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Lyr Req: Join the British Army

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JOIN THE BRITISH ARMY


Related thread:
(origins) Origins: Toodle-oodle-oodle-oo - Bawdy RAF song (3)


MajorTom@moonlight.net 28 Jan 97 - 12:20 PM
Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com 28 Jan 97 - 01:45 PM
Susan of DT 30 Jan 97 - 09:27 AM
Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com 31 Jan 97 - 02:52 PM
Moira Cameron 31 Jan 97 - 02:59 PM
dick greenhaus 31 Jan 97 - 04:18 PM
Alex 11 Feb 97 - 09:43 PM
MajorTom@moonlight.net 21 Feb 97 - 05:11 PM
walkerje@aviano.af.mil 04 Mar 97 - 02:08 AM
dick greenhaus 04 Mar 97 - 01:35 PM
GUEST 19 Jul 09 - 09:48 PM
Gurney 20 Jul 09 - 01:01 AM
Terry McDonald 20 Jul 09 - 04:06 AM
Tattie Bogle 20 Jul 09 - 07:58 AM
Terry McDonald 20 Jul 09 - 01:41 PM
Tattie Bogle 21 Jul 09 - 12:24 PM
Terry McDonald 21 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM
Tattie Bogle 21 Jul 09 - 02:23 PM
GUEST 13 Mar 12 - 06:32 AM
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Subject: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: MajorTom@moonlight.net
Date: 28 Jan 97 - 12:20 PM

Hi,

I'm trying to find the lyrics to an anti-British tune that has the following for a chorus

"They're looking for monkeys up at the zoo, And if I had a face like you, I'd join the British Army."

Any help appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com
Date: 28 Jan 97 - 01:45 PM

Ewan MacColl recorded this song on an album of war songs fromthe two world wars. I'll try to get down the lyrics for you.


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: Susan of DT
Date: 30 Jan 97 - 09:27 AM

I've heard it just as a jingle, rather than a whole song:

Tura lura lula lu
They are looking for monkeys in the zoo
If I had a face like you
I'd join the British army

Which is something like:

Around the corner and under a tree
A sargeant major said to me
I would like to know who would marry you
'Cause every time I llok at your face
It makes me want to run around the corner and under a tree ...


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOIN THE BRITISH ARMY (from Ewan MacColl)
From: Moira Cameron, moirakc@internorth.com
Date: 31 Jan 97 - 02:52 PM

I finally got them! Enjoy!

JOIN THE BRITISH ARMY
Source: Ewan MacColl

When I was young I used to be as fine a man as ever you'd see;
The Prince of Wales, he said to me, "Come and join the British army."
Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, they're looking for monkeys up in the zoo
If I had a face like you, I would join the British army.

Sarah Camdon baked a cake; it was all for poor old Slattery's sake.
I threw meself into the lake, pretending I was balmy.
Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, 'twas the only thing that I could do
To work my ticket home to you and leave the British army.

Corporal Duff's got such a drought, just give him a couple of jars of stout;
He'll kill the enemy with his mouth and save the British Army.
Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, Me curse is on the Labour crew;
They took your darling boy from you to join the British army.

Captain Heeley went away and his wife got in the family way,
And all the words that she would say was "Blame the British Army."
Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, I've made me mind up what to do
I'll work my ticket home to you and leave the British army.


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 31 Jan 97 - 02:59 PM

Sorry, I made a mistake:

The Corporal Duuf verse should have the line: 'Me curse is on the Labour brew' not crew.


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 31 Jan 97 - 04:18 PM

Hi- This one's a parody of an old Scots song called the Braes of Killiecrankie. Harry Lauder sang a version which went:

When I was young I used to be
As smart a lad as e'er you'd see
The Duke of Wales he sent for me
To gae and jine the army
Noo I'm old and gettin' frail
Like a dog wi' oot a tail
All for the love o' Jean McPhail
The lass o' Killiecrankie.


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: Alex
Date: 11 Feb 97 - 09:43 PM

The late and much-missed Hamish Imlach had another version the chorus of which was:

Tooral Ooral Ooral Oo,
I'll tell ye something awfy true,
Ye wadnae hae yer telly the noo,
If it wasnae for the Union.


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: MajorTom@moonlight.net
Date: 21 Feb 97 - 05:11 PM

Thank you all for the help. I loved this song, but sitting in a pub you only can sing the chorus' because you drink during the verses. And singing them helped me to remember.

Although I coulda swore there was a verse about beating the Germans without much of a fuss, and leaving their bones in the dust.

Oh well. :)

God bless,

Tom


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: walkerje@aviano.af.mil
Date: 04 Mar 97 - 02:08 AM

Here's a great verse, courtesy of Tommy Dahill, late of Minneapolis and Dahill's Irish Band:

"Kilted soldier's wear no drawers,
Ladies, will ye lend 'em yours?
The poor should always help the poor,
God save the british Army!" Chorus


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Subject: RE: Lyric REq: Join the British Army
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 04 Mar 97 - 01:35 PM

More! More! Keep 'em coming!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: GUEST
Date: 19 Jul 09 - 09:48 PM

Regarding the Labour Crew line, is this perhaps a reference to the Korean War (1950) and therefore after WW2 as stated above? My reasoning is that this was the only war during a Labour government at that time. I doubt the narrator would pick out Labour when it was the Tories that led Britain into WW2. Or perhaps Labour crew has a different meaning?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: Gurney
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 01:01 AM

Guest, it may be a mistake to try to date the song to a particular conflict. It sounds as if that verse is about conscription, which ended, from memory, about 1958.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 04:06 AM

It's in 'The Singing Island' and MacColl's notes to the song say that 'The reference to the "Labour-broo" (the Unemployment Exchange)in the refrain of the third stanza suggests that the song continued to grow during the 1920s.'


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 07:58 AM

There seem to be a lot of different versions in circulation now.
Heard Danny Couper do the "Killiecrankie" version at Stonehaven last week: loads of verses and very funny some of them! (See Dick Greenhaus' post in '97)
Anyone got all the words of that?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 20 Jul 09 - 01:41 PM

Looking at the original post, I don't see anything 'anti-British' about the song. It's the sort of thing that serving soldiers would sing about the institution they were part of, in the same way that people are usually critical about the firm that employs them.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 12:24 PM

It hugely depends on the context, Terry. I remember it being sung by the Dubliners and other Irish bands, and you'll find it in collections of "Irish rebel songs" too, where it can come over as being seriously anti-British. Just take a quick look at some of the comments under the Youtube videos of it - unrepeatable here!
( I hasten to add that I have no political axe to grind, so don't shoot the messenger!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 01:29 PM

Wouldn't dream of shooting the messanger! It can obviously become a 'political' song but I reckon it was created from within the Army.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 21 Jul 09 - 02:23 PM

Yes, a bit of Googling about has it as a Victorian barrack room ballad, so maybe even earlier than Moira (1997) had it down for.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Join the British Army
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Mar 12 - 06:32 AM

http://uk.news.yahoo.com/british-soldier-held-suspicion-murder-045819865.html


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