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Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant

Philippa 26 Nov 98 - 05:55 PM
Martin Ryan. 26 Nov 98 - 06:59 PM
Brack& 26 Nov 98 - 07:14 PM
Martin Ryan. 26 Nov 98 - 07:15 PM
Martin Ryan. 26 Nov 98 - 07:18 PM
Parable Jones 29 Nov 98 - 02:38 PM
Philippa 02 Dec 98 - 03:01 PM
GUEST,Kathleen 05 Sep 04 - 09:43 AM
belfast 05 Sep 04 - 12:25 PM
GUEST,Barrie Roberts 05 Sep 04 - 10:49 PM
Deckman 06 Sep 04 - 07:11 AM
Big Tim 06 Sep 04 - 10:19 AM
MartinRyan 06 Sep 04 - 11:19 AM
Jim McLean 07 Sep 04 - 05:44 AM
Big Tim 07 Sep 04 - 09:36 AM
GUEST 07 Sep 04 - 10:30 AM
Big Tim 07 Sep 04 - 04:18 PM
Susanne (skw) 07 Sep 04 - 08:26 PM
Big Tim 08 Sep 04 - 04:08 AM
belfast 09 Sep 04 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,Keith A o Hertford at work 09 Sep 04 - 09:16 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Aug 09 - 10:00 PM
GUEST,Tiddler 31 Aug 09 - 12:49 PM
Jim Dixon 02 Sep 09 - 12:44 PM
ard mhacha 02 Sep 09 - 04:17 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Sep 09 - 05:54 PM
gillymor 24 Mar 16 - 07:08 PM
Joe Offer 24 Mar 16 - 08:05 PM
gillymor 24 Mar 16 - 08:31 PM
Joe Offer 25 Mar 16 - 02:44 AM
gillymor 25 Mar 16 - 09:05 AM
Fergie 26 Mar 16 - 08:32 AM
Keith A of Hertford 26 Mar 16 - 10:45 AM
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Subject: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Philippa
Date: 26 Nov 98 - 05:55 PM

Here's the last verse. Am seeking the rest and the 19th c. song that this version of around 1916 may be based on. And does An Gabhar Bán (recorded by Clannad) go to the same air? (Somebody asked me if it did.)

Come wind or rain or hail or 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 oh
And I wished them all a very good night
And there and then we parted oh.


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 26 Nov 98 - 06:59 PM

Sounds as though its based on "The Banha Peeler"?

Regards


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Brack&
Date: 26 Nov 98 - 07:14 PM

It was written by Seamus O'Farrell in 1915, and that all I know!! Anyone caught singing it was liable to six months imprisonment. I don't know it meself, but I'll have a look round, I may have it on vinyl somewhere.
Regards Mick Braken.


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 26 Nov 98 - 07:15 PM

Correction: "The Bansha Peeler" - about a 19C. policeman given to arresting goats!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Martin Ryan.
Date: 26 Nov 98 - 07:18 PM

Philippa

... and given that "An Gabhar Ban" means the "white goat" - there may well be a connection! Don't know the song, mind you.

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RECRUITING SERGEANT (from The Pogues)
From: Parable Jones
Date: 29 Nov 98 - 02:38 PM

This song is on the Pogues album "IF I SHOULD FALL FROM GRACE WITH GOD". Our ceilidh band manage to work it into a strip the willow. Here are the full lyrics as I know them:

THE RECRUITING SERGEANT

As I was walking down the road
A feeling fine and larky oh
A recruiting sergeant came up to me
Says he you'd look fine in khaki oh
For the king he is in need of men
Come and read this proclamation oh
A life in Flanders for you then
Would be a fine vacation oh

Well that may be so said I to him
But tell me, sergeant dearie oh
If I had a pack stuck up on my back
Would I look so fine and cheerie oh
For they'd have you train and drill
Until they had you like the Frenchies oh
It may be warm in Flanders
It's draughty in the trenches oh

