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Anti-war songs from WWI

Related threads:
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Lyr Add: The Price of Oil (Billy Bragg) (8)
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Songbob 17 Nov 98 - 05:00 PM
John in Brisbane 17 Nov 98 - 06:52 PM
Pete M 17 Nov 98 - 07:23 PM
Moira Cameron 17 Nov 98 - 08:08 PM
DonMeixner 17 Nov 98 - 08:42 PM
dick greenhaus 17 Nov 98 - 09:08 PM
northfolk 17 Nov 98 - 11:51 PM
Barbara 18 Nov 98 - 01:30 PM
Barbara 18 Nov 98 - 01:31 PM
Pete M 18 Nov 98 - 02:26 PM
Barbara 18 Nov 98 - 04:27 PM
rich r 18 Nov 98 - 05:29 PM
rich r 18 Nov 98 - 05:42 PM
dick greenhaus 18 Nov 98 - 05:47 PM
18 Nov 98 - 05:57 PM
Pete M 18 Nov 98 - 06:57 PM
John in Brisbane 18 Nov 98 - 07:45 PM
rich r 18 Nov 98 - 09:10 PM
Pete M 19 Nov 98 - 03:00 PM
dick greenhaus 19 Nov 98 - 05:33 PM
PHILIPPA 22 Nov 98 - 02:40 PM
Jeep man 15 Jan 00 - 11:27 PM
Flewruby 16 Jan 00 - 05:45 AM
wildlone 16 Jan 00 - 08:31 AM
InOBU 16 Jan 00 - 11:51 AM
wildlone 16 Jan 00 - 01:13 PM
Metchosin 16 Jan 00 - 01:44 PM
raredance 16 Jan 00 - 09:44 PM
Sorcha 16 Jan 00 - 09:54 PM
Bob Bolton 16 Jan 00 - 10:07 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jan 00 - 02:03 AM
GeorgeH 17 Jan 00 - 06:16 AM
raredance 17 Jan 00 - 08:00 PM
Joe Offer 17 Jan 00 - 08:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jan 00 - 08:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Jan 00 - 09:20 PM
Bob Bolton 17 Jan 00 - 10:26 PM
Bob Bolton 17 Jan 00 - 10:39 PM
Penny S. 18 Jan 00 - 12:37 PM
fox4zero 18 Jan 00 - 01:47 PM
raredance 18 Jan 00 - 02:13 PM
Auxiris 19 Jan 00 - 07:58 AM
Auxiris 19 Jan 00 - 11:24 AM
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Subject: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Songbob
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 05:00 PM

A British colleague of mine on a songwriting listserv is looking for any mention, info, etc., on anti-war songs from World War I, but with this caveat -- he wants ones that appeared on records or sheet music contemporaneously with the war itself. That is, "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" is out, since it's modern, and not from that time period, and most of the actual military "trench songs" didn't get onto records. He's trying to find out if any such songs really ever got "out there," since that war was notable for its repression of anti-war speech, etc.

He'd accept anything up till, say, WWII, when anti-war songs would have a new focus.

Anyone know of any?

Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 06:52 PM

Tough call - In Australia (notwithstanding that entire male communities volunteered there was a very strong anti-conscription movement under the direction of Irish Catholic Arch-Bishop Daniel J Mannix, and as I recall there was at least one song on the subject during WWI. John Lahey's "Australian Folk Songs' had a song about Mannix which goes something like "We welcome you back and we greet you with pride, you're the man who defied all danger" (presumably demonstrating against conscription).

As a complete guess I would suspect that very few homes would have owned gramophones at that time, probably restricted to the wealthy listening to classical music from the likes of local darling Nellie Melba. There was also no radio broadcasting until after the end of WW1. It is outside your friend's terms of reference, but the most likely (commercial) dissemination would have been via the sale of sheet music.

Still backing my judgement - Mannix's most powerful form of propaganda would have been via the Catholic Advocate newspaper, a very potent form of communication until very recent times.

Regards John


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Pete M
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 07:23 PM

I would have to agree with John. The first WW was notable not so much for the repression of anti war sentiment, the treatment of conscientiuos objectors is well documented, but was hardly different to the second. The main difference so far as I can tell from the reminisences of relatives and published sources was the lack of any focussed opposition to the war amongst the general population, indeed until the massacre of the Kitchener battalions on the Somme, it was quite the reverse. This feeling continued amongst the civilian population as evidenced by letters to the Times etc registering shock at the anti war ("Trench") songs sung by troops whilst marching, and persisted until late into the war if not to the end as demonstrated by Sassoon's "Blighters" which includes a reference to a tank. The likelihood of anyone risking both official censure and public opprobrium by publishing or attempting to publish, either as sheet music or recording, anything with an anti war sentiment is, in my opinion, vanishingly small.
Actually, I would disagree with your friends basic tenet, I suggest that the widespresd distribution and knowledge of the "Trench" songs then and now, is a perfect example of the folk process getting a message "out there" far better than any published source of the day could have done. But then this is a folk site, so I'm biased.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Moira Cameron
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 08:08 PM

I don't know if this would actually classify, but I always think of Ewan MacColl's song, "Browned Off", as a period anti-war song sung by the men on the front-lines. See the recent thread on MacColl to get the lyrics. The most notable refrain is "They browned me off to help to save Democracy."


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: DonMeixner
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 08:42 PM

Hello Bob,

I think you'll find that with most events that had songs abbout them, like The Erie Canal the songs sung in the early days and months had little to do with the event it self. i.e: Most songs sung by cowboys on cattle drives had little to do with cowboys for quite some time. Finally some drover got tired of singing a song about a solfier with VD and changed the words to a Ranger who was gun shot. And we now have "Streets of Laredo" rather than " Bang the Drum Slowly" or "The Royal Albion" It was only after a while that soldier-poets began to put words to current tunes to create a body of work that other soldiers could relate to.

I would look in the works of A.B. Paterson and Robert Service first. A search from there should dig up some good lyrics.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 09:08 PM

Try searching the database for @WWI (the @ indicates a keyword).


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: northfolk
Date: 17 Nov 98 - 11:51 PM

I submit that the song When Johnny Comes Marching Home / Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, originated in the civil war days, and evolved in a number of forms popular during WWI, and sung by many performers to the present, fits your description...and is in the Database.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Barbara
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 01:30 PM

Wasn't it John Lennon's movie, 'Oh What a Lovely War' that was jam packed with period anti-war songs? At any rate, thats the movie's name, and it had, as I recall 15 or so good 'uns.
Oh, What a Lovely War
The Bells of Hell Go Ting-A-Ling-A-Ling (for me but not for you)
They were only playing leapfrog,
that's all I can recall at the moment, but, like Dick says, try the database.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Barbara
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 01:31 PM

Hanging on The Old Barbed Wire


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Pete M
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 02:26 PM

Barbara - John Lennon??? um umm ummm words fail me.

