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Marching through Rochester

Ian Kirk 30 Oct 98 - 05:18 AM
Wolfgang Hell 30 Oct 98 - 05:24 AM
Jon Bartlett 01 Nov 98 - 03:21 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 02 Nov 98 - 07:27 PM
Jon Bartlett 03 Nov 98 - 03:55 AM
Ian Kirk 03 Nov 98 - 04:44 PM
Alan of Australia 03 Nov 98 - 06:55 PM
Steve Parkes 04 Nov 98 - 07:59 AM
Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca 04 Nov 98 - 08:05 AM
Alan of Australia 05 Nov 98 - 06:57 AM
anniecarps 01 Dec 08 - 01:44 PM
Little Robyn 01 Dec 08 - 01:58 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Dec 08 - 02:04 PM
Bryn Pugh 02 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM
Leadfingers 02 Dec 08 - 09:04 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Dec 08 - 09:22 AM
Leadfingers 02 Dec 08 - 09:42 AM
VirginiaTam 02 Dec 08 - 10:28 AM
Leadfingers 02 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM
GUEST,Bill the sound 02 Dec 08 - 09:09 PM
Richard Bridge 03 Dec 08 - 04:04 AM
Terry McDonald 03 Dec 08 - 04:09 AM
GUEST,Bill the sound 03 Dec 08 - 07:54 PM
Paul Burke 04 Dec 08 - 03:29 AM
Mr Happy 28 Feb 10 - 09:50 AM
gnomad 28 Feb 10 - 07:44 PM
Joe Nicholson 01 Mar 10 - 11:52 AM
Keith A of Hertford 02 Mar 10 - 05:59 AM
Mo the caller 29 May 14 - 10:48 AM
Keith A of Hertford 21 Sep 15 - 10:59 AM
JHW 21 Sep 15 - 01:05 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Sep 15 - 01:15 PM
Lighter 21 Sep 15 - 04:11 PM
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Subject: Marching through Rochester
From: Ian Kirk
Date: 30 Oct 98 - 05:18 AM

Hi All

I am new to this forum and I have to say how impressed I am with the wealth of info that is available.

I have question - I found the words of Marching through Rochester in the database and I have heard this song a number of times. I live about 15 miles from Rochester that was once a garrison town. I see that the name Pete Coe is under the title of the song on the database. I do not know if Pete is the man who wrote it, in which case I guess it is a modern song or whther Pete was the guy who put it in the database.

Some history of this song would be appreciated.

Regards

Ian


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Wolfgang Hell
Date: 30 Oct 98 - 05:24 AM

Ian, Pete is supposed to be the author, the contributor to the database is only mentioned in the initials in the last line, SOF in the case of this song.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 01 Nov 98 - 03:21 AM

As I understand it, the song was, relatively recently, fashioned around one traditional line, "Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?", the tune for which was used by AB Banjo Patterson for "Waltzing Mathilda". I'd love to know more. Jon


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 02 Nov 98 - 07:27 PM

I have refreshed the Matilda thread where this was discussed.

It was also discussed on, IIRC, uk.music.folk and Pete Coe himself contributed to the discussion. Do a Dejanews search under his name or Rochester Recruiting Sergeant and it should show up. He was informed of the Digital Tradition and was amused or bemused that there were two versions on offer of his song.

He said he did indeed get the first stanza out of a magazine and wrote the rest.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Jon Bartlett
Date: 03 Nov 98 - 03:55 AM

Thanks, Tim!


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Ian Kirk
Date: 03 Nov 98 - 04:44 PM

Thanks all I don't know whether you rec'd my previous reply but I am going to look in this further. I'll track down Pete Coe and report back.

Regards

Ian


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 03 Nov 98 - 06:55 PM

G'day,
Here's a link to the previous thread: click here.

It's mostly a discussion of "Waltzing Matilda", but towards the end it addresses the Rochester song.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 04 Nov 98 - 07:59 AM

Ian,

Pete Coe told me back in the mid 70's that he wrote the song except for the first verse, which he had discovered (but I don't know where). The tune, Waltzing Matilda, is actually Scottish in origin. My pld singing partner Barrie Roberts of Walsall confused the issue shortly afterwards by recording it in Denmark (or the Netherlands?) for a folk archive and telling them it was traditional.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Tim Jaques tjaques@netcom.ca
Date: 04 Nov 98 - 08:05 AM

To which Scottish song was it the tune?


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Alan of Australia
Date: 05 Nov 98 - 06:57 AM

G'day Tim & others,
If you follow the link I gave above you will find out all about the tune etc. etc.

Cheers,
Alan


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: anniecarps
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 01:44 PM

If anybody has all the words to this song, I would be very pleased to receive them. Thank you.

"And he sang as he marched through the crowded streets of Rochester
'Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?'"