The sergeant smiled and winked his eye
His smile was most provoking oh
He twiddled and twirled his wee moustache
Says he you're only joking oh
For the sandbags are so warm and high
The wind you won’t feel blowing oh
I smiled at a colleen passing by
Says I but what if it's snowing oh

Come Rain or hail or wind and snow
I'm not going over to Flanders oh
There's fighting in Dublin to be done
Let your sergeants and your commanders go
Let English men fight English wars
It’s nearly time they started oh
I saluted the sergeant a very good night
There and then we parted oh


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Philippa
Date: 02 Dec 98 - 03:01 PM

The Peeler and the Goat is on the DT (with "Penshaw" instead of "Banba"). An Gabhar Bán does have the same air and is about a drunk and disorderly goat. It's to be found on an unofficial Clannad website (www.jtwinc.com/clannad/clanhome.htm), but there are errors - expert Irish speakers are welcome to contact the site and give corrections - also to add to the Gabhar Bán thread started by Áine at Mudcat.

I still have no info. on any related but earlier song about recruiting sergeants.

Thanks Martin, Mick and Parable for the information and lyrics you've contributed. Mick - who was Seamus O'Farrell, i.e. what else do you know about him?


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: GUEST,Kathleen
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 09:43 AM

Seamus O'Farrell (my father) (1886-1973), a journalist, was a Dublin man. He assisted with the formation of the Irish Transport & General Workers' Union. He was very involved with nationalist movements and wrote for the "mosquito press": as one might say "he wrote when it was dangerous to write"!
He worked on the staff of the Irish Independent and then the Irish Press. Later he edited the Longford Leader and the Leinster Leader. He contributed a column ("Speaking for Myself")to the Nationalist and Leinster Times during the sixties.
He was a founder member of Muintir na Tire and an active member (and one-time President)of the National Agricultural and Industrial Development Association.He was a member of Seanad Eireann during the first Coalition Government.
"The Recruiting Sergeant" was published in some subversive paper; it was intended to be sung to the tune of THE PEELER AND THE GOAT Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: RECRUITING SERGEANT (from Dominic Behan)
From: belfast
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 12:25 PM

Here are the lyrics as I recall them from the singing of Dominic Behan. Not much different from the words given previously as it happens. I'm surprised it's not in the digitrad.   The previous post notwithstanding, I was always under the impression that the song was written by Behan's uncle, Peadar Kearney. I could be wrong, of course - it's happened before.

THE RECRUITING SERGEANT

As I was going down the road, feeling fine and larky-o
A recruiting sergeant says to me, Now you'd look fine in khaki-o
The King he is in need of men, come read his proclamation-o
A life in Flanders for you then would be a fine vacation-o

That may be so, says I to him but tell me sergeant dearie-o
If I had a pack stuck upon me back, do you think I'd look fine and cheery-o
You'd make me train and drill untilthey had me one of French's-o
It may be warm in Flanders but it's draughty in the trenches-o

The sergeant smiled and winked his eye, his smile was most provoking-o
He twiddled and twirled his wee moustache says he: You're only joking-o
For the sandbags are so warm and high, the wind you won't feel blowing-o
Well I winked at a cailin passing by, says I what if it's snowing oh

Come rain or hail or wind or snow, we're not going out to Flanders-o
There's fighting in Dublin to be done, let your Sergeants and your Commanders go
Let Englishmen for England fight, 'tis just about time they started-o
I wished the Sergeant a very good night and there and then departed-o


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: GUEST,Barrie Roberts
Date: 05 Sep 04 - 10:49 PM

It can also be found on the Smithsonian/Folkways 'Irish Rebellion Album', available from AK Press at www.akpress.com, sung by your humble correspondent. If that isn't reason enough to get the record, it also features Ian Campbell, Tommy Dempsey, Brian Clarke, Billie Campbell and a real rarity -- Harvey Andrews singing The Patriot Game


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Deckman
Date: 06 Sep 04 - 07:11 AM

I have this fine song on a record by Robin Hall and Jimmie McGreger (sp?) Bob


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Big Tim
Date: 06 Sep 04 - 10:19 AM

I think you're wrong on this one Belfast! But why do you suggest Kearney?