The songs in Oh what a lovely war (directed by Richard Attenborough) were all "folk" songs in the sense that they are of unknown authorship and transmitted orally. Songbob's friend criteria specifically excluded these, and asked for songs published at the time, ie ones written to be sold and/or performed professionally.

A quick glance through the DT will I think demonstrate that the well known published songs of the period, eg "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary", "The Rose of Tralee" etc whilst popular with the troops, would come under the heading of sentimental ballads, not anti war songs. By the way Dick, sneaky trick that making the keyword wwi (whisky whisky india) not ww1 (whisky whisky numeral one), had me worried for a moment.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Barbara
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 04:27 PM

Sorry Pete, not enough sleep, and I saw both John Lennon's anti war film, "How I Won the War" and Richard Attenborough's "Oh, What a Lovely War" at about the same time in my life. It isn't as far a stretch as you seem to think.
I didn't realize "published" excluded folk broadsides and such. Or that the songs from the trenches were exclusively word of mouth. He probably needs some sort of archive like the Levy Collection.
Blessings,
Barbara


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHRISTIANS AT WAR^^^
From: rich r
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 05:29 PM

I suppose this is borderline, but it was "published"

CHRISTIANS AT WAR words: John F. Kendrick tune: Onward Christian Soldiers

Published in Industrial Worker "Little Red Songbook," March 1916.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Duty's way is plain;
Slay your Christian neighbors, or by them be slain,
Pulpiteers are spouting effervescent swill,
God above is calling you to rob and rape and kill,
All your acts are sanctified by the Lamb on high;
If you love the Holy Ghost, go murder, pray and die.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Rip and tear and smite!
Let the gentle Jesus bless your dynamite.
Splinter skulls with shrapnel, fertilize the sod;
Folks who do not speak your tongue deserve the curse of God.
Smash the doors of every home, pretty maidens seize;
Use your might and sacred right to treat them as you please.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Eat and drink your fill;
Rob with bloody fingers, Christ okays the bill,
Steal the farmers' savings, take their grain and meat;
Even though the children starve, the Savior's bums must eat,
Burn the peasants' cottages, orphans leave bereft;
In Jehovah's holy name, wreak ruin right and left.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Drench the land with gore;
Mercy is a weakness all the gods abhor.
Bayonet the babies, jab the mothers, too;
Hoist the cross of Calvary to hallow all you do.
File your bullets' noses flat, poison every well;
God decrees your enemies must all go plumb to hell.

Onward, Christian soldiers! Blight all that you meet;
Trample human freedom under pious feet.
Praise the Lord whose dollar sign dupes his favored race!
Make the foreign trash respect your bullion brand of grace.
Trust in mock salvation, serve as tyrant's tools;
History will say of you: "That pack of G.. d.. fools."

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: DON'T TAKE MY PAPA AWAY FROM ME^^^
From: rich r
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 05:42 PM

DON'T TAKE MY PAPA AWAY FROM ME

by Joe Hill, 1915

Published in the March 1916 edition of the Industrial Worker "Little Red Songbook."

A little girl with her father stayed, in a cabin across the sea,
Her mother dear in the cold grave lay; with her father she'd always be --
But then one day the great war broke out and the father was told to go;
The little girl pleaded -- her father she needed.
She begged, cried and pleaded so:

CHORUS:
Don't take my papa away from me, don't leave me there all alone.
He has cared for me so tenderly, ever since mother was gone.
Nobody ever like him can be, no one can so with me play.
Don't take my papa away from me;
please don't take papa away.

Her tender pleadings were all in vain, and her father went to the war.
He'll never kiss her good night again, for he fell 'mid the cannon's roar.
Greater a soldier was never born, but his brave heart was pierced one day;
And as he was dying, he heard some one crying,
A girl's voice from far away:

Here is another one that was written by someone and published, though it may not have been carried by the finest music stores of the time.

sorry for the double posts above. I blame it on the blizzard

rich r


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 05:47 PM

Don't forget I DIDN'T RAISE MY BOY TO BE A SOLDIER


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Subject: Lyr Add: SOLDIER'S SWEETHEART (Jimmie Rodgers)^^
From:
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 05:57 PM

THE SOLDIER'S SWEETHEART
by Jimmie Rodgers, 1927

This song was recorded by Jimmie Rodgers at his first ever recording session for RCA Victor's talent scout Ralph Peer 4 Aug 1927 (released as Vi 20864).

© 1927 Peer International Corporation

Once I had a sweetheart,
A sweetheart brave and true.
His hair was dark and curly,
His loving eyes were blue.

He told me that he loved me,
And he often proved it so.
And he often came to see me,
When the ev'ning sun was low.

But fate took him away
To this awful German war,
And when he came to say goodbye,
My heart did overflow.

He says, "Goodbye, little darling,
To France I must go."

He takes the golden finger ring
and he placed it on my hand,
Said, "Remember me, little darling,
When I'm in no man's land.

He promised he would write to me,
That promise he's kept true.
And when I read this letter, friend,
I pray the war is through.

The second letter I got from him,
The war was just ahead.
The third one, wrote by his captain,
My darling dear was dead.

I'll keep all of his letters,
I'll keep his gold ring, too.
And I'll always live a single life
For the soldier who was so true.

MRS. Carrie Rodgers: " A pal of Jimmie's, Sammie Williams, told his sweetheart good-bye and went to France -- to be killed in action. So before the war was over, Jimmie found time to pick out words and air to his first composition, a sentimental song.... From the first his railroad buddies liked the song, and the young fellows in Meridian who were his boon companions liked it. With banjo, guitar, uke, they hung around the all-night places or strolled the streets playing and singing Jimmie's song along with 'Sweet Adeline' and other sentimental ballads. But it was not until some ten years later that the world heard -- and approved of it."

From 'My Husband, Jimmie Rodgers,'

Dick, thanks for clearing out the double post.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Pete M
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 06:57 PM

Hi Barbara, I didn't mean to be critical, I can see how the confusion arose, one of those things which probably come down to personal circumstances. On your point about broadsides, I don't know how they would fit into the requested criteria, I would certainly include them under "published", but, remembering I am speaking from a UK perspective and limited to a relatively small set of primary sources, I do not believe that "anti war" broadsides were published at the time.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: John in Brisbane
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 07:45 PM

This is all great stuff, but I must admit that I found Rich R's contribution of Christians At War one of the most stunning pieces of vitriol I've seen in a long time. Thank you to all.

Regards John


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: rich r
Date: 18 Nov 98 - 09:10 PM

The "Christians At War" text demonstrates in the extreme that anti-war songs are not necessarily songs of peace.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Pete M
Date: 19 Nov 98 - 03:00 PM

Very good point Rich, wasn't it Dylan who said: "Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity."?

