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Lyr Req: My Boy Willie (won the war)

Related thread:
Lyr Req: it wasn't the tanks that won the war... (4)


GUEST,k 28 Apr 03 - 09:55 AM
Hillheader 28 Apr 03 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,k 29 Apr 03 - 05:36 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM
Jim Dixon 30 Apr 03 - 10:09 AM
GUEST,k 30 Apr 03 - 10:35 AM
GUEST,leigh masters 05 Oct 11 - 12:02 AM
GUEST 11 Oct 14 - 06:42 PM
GUEST,# 11 Oct 14 - 10:32 PM
GUEST 18 Nov 16 - 04:36 PM
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Subject: Lyr Req: my boy willie (won the war)
From: GUEST,k
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 09:55 AM

Please don't interpret this post as a goad or insult to anyone.

My dad remembers a song popular in Britain in his youth, and asked me to try to find the rest of it.
It goes something like...

"It wasn't the Yanks that won the war
It was my boy Willie!"

I've done a google search & turned up nothing, also done a search on DT & found nothing.

Can anyone help?

k


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: my boy willie (won the war)
From: Hillheader
Date: 28 Apr 03 - 02:49 PM

Only reference I can find is this one mentioning a song. There may be a full version somewhere, but it's also possible that the word "Yanks" was simply substituted for "Tanks".

http://www.geocities.com/vqpvqp/nih/narrative/rtr2.html


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: my boy willie (won the war)
From: GUEST,k
Date: 29 Apr 03 - 05:36 AM

Hey - that's fantastic!!
Thanks for that link. Sounds absolutely right - and very interesting about the substitution.

k


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: my boy willie (won the war)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:05 AM

This page mentions a WW1-era song called (or perhaps just containing the phrase) "It wasn't the Yanks that won the war!"

There is a tune called "My Boy Willie" performed by (guess who) The Royal Tank Regiment Cambrai Band on their album "Challenge" (2002). It's also performed by the Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards on "Regimental Marches of British Army, Vol. 1" (1991); and it's on "The Passing of the Regiments" by "various artists."

I don't suppose any of those recordings will have words, though.

I also found a song called "My Boy Willie"

Oh, where have you been all the day, my boy Willie?
Oh, where have you been all the day? Willie, won't you tell me now?
I've been all the day a-courting of a lady gay,
But she is too young to be taken from her mammy.

Oh, can she brew and can she bake, my boy Willie?
Oh, can she brew and can she bake? Willie, won't you tell me now?
She can brew and she can bake and she can make a wedding cake
But she is too young to be taken from her mammy.

Oh, can she mix and can she spin?...etc.

It is sung in an art-song manner by Kathleen Ferrier on "Edition V8 / Blow The Wind Southerly." I'm pretty sure it's the same tune played by the regimental bands listed above, so I'm not sure we're talking about the same song that was requested...

I'd be interested in knowing if the above song is sung to the same tune that your dad remembers. I'm wondering if someone took the tune of the old traditional song and wrote new words to it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: my boy willie (won the war)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:09 AM

p.s. Forgot to mention that you can find descriptions of the above albums at places like AMG or Barnes&Noble. It's especially easy to find sound samples at Yahoo! Music.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: my boy willie (won the war)
From: GUEST,k
Date: 30 Apr 03 - 10:35 AM

Cheers Jim

I've just spoken to dad - and yes it IS the same tune.
So it looks like the regimental march was My Boy Willie the trad folk song. It seems a common thing for regiments to adopt/adapt trad songs for their marches.

Then "It wasn't the tanks that won the war it was my boy Willie" seems to be a parody on that folk song perhaps - and was popular around WW1. The page Davebhoy linked to indicates that Willie was a prior armoured vehicle. Dad reckons that there may have been some antipathy to tanks within the regiment initially - as they were formed out of a different regiment & may have been distrustful of the new vehicles (maybe).

Then "It wasn't the yanks..." seems to be a parody on the WW1 song, and was popular at the end of WW2.

Its a fascinating chain.

I did start another lyr req thread on the subject of "it wasn't the tanks that won the war" because of the difference in lyrics bought up by Davebhoy's links. If any clone wants to amalgamate the threads then that's fine.

Cheers all

k


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Boy Willie (won the war)
From: GUEST,leigh masters
Date: 05 Oct 11 - 12:02 AM

it wasn't the yanks that won the war
my boy willie
the 7th royal tanks were there before


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Boy Willie (won the war)
From: GUEST
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 06:42 PM

"It wasn't the Yanks that won the war, it was my boy Willie" are the words that the 'rank and file' of the Royal Tank Regiment (I was in 2RTR) used in place of the original old English (19th century)'nursery rhyme' "Where have you been all the day, my boy Willie" and each 'Regiment' -Battalion really- would insert their number -hence previous comment with 7! I too have been trying to obtain the full (RTR / NAAFI version) lyrics as everytime we'd sing it would be during a 'session' and we'd be 'bombed out of our boxes' and so after some 35 years can only remember those opening lines!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Boy Willie (won the war)
From: GUEST,#
Date: 11 Oct 14 - 10:32 PM

http://www.sthelens-connect.net/forums/topic/75569-south-lancs-regiment-song/

There is a neat piece of writing that mentions this song. Read post #8--post numbers are on the righthand side of the page.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: My Boy Willie (won the war)
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 04:36 PM

As with Guest 'two up', I was also in 2RTR and seem to be having exactly the same problem as he. We'd all be 'bombed out of our boxes' come the singing sessions in the NAAFI, but I also remember it being #"It wasn't the YANKS (NOT tanks) that won the war it was my boy Willie"# in place of the traditional folk/nursery rhyme lyrics #"Where have you been all the day, my boy Willie"# The Yanks had their own 'nursery rhyme version' #"Where have you been all the day, Billy boy, Billy boy"# I'm desperate to know and find the rest myself!


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