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Little Robyn
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 01:58 PM

The words are here
already.
Robyn


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 02:04 PM

Pete likes to be credited as author when it is sung.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:13 AM

Interesting. I heard the chorus using "soldier" as a verb :

"Who'll come and soldier (tris)
For Marlborough and me ;
And the drums rang out all through the streets of Rochester :
'Who'll come and soldier for Marlborough and me.'"

I hadn't known that Pete Coe had authored this, but I'm glad to learn.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 09:04 AM

We shall be 'Marching through Rochester' at the weekend !


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 09:22 AM

What's happening in Rochester this weekend?


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 09:42 AM

Dickens Festival ! We are part of the Street entertainment


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 10:28 AM

oh yeah! are you morrising or are you wandering about in costume?


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Leadfingers
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 01:33 PM

We are Naval Packet - Victorian Nautical - wandering the streets !!


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 09:09 PM

MARCHING THROUGH ROCHESTER
(Pete Coe)

A bold fusilier came marching back through Rochester
Off from the wars in the north country,
And he sang as he marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?''

Who'll be a soldier? Who'll be a soldier?
Who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?
And he sang as he marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?''

The Queen, she has ordered new troops onto the continent
To strike a last blow at the enemy.
And if you would be a soldier
All in a scarlet uniform
Take the King's shilling for Marlboro and me.
Take the King's shilling. Take the King's shilling.
Take the King's shilling for Marlboro and me.
And if you would be a soldier
All in a scarlet uniform
Take the King's shilling for Marlboro and me.

``Not I,'' said the butcher, ``Nor I,'' said the baker.
Most of the rest with them did agree.
To be paid with the powder and
The rattle of the cannonball
Wages for soldiers for Marlboro and me.

Wages for soldiers, wages for soldiers,
Wages for soldiers for Marlboro and me.
To be paid with the powder and
The rattle of the cannonball
Wages for soldiers for Marlboro and me.

``Now I,'' said the young man, ``have oft endured the parish queue.
There is no wages or employment for me.
Salvation or danger,
That'll be my destiny.
To be a soldier for Marlboro and me.''

To be a soldier, to be a soldier,
To be a soldier for Marlboro and me.
Salvation or danger,
That'll be my destiny.
To be a soldier for Marlboro and me.

Now twenty new recruits came marching back through Rochester
Off to the wars in the north country.
And they sang as they marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?''

Who'll be a soldier, who'll be a soldier,
Who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?
And they sang as they marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlboro and me?''


I hope this helps-Bill


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 04:04 AM

That does not look quite like the version I checked with Pete Coe some years ago - not simply because they were not off for a cigarette.

As recollect (without looking it up): -

THE GAY FUSILIER
(Pete Coe)

The gay fusilier came marching down through Rochester
Bound for the wars in the low countries,
And he sang as he marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?''

Who'll be a soldier? Who'll be a soldier?
Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?
And he sang as he marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?''

The King has ordered new troops for the continent
To strike the last blow at the enemy.
So if you'd be a soldier
All in a scarlet uniform
Take the King's shilling for Marlborough and me.

Take the King's shilling. Take the King's shilling.
Take the King's shilling for Marlborough and me.
And if you'd be a soldier
All in a scarlet uniform
Take the King's shilling for Marlborough and me.

``Not I,'' said the butcher, ``Nor I,'' said the baker.
Most of the townsmen with them did agree.
To be paid in the powder and
The rattle of the cannonball
Wages for soldiers for Marlborough and thee.

Wages for soldiers, wages for soldiers,
Wages for soldiers for Marlborough and thee.
To be paid in the powder and
The rattle of the cannonball
Wages for soldiers for Marlborough and thee.

``But I,'' said the young man, ``have long endured the parish queue.
No work, no wages for the likes of me.
Starvation or danger?
It shall be my destiny,
To seek fresh employment with Marlborough and thee.''

Wages for soldiers, wages for soldiers,
Wages for soldiers for Marlborough and thee.
Starvation or danger,
It shall be my destiny.
To seek fresh employment with Marlborough and thee.

So forty new recruits came marching down through Rochester
Bound for the wars in the low countries.
And they sang as they marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?''

Who'll be a soldier, who'll be a soldier,
Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?
And they sang as they marched
Through the crowded streets of Rochester,
``Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me?''


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Terry McDonald
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 04:09 AM

Yes, that's it Richard - exactly as I remember it and I still have (in the loft, I expect) the broadsheet produced for the song, and the one for Peter Coe's runner's song, Joseph Baker.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: GUEST,Bill the sound
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 07:54 PM

That's as I found it on the net some time ago. I can't remember the site, but have recently found a site with parodies to hundreds of songs and the gay version was on there.
Bill


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Paul Burke
Date: 04 Dec 08 - 03:29 AM

Back in about 2001 when a British soldier was killed in Sierra Leone,trying to keep the peace between the useless government and a rebel army recruited largely from children, I scribbled this bit. At the time I thought the "Who'll be a soldier" bit was trad, so apologies to Pete Coe if it's his:

Jimmy Timms was a lad from a tower block in Manchester,
Hated his school so he left at sixteen,
Twelve months in a burger hell, he'd had about a bellyful,
When this is what he saw as he glazed at the screen:

Who'll be a soldier, who'll be a soldier,
Who'll be a soldier, for England and me?
Smart in your uniform, cool and professional,
So sign for a soldier for England and me!