Anyway, it raises a point I've been thinking about, and on which I would appreciate others views. Although the songs of the first WW are not my strong point, it is of interest, and it seems to me that generally when we talk about "anti war" songs we tend to lump together songs from three, or possibly four, quite distinct origins and with different purposes.

1. True anti-war ie pacifist, songs.
2.Songs decrying a particular war.
3. The "Sod the war, sod the army, and sod the bleeding CSM" type
and a possible fourth - "Why did you have to go and get shot to hell?

Of these by far the largest number, best known and possibly the best in artistic terms is No 3 into which virtually, if not all those identified by Songbob as "Trench" songs fall. eg "When this bloody war is over", "They were only playing leapfrog", D-Day dodgers" etc. I would also include "Hanging on the old barbed wire" in this category althogh it could also be included in (2). It is much harder to find "Folk songs" that come into the first two categories, notwithstanding Rich's contributions above (Possibly "Ye Jacobites by name" for (2)? and the only pacifist folk song that springs to mind is "Where have all the flowers gone?").

I would be interested in other's views.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 19 Nov 98 - 05:33 PM

BTW- "Browned Off" was Ewan MacColl's WWII re-write of a Joe Hill song called "Stung Right" , and anti-war song from WWI.

That was the period in which a Bayonet was defined as a tool with a worker at each end.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: PHILIPPA
Date: 22 Nov 98 - 02:40 PM

If you do a forum search, you'll find a thread on an Australian WW1 song, Dinky-Di. I didn't look it up to see if it should be of any interest to you.

Also, probably tangential to what you're looking for, the Irish war for independence coincided with WW1 (not so coincidentally "England's difficulty is Ireland's opportunity", the concern for other small nations such as Belgium, the resentment at recruiting) and this comes up in several Irish Republican and anti-recruitment (not necessarily anti-war per se!). Examples include "Come Out You Black and Tans" - "Show your wife how you won medals down in Flanders", "The Grand Old Dame Britannia" -

"You know we've got the Huns to quell
We need all our money for shot and shell
So you'll have to sulk and go to Hell
Says the grand Ould Dame Britannia"

and "The Recruiting Sergeant" -

"Come wind or rain and hail and snow
We're not going out to Flanders oh
When there's fighting in Dublin to be done
Let the sergeants and commanders go
Let Englishmen for England fight
It's just about time they started-o
And I wished him then a very good night
And there and then we parted-o"

There are two versions of "Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye" in the database. One is a straightforward anti-war song (as I know it he returned from Ceylon where the DT version has Ceylon), but the second is in the form of a WW1 anti-recruiting, pro-Irish nationalist song.

Is "Will Ye Go to Flanders?" (Scottish) from WW1?

"Will you go to Flanders, my Molly-o
Will you go to Flanders, my bonnie Molly-o
There you'll get wine and brandy
And stacks o' sugar candy
Will you go to Flanders, my Molly-o?"

proceeding to

"You'll see the bullets flying
The soldiers as they're dying
Will ye go to Flanders, my Molly-o"

It's on the DT, as are "The Fires of Flanders" and "I Would that all the Wars Were Done".

I don't know which of these were published. No post-WW2 material, anyway. And they must have been sung to have been passed on.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 11-Nov-02.


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Subject: Johnnie we hardly knew you
From: Jeep man
Date: 15 Jan 00 - 11:27 PM

I think this is a variatiion of Whan Johnnie comes marching home. The lyrics would be appreciated. Jeepman


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Subject: Lyr Add: I DON'T WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY (etc.)
From: Flewruby
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 05:45 AM

There are two songs I can think of, both from the trenches as far as I know. Apologies if they come out a bit scrambled because I'm normally a 'lurker' at Mudcat and haven't yet worked out how to format lyrics or what will set the language-reject machine firing...

#1: I DON'T WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY
Tune: 'On Sunday I walk out with a soldier'

I don't want to join the army
I don't want to join the war
I'd rather hang around Piccadilly underground,
Living off the earnings of a high class lady.
I don't want a bayonet in my belly,
I don't want my b*ll**ks shot away.
I'd rather stay in England, in merry merry England,
And fornicate my bl***ing life away.

Can't remember the other verses to this one...

#2: BOMBED LAST NIGHT

Bombed last night, and bombed the night before.
Going to get bombed tonight if we never get bombed anymore.
When we're bombed, we're scared as we can be.
Can't stop the bombing from old Higher Germany.

They're warning us, they're warning us.
One shell hole for just the four of us.
Thank your lucky stars there are no more of us.
So one of us can fill it all alone.

Gassed last night, and gassed the night before.
Going to get gassed tonight if we never get gassed anymore.
When we're gassed, we're sick as we can be.
For phosgene and mustard gas is much too much for me.

They're killing us, they're killing us.
One respirator for the four of us.
Thank your lucky stars that we can all run fast.
So one of us can take it all alone.

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 9-Jan-02.


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Subject: Lyr Add: CHANNEL FIRING (Thomas Hardy)^^
From: wildlone
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 08:31 AM

This is not a song but Hardy came from a long line of musicians. His violin is still used now to play tunes from the Hardy family manuscripts. I am sure someone here could find a tune that might fit.

CHANNEL FIRING
Thomas Hardy

That night your great guns, unawares,
Shook all our coffins as we lay,
And broke the chancel window-squares,
We thought it was the Judgment-day

And sat upright. While drearisome
Arose the howl of wakened hounds:
The mouse let fall the altar-crumb,
The worms drew back into the mounds,

The grebe cow drooled. Till God called, "No;
It's gunnery practice out at sea
Just as before you went below;
The world is as it used to be:

"All nations striving strong to make
Red war yet redder. Mad as hatters
They do no more for Christés sake
Than you who are helpless in such matters.

"That this is not the judgment-hour
For some of them's a blessed thing,
For if it were they'd have to scour
Hell's floor for so much threatening. . . .

"Ha, ha. It will be warmer when
I blow the trumpet (if indeed
I ever do; for you are men,
And rest eternal sorely need)."

So down we lay again. "I wonder,
Will the world ever saner be,"
Said one, "than when He sent us under
In our indifferent century!"

And many a skeleton shook his head.
"Instead of preaching forty year,"
My neighbour Parson Thirdly said,
"I wish I had stuck to pipes and beer."

Again the guns disturbed the hour,
Roaring their readiness to avenge,
As far inland as Stourton Tower,
And Camelot, and starlit Stonehenge.