The lyrics were also published in "The Rebels Ceilidh Songbook" - "as sung by Hugh MacDonald". Since this was a Scots publication, a little folkie bible for a while, it may well be where Hall and McGregor got it.

Kathleen, thank you for the information about your father. Can you tell us more? It's an excellent song.


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Subject: RE: Recruiting Sergeant
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Sep 04 - 11:19 AM

Big Tim

It's listed in many of the Irish Book Bureau booklets, FWIW. Nothing less ephemeral that I can find for now.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Jim McLean
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 05:44 AM

Big Tim, Hugh MacDonald and his wife Agnes (who lived in Busby) were friends of mine a long time ago and we were all frequent visitors to Morris Blythman's house as were Jimmy and Robin before they moved to London. It was Morris who put together the Rebel Ceilidh Songbook. I have a photo' of Dominic Behan, his brother Rory, Hugh, Agnes and myself taken in around 1959/60 so all would know the songs sung by each other.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Big Tim
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 09:36 AM

Ah! Jim lad, those were the days!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 10:30 AM

Mea Culpa. To tell the truth the truth I've no idea where I got the notion that Kearney was the author. But the (incorrect) notion was reinforced by the similarity in tone and style to "Whack fol the diddle" and "Down by the Liffeyside".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Big Tim
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 04:18 PM

Jim you got a date for the Rebel Song Book? Don't see it in the book itself).                                                         

Who was Morris Blythman? He isn't mentioned in William Kellock's intro. (Hugh Macdonald is).                                                            

Anyone know the date of the Hall/McGregor recording?                        

And finally, I wonder where the Pogues got the song from? (Leave that one to me).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 07 Sep 04 - 08:26 PM

John, maybe the name Thurso Berwick is more familiar to you? That was Morris's alias. From what I've read about him, he was the single moving force behind the Scottish folk revival, starting with songs about the repatriation of the Stone of Destiny and the Polaris protests. See e.g. Ailie Munro, The Democratic Muse, for more info. And maybe Jim McLean is in the mood to tell us more about him and those days ...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Big Tim
Date: 08 Sep 04 - 04:08 AM

Thanks Susanne: I did wonder about that, Thurso and Berwick being the northern and southern extremities of Scotland (no pedants on this little geographical detail please!), an unlikely, but possible, combination. You got the "Rebel" book Susanne, if not let me know, and I'll send you a photocopy (it's a wee stoater!).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: belfast
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 08:32 AM

A previous post, unsigned and therefore meaningless, is from me. I forgot that I was cookieless. I said: 'Mea Culpa. To tell the truth the truth I've no idea where I got the notion that Kearney was the author. But the (incorrect) notion was reinforced by the similarity in tone and style to "Whack fol the diddle" and "Down by the Liffeyside"'.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: GUEST,Keith A o Hertford at work
Date: 09 Sep 04 - 09:16 AM

6 months for singing it sounds a bit steep. Service was always voluntary in Ireland even when conscription was in full swing for the rest of the country.
I would think that the greatest risk to singers was from the loved ones of the hundreds of thousands of Irishmen who were fighting for freedom in Flanders and elsewhere.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:00 PM

This version is from the book by Roy Palmer, 1977, "The Rambling Soldier," Penguin Books.

