the Colour-Sergeant said.
                           G C            F
For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
    C             G C                  F
The regiment's in 'ollow square-they're hangin' him to-day;
         C            F             C         Dm    Am
They've taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away,
             C             F             G C   
An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.


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