April 1914.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SHOULD I EVER BE A SOLDIER (Joe Hill)^^
From: InOBU
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 11:51 AM

This is a kind of anti war song, as the words are about fighting back with strikes, etc, so the soldier spoken of, is more about organised labour, in spite of the line about should a gun I ever shoulder... SO, without further adu...

SHOULD I EVER BE A SOLDIER
By Fellow Worker, JOE HILL
To the tune: Colleen Bawn

We re spending billions every year
For guns and ammunition,
Our Army and Our Navy dear (Joe put the our part in quotes- he did not have to know HTML to do it...!)
To keep in good condition
While millions live in misery
And millions die before us,
Dont sing My Country, tis of thee
But sing this little chorus:

Should I ever be a soldier
Neath the Red Flag I would fight
Should the gun I ever shoulder
its to crush the tyrants might
Join the army of the toilers
Men and women fall in line
Wage slaves all aroung the world, arouse
Do your duty fro the cause
for land and liberty

And many a maiden pure and fair
her love and pride must offer
on Mammons alter of despair
to fill a masters coffer
The gold that pays the might fleet
from tender youth he squeezes
while brawney men must walk the street
and face the wintery breezes

Should I ever be a sholdier etc

Why do they mount their gatling gun
a thousand miles from ocean
where hostile fleet could never run
aint that a funny notion?
if you dont know the reason why
just strike for better wages and then, my friends - if you dont die-
youll sing this song for ages

Yours, Fellow workers,
(And keep making some noise so we know you are alive!
In the One Big Union
Larry Otway


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Subject: Lyr Add: I DON'T WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY
From: wildlone
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 01:13 PM

I DON'T WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY.

I don't want to join the army, I don't want to go to war,
I'd rather hang around Piccadilly underground,
Livin' off the earnings of a high born lady
I don't want a bayonet up me a**e 'ole,
I don't want me b*ll**ks shot away,
I'd rather stay in England, in merry, merry England,
and fornicate me f**kin' life away.

On Monday I touched her on the ankle,
Tuesday I touched her on her knee,
On Wednesday I confess, I lifted up her dress,
On Thursday I saw it, gor blimey,
On Friday I put me 'and upon it,
On Saturday I took her out to tea,
On Sunday after supper, I whopped me f****r up her,
an' now I'm payin' forty bob a week!
Gor blimey,

repeatfirst verse -as dolefully as possible!

I don't want to join the army...
Here is A second verse.there may be more?


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Metchosin
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 01:44 PM

There was a strong anti-conscription movement in Quebec during WW2 and I wouldn't be surprised if it was there during WW1 as well. I'm not familiar with any of the music there at the time but it could be another source for someone more familiar with Quebecois songs.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I DON'T WANT TO GO TO WAR^^
From: raredance
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 09:44 PM

I DON'T WANT TO GO TO WAR

words by Edward Madden; music by Henry I Marshall, 1914

Goodness Mercy! Listen Percy,
Hear the bugles call!
Find A place To crawl,
From the cannon ball.
I'm so nervous, Lord preserve us!
Must we volunteer?
I'll keep in the rear.
I'll wave the flag and cheer,
"Hooray! Go 'way! Come back some other day!"

CHORUS:
I don't want to go to war!
I think bullets are a bore!
If I must fight, I'll scratch and bite,
And pull their hair with all my might.
I'll blow out the campfire's gleam.
Like and eagle I'll just scream!
My father named me Howard,
I'm so gald that I'm a coward.
I don't want to go to war!
Let them holler "How he flies!"
Instead of saying, "Here he lies"
I don't want to go to war!
I met Theodore Roosevelt.
H said, "You could not lick a smelt!"
So I don't want to go to war!

Shades of Pharoah! Think of aero-
planing in the sky!
Dropping from on high,
Bonbons in your eye!
Flags are pretty, what a pity
They should be shot at.
Heavens, what was that?
A bullet through my hat!
That's why, "Goodbye!"
Shall be my battle cry.

repeat chorus

rich r


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Sorcha
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 09:54 PM

I think both "Channel Firing" & "Should I Ever Be a Soldier" will work the the melody of "Minstrel Boy"...appropriate, no?


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 16 Jan 00 - 10:07 PM

G'day fromm the depths of the antipodes,

Pete M: Interesting to see you quote ascribed to Bob Dylan. I had heard of it as graffiti in a Vietnam latrine (very early in that mess).

On the main thread: I believe a song, remembered in Australia ... and revived in the second round (the War After the War to End All Wars) had been suppressed in WW1. This is variously Suvla Bay or Suda Bay. The burden is that a girl joins the Red Cross to care for wounded soldiers after her sweetheart is killed. The authorities considered it sedition to suggest that our noble lads could be killed, or even wounded.

I Will dig out the words, tune and history. I know that it is in the Second Penguin Australian Song Book, by Bill Scott, but I have heard a number of versions. I would also have various words to Dinky Di but I doubt that it was ever recorded or printed in wartime, being in the Trench Song category.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 02:03 AM

I looked all over and couldn't find "Dinky Di" in the forum, the database, or in the FIRST Penguin Australian Song Book. Can somebody post it, please?

...but then I looked a little further and found it was in the database - DINKIE DIE (click).
-Joe Offer, sheepishly-


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: GeorgeH
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 06:16 AM

Let's get this straight . . Attributing "Oh What A Lovely War" to wot-is-name Attenborough is no more accurate than attributing it to John Lennon!!!

"Oh what a lovely war" was created by Joan Littlewood and Theatre Workshop at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, East London. All Attenborough did was commit it to film, sticking fairly closely to the stage version.

[Ewan MacColl is, of course, usually attributed as being a co-founder of Theatre Workshop with Littlewood, to whom he was married for some period.]

But to return to the central question, most anti-war songs of this period in the UK were, indeed, "songs of the trenches". As I recall, "I Don't Want to Join the Army" was one such, and is a parody of a music hall song of the time.

G.


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Subject: Lyr Add: JOAN OF ARC, THEY'RE CALLING YOU^^
From: raredance
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 08:00 PM

JOAN OF ARC, THEY'RE CALLING YOU

(1915 by Frank Sturgis)

There's a tear in my eye for the soldier,
As he lies among the slain.
There's a throb in my heart for this old world,
That sighs for peace in vain.
There's a hope in my prayer that someone above
Will gaze down on earth through the blue,
And pitying all our sorrow and woe,
Will tell us what to do.

CHORUS:
Joan of Arc, they're calling you,
From each trench, they're calling you.
Far through the haze comes the sweet Marseillaise.
Can't you hear it calling too?
The really say from your last breath,
That a dove flew to to the skies.
And if that was the Dove of Peace, Joan of Arc,
Send it down and dry a mother's eyes.