Lyr. Add: The Recruiting Sergeant
Irish trad but from bothies of NE Scotland

1
As we were a-walking along the seaside,
Oh, who did we meet but Sergeant McBride?
We determined to have a bit bathe in the tide;
It was on a fine summer's morning.
2
As we were a-walking along the sea sand,
Now, who did we meet but Corporal Brand?
And a little wee drummer called Arthur McDand,
A-going to the fair in the morning.
3
"It's now, my brave fellows, if you want to enlist,
It's five golden guineas I'll clap in your fist;
Besides, there's five shillings to kick up a dust
As you go to the fair in the morning.
4
"It's then you will also go decent and clean
While all other fellows go dirty and mean;
While all other fellows go dirty and mean,
And sup their burgoo in the morning."
5
"Och, you need not be talking about your fine pay,
For all you have got is one shilling a day;
And as for your debt, the drums pay your way
As you march through the town in the morning.
6
"And you need not be talking about your fine clothes,
For you've just got the loan of them, as I do suppose;
And you dare not sell them in spite of your nose,
Or you would get flogged in the morning.
7
"I'm blest," says the sergeant, "if I'll take more of that
From any coxcomb or cowfeeding brat;
And if you tip me any more of that chat,
I will run you through in the morning."
8
But before they had time to pull out their blades
Our whacking shillelaghs came over their heads,
And we did teach them that we were their blades
To dampen their rage in the morning.
9
As for the wee drummer, we diddled his pow,
And made a footbll of his rowdidedow;
And into the tide we did make him to row,
Then we bade them a' good morning.

This version, "'a shilling a day,' must date the song to the nineteenth century."
With brief musical score.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: GUEST,Tiddler
Date: 31 Aug 09 - 12:49 PM

That's not a version - it's a completely different song (which has nothing to do with this thread).


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE RECRUITING SERGEANT
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 12:44 PM

The song that Q posted above is a version of ARTHUR McBRIDE or ARTHUR McBRIDE AND THE SERGEANT, which are in the DT, with links to several threads.

This one is from The Universal Songster: Or, Museum of Mirth, Volume 3 (London: Jones and Co., 1834) page 379:


THE RECRUITING SERGEANT.
Air—"Darby Kelly."

WHEN first I heard the drum and fife
Strike up a march so neatly, O!
I thought I never in my life,
Heard music sound so sweetly, O;
The soldiers they in coats so gay,
Retreating and advancing, too;
With martial air, to win the fair,
It set my heart a-dancing, too;
Brown Bess I seized, the girls were pleased,
I looked so smart, you don't know how,
They laughed and cried, and sighed and died,
When first I joined the row-dow-dow.

But when no joke at all they found,
But that I must be going, O!
In tears they every one were drowned,
Their grief so overflowing, O!
But off I went, abroad was sent,
The mounseers fought so finely, too;
With blows and bumps, and whacks and thumps.
We paid 'em so divinely, too;
While cannon-shot flew thick and hot
Such sport it was, you don't know how,
Upon that day to cut and slay,
And all to the tune of row-dow-dow.

So well I liked the notion,
Of guns, and wounds, and all that there,
I quickly got promotion,
And now my sword and halberd bear;
Then every lad must sure be glad,
On terms like these with me to list,
Here's glorious fame, a hero's name,
Besides ten guineas in your fist;
Which, if you live, will pleasure give,
And if you die, you don't know how,
Your praise 'twill raise, to end your days.
And all to the tune of row-dow-dow.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: ard mhacha
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 04:17 PM

Philippa, here is very good recording of this song,
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob6P493tJko


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Sep 09 - 05:54 PM

"Arthur McBride" was collected as "The Recruiting Sergeant" by John Ord, "Bothy Songs and Ballads.". The latter name is used by Palmer in his "The Rambling Soldier," his collection of "songs of the lower ranks," published by Penguin Books, England, 1977.
Both names are used for the song.


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Subject: The Recruiting Sergeant-The Levellers
From: gillymor
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 07:08 PM

In case you missed it. Best video I've seen in a while.
Warning: Contains some blood and gore near the end but also some nice banjo and accordion work.