For two happy years, he thought he'd found his paradise,
Well paid and busy, good mates, a good career.
He did his turn in Bosnia, and helped out in an orphanage,
Came home at Christmas and bought his dad a beer.

Life for a soldier, life for a soldier,
Life for a soldier for England and me,
And he grew strong and confident, the other lads looked up to him,
Ready for promotion for England and me.

But a nasty little war in a forgotten part of Africa
Tore him away from his happy routine.
Diamonds and oil, big business and the Mafia,
And God help the children who came inbetween.

Work for a soldier, work for a soldier,
Work for a soldier for England and me,
And he saw the burning shanty towns, the bodies lying all around,
Work for a soldier for England and me.

Then one day out on patrol he saw a girl with a rocket gun,
Small, black and beautiful, no more than seventeen,
A moment's hesitation before he pulled his trigger,
She'd launched her grenade through the Land Rover's screen.

Death for a soldier, death for a soldier,
Death for a soldier for England and me.
One man killed, half a dozen minor injuries,
But death for a soldier, for England and me.

There's a black granite gravestone in a cemetery in Manchester,
Fresh flowers weekly to keep his memory green,
And an unmarked grave on a riverbank in Africa.
No trace remains of the love that should have been.

A grave for a soldier, a grave for a soldier,
A grave for a soldier for England and me,
And there's two young lives, and everything they could have been,
Wasted for war, and for England, and me.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 09:50 AM

This morning, 'Who'll be a soldier' song was featured in an episode of 'Sharpe' the fictional tales of the Napoleonic Wars.

I had the subtitles on, & when the song was being sung, the subtitle stated ' a parody of Waltzing Matilda!'


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: gnomad
Date: 28 Feb 10 - 07:44 PM

That's a bit harsh IMO, it uses the same tune but is hardly a parody. Mind you subtitling can only ever be an imperfect art when it comes to music.
I hope PeteC gets his royalties OK, but given John Tams' involvement in the music for Sharpe I would expect that aspect to be properly handled.

I had not registered this thread before, and certainly hadn't seen Paul B's contribution of Dec4 2008. The refresh was worth it if only for that.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Joe Nicholson
Date: 01 Mar 10 - 11:52 AM

In the version of the song which I got from a Whittlebury Tape sung by Pete Coe the first verse is:-

A recruiting segeant marched through the streets of Rochester
Bound for the wars in the low country
And he sang as he marched and he played upon his kettledrum
Who'll be a soldier for Marlbrough and me
Who'll be a soldier, who'll who'll be a soldier, who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me
And he sang as he marched and he played upon his kettledrom
Who'll be a soldier for Marlborough and me

Joe Nicholson.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 02 Mar 10 - 05:59 AM

Related thread.
thread.cfm?threadid=13177&messages=12


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Mo the caller
Date: 29 May 14 - 10:48 AM

This song came to mind when reading this in the news

Some things never change.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 21 Sep 15 - 10:59 AM

The writer Iain Gale has Marlborough's soldiers singing it in his book, Brothers in Arms.
The Sharpe film, Sharpe's Regiment" was on again a few months ago with the same subtitle appearing.
Neither credits Pete.


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: JHW
Date: 21 Sep 15 - 01:05 PM

So does nobody know what the original Scottish song was with the melody then borrowed for Walzing Matilda and again for Who'll be a Soldier?
(as asked above last century)


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Sep 15 - 01:15 PM

According to Wikipedia entry on Waltzing Matilda, the tune was

based on the Scottish Celtic folk tune "Thou Bonnie Wood of Craigielea",[8] written by Robert Tannahill and first published in 1806, with James Barr composing the music in 1818.[10] In the early 1890s it was arranged as the "The Craigielee" march music for brass band by Thomas Bulch.[8] This tune itself was possibly based on the old melody of "Go to the Devil and Shake Yourself", composed by John Field (1782–1837) sometime before 1812. It is sometimes also called "When Sick Is It Tea You Want?" (London 1798) or "The Penniless Traveller" (O'Neill's 1850 collection)

≈M≈


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Subject: RE: Marching through Rochester
From: Lighter
Date: 21 Sep 15 - 04:11 PM

Evidently I didn't mention that I made an extensive search of online books and newspaper databases (including Australian) and found not a single mention of the "Rochester" lyrics to "Waltzing Matilda" (or any other tune) before World War II.


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