There's a sigh in the trench for the hedgerows,
For the tender last embrace;
And the babe held up high to hide from him
A woman's anguished face.
Oh, it's so hard to breathe when I think of the hearth,
And old folks in silent despair;
While dreaming of him in pale firelight glow,
The boy they cannot spare.

Chorus

This isn't "in your face" antiwar, but the sentiment is there even if the second verse seems to be a bit of a muddle.

rich r


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Joe Offer
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 08:37 PM

Hey, Rich - where are you getting these great songs from? Still the Little Red Songbook?
-Joe Offer, always on songbook lookout-


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Subject: Lyr Add: IN THE AMBULANCE^^ and RAINING^^
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 08:56 PM

I've got in front of me a book I bought in a jumble sale or somewhere years ago, called "The Minstrelsy of Peace", edited by J.Bruce Glasier, and published by the National Labour Press Limited (Manchester and London): "A Collection of notable Verse in the English tongue, relating to Peace and War, ranging from the fifteenth century to the present day."

It doesn't have a publication date, and it's not clear whether it was published during what it refers to as "The European War" or immediately after.

As the summary indicates, it's mostly older stuff gathered together, including some traditional songs such as "The Rambling Soldier" and "The Pressed Man's Lamentation".

In the section on "The European War" it's got various poems by writers including Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Wilson Gibson.

A couple of the latter writer's poems which are included, which have been anthologised fairly widely, would I think make a great song, and feel like they might well have been written as such, though I've never heard them sung. (They're very reminiscent of AE Housman's "Shropshire Lad"):

IN THE AMBULANCE
"Two rows of cabbages
Two of curly greens,
Two rows of early peas,
Two of kidney beans."

That's what he is muttering,
Making such a song,
Keeping other chaps awake
The whole night long.

Both his legs were shot away,
And his head is light;
So he keeps muttering
All the blessed night -

"Two rows of cabbages
Two of curly greens,
Two rows of early peas,
Two of kidney beans."

and the other one is

RAINING
The night I left, my father said:
"You'll go and do a stupid thing.
You've no more sense within your head
Than silly Billy Withering.

"Not sense to come in when it rains -
Not sense enough for that you've got.
You'll get a bullet through your brains,
Before you know, as like as not."

And now I'm lying in this trench,
And shells and bullets through the night
Are raining in a steady drench,
I'm thinking the old man was right.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 09:20 PM

I've just had another look at the book - and there's an inscription indicating it was given to someone called Margaret Lee in Oxford in June 1918. So the poems would have been available in print (in the company of traditional sung ballads), while the war was at its height.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SUDA BAY^^
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 10:26 PM

G'day again,

These are the words for SUDA BAY (WW II version of for Suvla Bay). The song comes (at least) from WW I ... Suvla Bay was in the Gallipoli landing area (1915). Suda Bay was a battle of WW II). I have known this from the early '70s but this version is from: The Second Penguin Australian Song Book, Compiled by Bill Scott, Penguin Books, Australia, 1980. I have reproduce Bill's full comments after the song text.

The tune is a typicall "weepy waltz" of the late 19th / early 20th century style and I presume, from the number of people that know it, that it had been published before being banned ... or at least discouraged. If anyone is interested, I could post a MIDIText file of the tune ... or email a GIF image of the page in Bill's book (since it is out of print.

In an old Australian homestead with the roses round the door,
A girl received a letter, just newly from the war.
With her mother's arms around her she gave way to sobs and sighs
For when she read that letter, the tears came to her eyes.
Chorus
Why do I weep? Why do I sigh?
My love's asleep so far away.
He played his part that August day
And left my heart in Suda Bay.

She joined a band of nurses beneath the cross of red
And swore to do her duty to the soldier who lay dead.
Many soldiers came to woo her but were sadly turned away
As to them she told the story of the grave at Suda Bay.

I first heard this song from a Royal Navy man in the wet canteen at the Small Craft Base at Colmslie in Brisbane during 1944, and included the words in a previous book. I commented there that I had never heard the song again. Since the publication of that book, several people have told me that they know or have heard the song, including my own mother. I suspect that it was a popular or folk song from the First World War which survived and regained currency during the Second World War. Suvla Bay was one of the beaches at Gallipoli where the ANZAC forces landed on 25 April 1915 and Suda Bay was a scene of action in Crete during the Second World War.

Bill Scott's comments:
I have read comments by both John Manifold and John Meredith about so-called 'treason songs'. Both collectors were told by certain informants that some songs, especially some about bushrangers, were forbidden to be sung in public. Included in this category were, for instance, 'Bold Jack Donohue', 'The Wild Colonial Boy', and 'The Ballad of the Catalpa' also some of the songs about the Kelly gang. 'Suda Bay' is the only song I have ever collected where a number of people have told me, 'You can get arrested for singing that song'.

Whatever the history of the song, I find it both plaintive and musical, and the words certainly echo popular sentiment from the war years.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 17 Jan 00 - 10:39 PM

G'day again,

Joe Offer: Can I protest that spelling it Dinkie Di is belittling? Well, anyway, the standard Australian spelling seems to be Dinky-di (The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary, 2nd edition, 1992) or Dinky di.

It was interesting to see that the song was still alive and kicking in the Vietnam war and acquired a USMC version. It certainly saw duty in both World Wars. Unfortunately for Songbob, I doubt that it was ever in print during the actual wars.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Penny S.
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 12:37 PM

If you're letting Hardy in, there's a few in Kipling. One called Mesopotamia, for instance. Can't call to mind the rest at the moment, away from my books. I don't think they're the most folk-songlike of his verses, though.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: fox4zero
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 01:47 PM

I apologize for wandering from the subject, but Sigfried Sassoon's name reminded me of the 4 best WWI journals I have ever read: Sigfried Sasoon's Memoirs of a Fox Hunting Man, Memoirs of an Infantry Officer, and Sherstons Progress. Also Robert Graves' Goodbye To All That. Sherston's Progress is about Sassoon's mental hospitalization following his refusal to return to the Front for a 3rd tour. It smells somewhat like the Soviet mental hospitalization of discidents except it preceded the Soviets by 20 years. Sassoon and Graves are mentioned in each others war books, and Graves includes a visit to Hardy in the 1920's...Hardy always seemed 19th Century to me. All 4 books are currently in Print by the Folio Society in London and in the US. Grave's book is available in soft binding, I think from Dover. Again..sorry for the diversion, but I do that a lot with aging. Regards from Larry PARISH


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: raredance
Date: 18 Jan 00 - 02:13 PM

JOe,

Sorry, I got sloppy with my citations. "I Don't Want to Go to War" and "Joan of Arc, They're Calling You" are both from the book "Ballads & Songs of WWI" by Jerry Silverman (Mel Bay Pub. 1997). Most of the songs are not what would be considered anti-war. INcluded are some that would fall into the soldiers' gripes category which could be construed as anit-war but in the context were more comic relief.

rich r


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Subject: Lyr Add: PROFIT AND LOSS^^
From: Auxiris
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 07:58 AM

Hello, everyone. Don't think this really helps Songbob's friend, as I cannot claim knowledge about whether it was ever recorded. However, since it may be useful to others, here's a poem that I found in a facsimile reprint of the B.E.F. Times that I purchased in a flea market in central France a couple of years ago. Don't see why it couldn't be made into a song. . . .

cheers, Auxiris

PROFIT AND LOSS
(poem from the B.E.F. Times, no author credit)

Now William Hohenzollern, the King of all the Huns,
Had quite a lot of country and he also had six sons,
Of money, too, he'd plenty and a larder fully stocked---
In fact he'd all he wanted, so at grief and care he mocked.