Click here


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 08:05 PM

I moved you over to an existing "Recruiting Sergeant" thread, gillymor, but I'm not sure it's the same song. This one has a chorus that includes "over the mountains and over the sea" "picture in my pocket that means everything to me."
I couldn't find a song posted here with those phrases. Anybody got time to transcribe the Levellers recording?
-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: gillymor
Date: 24 Mar 16 - 08:31 PM

You're right, Joe, the one that I linked to was a contemporary "Recruiting Sergeant" by The Levellers and was quite different from the Pogues or Dubliners version. I posted because I found the video quite moving and the music infectious but I wasn't going for a Lyr Req or a Lyr Add but perhaps tomorrow I'll post the lyrics if I can find them. Thanks.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Joe Offer
Date: 25 Mar 16 - 02:44 AM

Hi, Gillymor - seems to me that this thread would be a good place for posting the lyrics of the Levellers recording. I swear I've heard this song before, but I couldn't find it just now. Once you post the lyrics, no doubt it will all come clear and I will be banging my head against the wall once again, lamenting my stupidity.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: gillymor
Date: 25 Mar 16 - 09:05 AM

The Recruiting Sergeant-by the Levellers for warchild.org

Over the mountains
And over the sea
By Hercules transporter
To fight the Afghani
With a rifle in my hand
To set the country free
But it's your picture in my pocket
That means everything to me

So I've fixed-up the alarm
And broken half way in
When the security guard appears
And busts me on the chin
He kicks me 'round and says
"Do you know the shit you're in?"
I said "I was on me arse mate"
Meant no offence to him

I was over the mountains
And over the sea
By Hercules transporter
To fight the Afghani
With a rifle in my hand
To set the country free
But it's your picture in my pocket
That means everything to me

I know I let you down babe
Trying to make ends meet
When I met this recruiting seargeant
By the courthouse on the street
He said "You're a disgrace boy
and that's a fucking crime"
Then somebody got the drinks in
And I signed on the dotted line

And I was over the mountains
And over the sea
By Hercules transporter
To fight the Afghani
With a rifle in my hand
To set the country free
But it's your picture in my pocket
That means everything to me

Now I'm sucking dust in Helmand
Dug in to Lashkar Gar(Gah)
Where the local weed and opium
Beats any British bar
I know as we lay there dreaming
I'm still in the pay of thieves
And I'm rushing back to be with you
Upon this desert breeze

It's blowing over the mountains
And over the sea
By Hercules transporter
To fight the Afghani
With a rifle in my hand
To set the country free
But it's your picture in my pocket
That means everything to me

Don't follow me to die boys
In bloody Kandahar
With the eerie glow of tracers
Lighting every wretched scar
Who will say a prayer for me
And cry each year this day?
If you see a recruiting sergeant boys
Run, run away

Run over the mountains
And over the sea
By Hercules transporter
To fight the Afghani
With a rifle in my hand
To set the country free
But it's your picture in my pocket
That means everything to me

And it's over the mountains
And over the sea
By Hercules transporter
To fight the Afghani
With a rifle in my hand
To set the country free
But it's your picture in my pocket
That means everything to me

It's your picture in my pocket
That means everything to me

Here are the words from the Levellers EP which vary slightly from the video. This one seems to be a modern take on the "Recruiting Sergeant" song tradition.

Joe, you're not thinking of the traditional "Over the hills and far away, Queen Anne commands and we obey" are you? The melody may seem familiar because on the intro and break it contains brief phrases from "Mairi's Wedding" (at the beginning) and "Loch Lomond" later on.

My interest here is mainly in the video which, to me, effectively tells a tragic story in under 5 minutes though I really like the song and especially the free and easy singing of the Copper Family on the chorus.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Fergie
Date: 26 Mar 16 - 08:32 AM

The confusion concerning the authorship of The Recruiting Sergeant may arise because Peader Kearney wrote an anti-recruiting song the title of which was Sergeant William Bailey. Kearney's nephew Dominic Behan was known to sing both of these songs and I suspect that somewhere along the line Kearney's name became mistakenly associated with The Recruiting Sergeant.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Recruiting Sergeant
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 26 Mar 16 - 10:45 AM

An excellent song and video, but you do not meet recruiting sergeants on the street any more.


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