Karl Bromberg lived in comfort with his frau and family,
His sons they numbered seven and his daughters numbered three;
They'd just enough of everything and wished for nothing more,
(This happy time, you understand, was just before the war).

For reasons which they never knew Karl Baumberg's seven sons
Were quickly clad in suits of grey and labelled "food for guns",
Two rot in mud near Wipers and another at Verdun,
The Somme accounted for a brace and Paschendaele for one.

The one remaining to old Karl is missing both his arms,
His fighting days are finished and he's sick of war's alarms;
He grinds his teeth in fury while old Karl hunts round for food,
And his mother freely curses both the Kaiser and his brood.

His one remaining sister (death has claimed the other two)
Out of water and a horse-bone tries to make a dish of stew,
Comes a mandate, "Our great Kaiser has another victory won
Fly your flags and cheer, by order, for the victory of Verdun".

Then old Karl, whose waking senses grasp a fact both strange and new,
That the victories are worthless if they bring no end in view,
And he curses Kaiser William who's the king of all the Huns,
But his frau is quietly sobbing for---the Kaiser has six sons.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SEEN FROM AN AID-POST^^
From: Auxiris
Date: 19 Jan 00 - 11:24 AM

And here's another one for those of you who might be interested in putting the text to music.

cheers, Auxiris

SEEN FROM AN AID-POST
(from the B.E.F. Times, credited to R.M.O.)

There are many roads in Flanders, where the hoses slide and fall,
There are roads of mud and pavé that lead nowhere at all,
They are roads that finish at our Trench ; the Germans hold the rest,
But of all the roads in Flanders there is one I know the best.
It's a great road, a straight road, a road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.

You can trace it from old Poperinghe, through vlamertinghe and Wipers ;
(It's a focus for Hun whizbangs and a paradise for snipers)
Pass the solid Ramparts and the muddy moat you're then in
The road I want to sing about---the road that leads to Menin.
It's a great road, a straight road, a road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.

It's a road that's cursed by smokers for you dare not show a light ;
It's a road that's shunned by daytime and is mainly used at night,
But at dusk the silent troops come up and limbers bring their loads
Of ammunition to the guns that guard the Saljent's roads.
It's a great road, a straight road, a road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.

And for hours and days together I have listened to the sound
Of German shrapnel overhead while I was underground
In a damp and cheerless cellar continually trying
To dress the wounded warriors while comforting the dying.
On that muddy road, that bloody road, that road that runs between
Two rows of broken poplars that were young and strong and green.


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Subject: Lyr Add: HANDSOME YOUNG AIRMAN and I DON'T WANT...
From: GUEST,Roll&Go-C
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 10:01 AM

This version is close to what has been contributed above but in some ways is more complete and does have some significant variation in wording.

I DON'T WANT TO JOIN THE ARMY-2
(Learned from the singing of Denis Puleston of Brookheaven, Long Island)

Monday I touched her on the ankle,
Tuesday I touched her on the knee,
Wednesday with success I lifted up her dress,
Thursday her chemise, gor-blimey!
Friday I put my hand upon it,
Saturday she gave me balls a tweak,
But it was Sunday after supper,
I rammed it up her scupper,
Now I do it seven days a week, gor-blimey!

I don't want to join the Army,
I don't want me knockers shot away,
I just want to hang around,
Piccadilly underground,
Living off the earnings of a high born lady,
Call out the Army and the Navy,
Call out the old Home Guard,
You can always call the loyal Territorials,
They'll save England with a smile, gor-blimey!

Call out me mother and me brother,
Call out the old Home Guard;
You can call out me mother,
Me sister and me brother,
But for God's sake, don't call me!

Then there's always "The Handsome Young Airman" from Card Sandburg's THE AMERICAN SONGBAG, a parody of a much older older song "Wrap Me Up in My Tarpaulin Jacket":

THE HANDSOME YOUNG AIRMAN
(ANON)

A handsome young airman lay dying,
And as on the airdrome he lay,
To mechanics who 'round him came sighing
These parting words he did say:
"Take the cylinders out of my kidneys,
The connecting rods out of my brain,
The crank-shaft out of my backbone,
And assemble the engine again."


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Wotcha
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 11:28 AM

Lots of the bawdy trench songs survive in modern use as rugby songs -- talk about a underground folk process ... The Hash House Harriers seem to have picked up a few as well.
If you read the literature of the immediate post-war (WWI) years, you will find references to some of these songs. "The Bells of Hell", based on a child's rhyme, was used in a 1920s novel (I want to say the author was Noel Coward ...).
Cheers,
Brian


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 11:50 AM

Hanging on the old barbed wire (in the DT) is a favourite of mine but I don't know if it is contemporary WW1. My grandad (Lancashire fusiliers 1914-1918) had not heard it before I sang it for him, but did enjoy the sentiment.

Lots more verses than the ones listed including the General and the Quartermaster. Good for making up new ones as well!

DtG


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Subject: Lyr Add: DON'T SEND ME
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 01:01 PM

From memory:

DON'T SEND ME (To Boys of the Old Brigade)

Send out the Boys of the Girls' Brigade,
Send Out the Rank and the File,
Send out the Army and the Navy,
They'll face danger with a smile (I don't think)
Send out the Bold Territorials,
They?ll keep the Empire free,
Send out my Mother
My Sister or My Brother
But for God's sake don't send me.


I know this is too early, but "Thirteen Pence a Day" has survived, and it's too good an anti-recruiter not to have been kept alive somewhere.

As for songs which could result in arrest, it is said that singing "McCafferty" (in the wrong company) could result in a charge of "Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.?

Good luck

Walrus

HTML line breaks added. --JoeClone, 9-Jan-02.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs frm WWI
From: GUEST
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 01:14 PM

My information is spotty, but maybe worth a look: classical composer Charles Ives changed the lyrics of a WWI rallying song called "We Are There" or "Camping On A New Campground" that caused a stir because he sang "Goddamn" amongst all the dissonant chord changes. The details are in Jan Swafford's detailed and technical biography, Charles Ives: A Life With Music.

Hope this helps.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THEY'RE TALKING WAR
From: GUEST,2feathers
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 04:13 PM

Anti-war song after WWI and before WWII - does this fit the bill?

THEY'RE TALKING WAR

They're talking war
Who's talking war?
The yellow press
We know what for

Oh, the sent us out to wallow in gas and mud
While the rich stayed home making cash from blood
Try it again!
Try it again!
And we'll turn the tables then!

They said to fight
Boy how they lied
To save our homes
Country and pride

Well we fough and we won as they said to do
Now the banks have our homes and our country too
Try it again!
Try it again!
And we'll turn the tables then.

HTML line breaks added. -JoeClone, 9-Apr-01.


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Subject: Lyr Add: SALONIKA^^ and I WORE A TUNIC
From: GUEST,colwyn dane
Date: 02 Mar 01 - 07:47 PM

Hi,

Perhaps the 'D-Day Dodgers' song of WW1 was 'Salonika' as it expressed the concern of the
soldiers stationed in the Greek port (which was used to mount and supply the Gallipoli expedition)
on what they would find in 'Blighty'when they returned home - this was in 1915 and conscription was still a year away.
There is a trace of resentment in the words against those who 'evaded' military service.


Oh me husband's in Salonika, I wonder if he's dead.
I wonder if he knows he's got a kid with a poxy head.
(Chorus)
So right away, right away,
Right away, Salonika, right away,
My soldier boy.

Well, when the war is over,
What will the soldiers do?
They'll be walking around with a leg in their hand;
The slackers they'll have two.

Well, when the war is over
What will the slackers do?
They'll be hanging around the soldier boys
For the loan of a bob or two.

Well, They've taxed the pound of butter,
They've taxed the penny bun,
But still with all their taxes
They can't beat the bloody Hun.

Now when the war is over
What will the slackers do?
For every kid in America
In Cork there will be two.

Well, they've taxed the Coliseum,
They've taxed St Mary's Hall.
Why don't they tax the gombeens
With their backs against the wall?

Well, they take us out to Blarney
And they lay us on the grass.
They put us in the family way
And they leave us on our arse.

Well, never trust a soldier,
A sailor or a marine,
And keep your eye on the Sinn Fein boy
With his orange, white and green.


Another 'anti-slacker' song was 'I Wore A Tunic'


I wore a tunic, a lousy khaki tunic,
And you wore civvy clothes,
We founght and bled at Loos
While you were home on the booze,
The booze that no one here knows.
Oh you were with the wenches
While we were in the trenches,
Facing an angry foe.
Oh you were a-slacking
While we were attacking
The Jerry on the Menin Road.


All the above is from Roy Palmers excellent book "What A Lovely War!"

Hope this helps somebody somewhere.

Colwyn.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ON SUNDAY I WALK OUT WITH A SOLDIER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 09:51 AM

The following song was mentioned by Flewruby above as the source for the tune of "I Don't Want to Join the Army":

These lyrics, without a title, come from Gender and Power in Britain, 1640-1990 by Susan Kingsley Kent (London: Routledge, 1999), page 275:

On Sunday I walk out with a soldier.
On Monday I'm taken by a tar.
On Tuesday I'm out
With a baby Boy Scout;
On Wednesday, with a Hussar.

On Thursday I gang oot with a Kiltie.
On Friday, the captain of the crew.
But on Saturday I'm willing,
If you'll only take a shilling,
To make a man of any one of you.

A couple of other books say the title is "On Sunday I Walk Out with a Soldier" and that it was sung by Gwendolen Brogden in the Palace Theatre revue "The Passing Show" in 1914.

Different lyrics, and a different title, are found in The Ones Who Have to Pay: The Soldiers-Poets of Victoria BC in the Great War 1914-1918 by Robert Ratcliffe Taylor (Victoria, BC: Trafford Publishing, 2013), page 132:

TO MAKE A MAN OUT OF YOU

On Sunday I walk out with a soldier.
On Monday a sailor for a pard.
On Tuesday of course
With a B.C. Horse;
On Wednesday, a Home Guard.

On Thursday I gang oot wi' a Kiltie.
On Friday, a Fusilier or two.
But as you've all been willing,
It didn't need a shilling,
To make a man of every one of you.


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Subject: Lyr Add: STUNG RIGHT (Joe Hill)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 12:20 PM

This song was mentioned earlier by Dick Greenhaus.

These lyrics copied from FolkArchive.de; they are also in Joe Hill by Gibbs M. Smith (Gibbs Smith, 1969), page 248:

First published in the 6 Mar 1913 edition (fifth edition) of the Industrial Worker "Little Red Songbook."

STUNG RIGHT
Words by Joe Hill, music "Sunlight, Sunlight" by W. S. Weeden

1. When I was hiking 'round the town to find a job one day,
I saw a sign that thousand men were wanted right away,
To take a trip around the world in Uncle Sammy's fleet.
I signed my name a dozen times upon a great big sheet.

CHORUS: I was stung right, stung right, S-T-U-N-G.
Stung right, stung right; E. Z. Mark, that's me.
When my term is over, and again I'm free,
There'll be no more trips around the world for me.

2. The man he said, "The U. S. Fleet, that is no place for slaves.
The only thing you have to do is stand and watch the waves."
But in the morning, five o'clock, they woke me from my snooze,
To scrub the deck and polish brass, and shine the captain's shoes.

3. One day a dude in uniform to me commenced to shout.
I simply plugged him in the jaw, and knocked him down and out.
They slammed me right in irons then and said, "You are a case."
On bread and water then I lived for twenty-seven days.

4. One day the captain said, "Today I'll show you something nice.
All hands line up; we'll go ashore and have some exercise."
He made us run for seven miles as fast as we could run,
And with a packing on our back that weighed a half a ton.

5. Some time ago when Uncle Sam he had a war with Spain,
And many of the boys in blue were in the battle slain,
Not all were killed by bullets, though; no, not by any means.
The biggest part that died were killed by Armour's Pork and Beans.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE GRAND OUL DAME BRITANNIA (incomplete)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 01:46 PM

Philippa mentioned this:

This text appears in Sean O'Casey: Writer at Work - A Biography by Christopher Murray (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 2004), page 106:

One of [Sean O'Casey's] first and best-loved satirical ballads was 'The Grand Oul' Dame Britannia', published in the Workers' Republic on 15 January 1916 under his old, ironic penname An Gall Fada, 'the Tall Foreigner'.

The context was the introduction of conscription in England, from which Ireland was for the present exempt but which was to reappear as a threat in March 1918, when the ballad was reprinted as one of the Songs of the Wren under O'Casey's name (in Irish). The first verse (of eight) runs:

Och! Ireland, sure I'm proud of you?
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia,
To poor little Belgium tried and true,
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.
Ye've closed your ear to the Sinn Fein lies,
For you know each Gael that for England dies
Will enjoy Home Rule in the clear blue skies,
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.

[Another verse (possibly parts of 2 verses?) appears in Genesis of the Rising, 1912-1916: A Transformation of Nationalist Opinion by Christopher M. Kennedy (New York: Peter Lang, 2010), page 109:

Redmond now Home Rule has won,
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.
He's finished what Wolfe Tone begun,
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.
Now scholars, hurlers, saints and bards,
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.
Come along and join the Irish Guards,
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.
Every Man who treads on a German's feet
Will be given a parcel tied up neat?
A Home Rule badge, Tombstone Cross and Winding Sheet,
    Ses the Grand Oul' Dame Britannia.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs from WWI
From: Joe_F
Date: 23 Dec 13 - 06:31 PM

My mother remembered from her youth:

O, say, can you -- imagine, mother?
You're boy is in the guardhouse now.

Takes off, of course, from the national anthem.


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs from WWI
From: The Sandman
Date: 24 Dec 13 - 06:24 PM

Tommys Lothttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gJ5xZQVkhak


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs from WWI
From: mark gregory
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 02:02 AM

Two WWI anti-conscription songsheets are now on the Australian Folk Songs website with a total of 7 Australian songs plus the wobbly song Solidarity forever

One of the songsheets became notorious in the newspapers because it was discovered carefully placed and bound in a batch of early phonebooks published in the Melbourne Government Printery ... the anti-conscription men and women were a creative lot!

The anti-conscription movement defeated two referendums despite overwhelming support of jingo governments and newspapers.

see Women's Anti-Conscription Songs [1916]


and Anti-Conscription Army Songs [1917]

------

The Melbourne "Age" writes:--
The flagrant and dishonorable abuse of official trust to which certain "anti" types will descend in order to spread their pernicious gospel is in evidence in a copy of our latest "Telephone Guide," dated March.

Between the leaves of the book, and bound into the book as a whole with the other official leaves, is a copy of a pamphlet of "anti conscription army songs," dealing with such topics as a "maiden's sacrifice," the "greedy master class," "incubate the kids," and "bump me into Parliament."

It is not known how many leaflets have been distributed in such a manner, but the binding up of this particular leaflet in the guide under review proves almost conclu- sively that it is the work of an employe or employes in the Government Printing Office, whose low conception of their obligations as public servants makes it highly desirable that their identity should be established and fitting punishment imposed.

--------
This article refers the Anti-Conscription Army Songs mentioned above

There are plenty of other Australian anti-war songs from the period and we would see the same phenomenon from the Menzies Vietnam War and the George Bush Iraq War

At the same time commentators often exclaim "what has happened to the protest songs" when their only source of information comes from Top of the Pops. ! How very convenient


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs from WWI
From: mark gregory
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 02:17 AM

I recently found this long lost English poem in the Australian trade union supported newspaper the Worker

Worker Thursday 19 October 1916 p. 3.


KENCH HILL

You can hear the guns all day
Rumbling eighty miles away;
You can hear them all night long
Booming out the devil's song,
Taking God's own right to kill?
From the top of high Kench Hill.

The hay smells sweet on high Kench Hill
When we go out a-raking;
And, round about, the Roman Marsh
In summer heat lies baking.

There's miles of sky on high Kench Hill
With colored clouds a-spreading
Like gold fish in a great blue bowl,
When we the hay are tedding.

And you may see on high Kench Hill,
Clear over hedge and railing,
A little slip of silver sea
With ships upon it sailing.

Merry's the time on high Kench Hill
When we the hay are carting ;
Fun runs free like the ale and tea,
And lovers go sweethearting.

'Tis peaceful time on high Kench Hill?
Below the lambs are bleating ;
The last load home is lost in mist,
Night sheds her quiet greeting.

You can hear the guns all day
Rumbling eighty miles away.
You can hear them all night long
Booming out the devil's song.
Taking God's own right to kill?
From the top of high Kench Hill.

H.W., in London "Herald."

The "Daily Herald" published in London was also trade union supported which encouraged the Worker to trade stories and occasionally poems


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Subject: RE: Anti-war songs from WWI
From: mark gregory
Date: 29 Apr 14 - 03:13 AM

The Australian coal miner poet Josiah Cocking was strongly opposed to war all his long life

He wrote the following poem in 1910 4 years before WWI so could be described by some as "prematurely anti-war"

The following verses by "Dandelion" were printed in the "International
Socialist Review" of Feb. 12, 1910.

DANDELION BITTERS.
"Fling out the. flag, let it flap & rise
On the breath of the eager air."- FranCis Adams.

We have flung the flag; see ! it flaunts & waves
In the light of the Southern Cross;
'Neath the gaudy rag are a million slaves
'Neath the heel of our Owner's Boss !

For a hundred years we have wiped the sweat
From our faces, in field & mine;
And of blood & tears we shall wipe them yet
If our forces we don't combine.

Shall we tear our foes; & remain content
To be hewers of wood and stone ?
Shall we toil for those till our lives are spent,
Or produce for ourselves alone ?

Shall we listen yet to the cry of "creed"
Or of "color", or "flag", or "race" ?
Shall we bleed and sweat to supply the need
Of the authors of our disgrace?

Shall we cultivate, in these Austral States,
At the Labor mis-leader's calI,
An insensate hatred of "foreign" mates
When together we stand or fall ?

Shall we-shoot or hang ev'ry man that's black,
Or affront every man that's brown
To appease the Gang on our bended back
Who divide us to keep us down ?

Let's respect each man, be he black or tan,
And discard stupid racial pride;
Let's adopt the plan to despise & ban
Only those who are black inside !

Must the workers live in the depths of Hell?
Shall we never attempt to rise ?
Should we want & give to the drones who dwell
On the mountains of Paradise ?

Let us join our hands round the whole wide earth,
And unite with a noble aim--
Let us bravely stand with all men of worth
And this fact to the world proclaim:-

That we mean to fight in our solid might
( Not with bombs, but with active brains ),
For the reign of Right, and for Justice, bright,
And for freedom from wage-slaves chains!

To the drones and kings-- & all useless things-
We shall offer the pick or pen;
And no man will sing "God preserve the king ",
But "God save all our fellow-men."

And we mean to keep what we make & reap
From the Line to the Polar Skies;
And the word shall leap orr the rolling deep
That the World is our Final Prize ! "

Cocking always wrote poetry under a pen-name in this case Dandelion (refers to Daniel De Leon one of the founders of the Industrial Workers of the World ) As can be seen above his thinking has a deal of IWW philosophy about it.


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