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Songs about the Great War (WWI)

puck 01 May 05 - 04:48 AM
beardedbruce 01 May 05 - 06:50 AM
masato sakurai 01 May 05 - 08:05 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 01 May 05 - 08:34 AM
masato sakurai 01 May 05 - 09:20 AM
GUEST,Bainbo 01 May 05 - 02:54 PM
Willa 01 May 05 - 04:08 PM
GUEST,cromdubh 01 May 05 - 04:34 PM
Boab 02 May 05 - 01:14 AM
rich-joy 02 May 05 - 01:31 AM
GUEST,Gerry 02 May 05 - 01:46 AM
rich-joy 02 May 05 - 02:32 AM
Stewie 02 May 05 - 03:43 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 02 May 05 - 05:15 AM
Dave'sWife 02 May 05 - 05:40 AM
Michael 02 May 05 - 05:46 AM
rich-joy 02 May 05 - 08:43 AM
Sandra in Sydney 02 May 05 - 09:09 AM
Bob the Postman 02 May 05 - 09:28 AM
Dave'sWife 02 May 05 - 10:19 AM
The Walrus 02 May 05 - 10:51 AM
GUEST, DaveH 02 May 05 - 10:52 AM
The Walrus 02 May 05 - 11:04 AM
dick greenhaus 02 May 05 - 12:01 PM
GUEST,Keith A o Hertford 02 May 05 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Keith A 02 May 05 - 01:59 PM
GUEST 02 May 05 - 03:03 PM
webfolk 02 May 05 - 03:59 PM
sixtieschick 03 May 05 - 02:29 AM
Liz the Squeak 03 May 05 - 02:53 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 May 05 - 03:11 AM
Liz the Squeak 03 May 05 - 03:39 AM
Sandy Mc Lean 03 May 05 - 05:13 AM
Dave'sWife 03 May 05 - 07:38 AM
gnomad 03 May 05 - 04:15 PM
Herga Kitty 03 May 05 - 04:32 PM
Santa 03 May 05 - 04:43 PM
Keith A of Hertford 04 May 05 - 03:11 AM
Torctgyd 04 May 05 - 06:03 AM
rich-joy 04 May 05 - 06:33 AM
Snuffy 04 May 05 - 04:03 PM
Micca 04 May 05 - 06:03 PM
Susanne (skw) 04 May 05 - 06:38 PM
GUEST,Allen 05 May 05 - 04:35 PM
GUEST,bfdk 05 May 05 - 05:42 PM
Hawker 05 May 05 - 06:15 PM
lamarca 05 May 05 - 06:50 PM
GUEST 06 May 05 - 09:52 AM
GUEST,Muttley 06 May 05 - 09:54 AM
Parttimer 06 May 05 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Allen 06 May 05 - 11:26 AM
The Walrus 06 May 05 - 08:30 PM
alanabit 07 May 05 - 02:23 AM
Muttley 07 May 05 - 02:27 AM
The Walrus 07 May 05 - 06:32 AM
Muttley 07 May 05 - 07:28 PM
RobbieWilson 07 May 05 - 07:59 PM
Muttley 10 May 05 - 02:50 AM
Micca 10 May 05 - 03:31 AM
Keith A of Hertford 10 May 05 - 07:12 AM
Santa 10 May 05 - 03:17 PM
mg 10 May 05 - 03:58 PM
The Walrus 10 May 05 - 08:04 PM
GUEST,Allen 11 May 05 - 05:37 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 May 05 - 05:43 AM
GUEST,Allen 11 May 05 - 07:11 AM
el_punkoid_nouveau 12 May 05 - 03:05 AM
Muttley 13 May 05 - 04:43 AM
Keith A of Hertford 13 May 05 - 07:57 AM
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The Fooles Troupe 06 Aug 05 - 07:17 AM
Tam the man 06 Aug 05 - 07:31 AM
Mr Red 06 Aug 05 - 09:40 AM
Wilfried Schaum 06 Aug 05 - 10:10 AM
Susanne (skw) 06 Aug 05 - 06:56 PM
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GUEST,sciencegeek 17 Oct 13 - 02:02 PM
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Jim Dixon 15 Nov 13 - 09:48 PM
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Subject: Songs about the Great War
From: puck
Date: 01 May 05 - 04:48 AM

The term Great War is a bit of a contradiction in terms, but I have a huge interest in it as I was 'brought up' [some would say dragged up] by a veteran of the Gallipoli expedition.

My twin sister teaches History in a Chichester and each year takes a group of students to the Flanders trenches and is keen to use folk song and other music as part of the educational experience.

I know the obvious ones such as Green fields of France [No Man's Land] and Tipperary {It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary} and The Rose of York. Can members help to provide other songs please.

Puck


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: beardedbruce
Date: 01 May 05 - 06:50 AM

http://historicaltextarchive.com/sections.php?op=viewarticle&artid=222


http://www.webspawner.com/users/songsaboutwwi/


http://www.besmark.com/ww1b.html


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: masato sakurai
Date: 01 May 05 - 08:05 AM

The Great War by Various Artists (CD).


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Subject: Lyr Add: HOMESICK (Walter MacFarlane)
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 01 May 05 - 08:34 AM

I usually sing "Homesick" around Nov. 11th. It was written on the battlefield during the Great War by Walter MacFarlane of Upper Margaree, Cape Breton. It expresses how a soldier is caught between his dreams of returning home with his devotion to duty. I think that the last verse is especially powerful. The tune is a variant of "Where the River Shannon Flows" which is in the DT, but I can't get the midi to play. (help Joe!)
Slainte,
Sandy


HOMESICK
(Walter MacFarlane)

1. There's a sunny vale of splendor
Where in youth I loved to wander,
And no place can I love fonder,
No, no matter where I be.
'Tis a spot I'll love forever,
Where the elm branches quiver
By the silv'ry Margaree River,
Flowing gently to the sea.

2. There's a home beside the river
Where the roses bloom forever;
Tho' by oceans from it severed,
Still its magic charm I feel.
There's a nook that's fair and flowery,
And a thrill I long for hourly:
When the grey trout, hooked securely,
Sends a message to the reel.

3. There in boyhood's happy morning
How I loved to go a-roaming
While the night owl, early homing,
Cast a bleary eye at me.
And a song that used to cheer me
Still in fancy lingers near me;
'Twas a robin, ever cheery,
Singing gaily from a tree.

4. While in foreign climes I wander,
Absence makes my heart grow fonder,
And the memories of its grandeur
Seem to linger here with me.
And when sleep has dulled my senses,
From beyond the blue expanses
Comes a vision that entrances
Of my childhood home, Margaree.

5. Though the Rhineland claims my vision
While I serve with my division,
Still I long to end my mission
And return across the sea
To the fields I left behind me
While the flowing tears did blind me.
But the laws of war still bind me
And a soldier I must be.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: masato sakurai
Date: 01 May 05 - 09:20 AM

Visit First World War Era - History - The Virtual Gramophone.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Bainbo
Date: 01 May 05 - 02:54 PM

There's John McCutcheon's Christmas in the Trenches, about that incident in 1914 when German and Allied troops laid down their arms and played football, and then apparently had to be removed because they refused to fight any more. The link here makes reference to an anachronism in the lyrics - gas, in 1914. There's also the question of the war being referred to as World War 1. The song's narrator talks about the incident happening "two years ago" when no one would have called it World War 1, because they could have no conception that there was going to be a second one.

Not strictly about the war, but Bill Caddick wrote a song called The Writing of Tipperary which tells how stage performer Jack Judge took a bet in 1912 that he could write a song in a day. The song was It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary, and was a hit at just the right time to be taken up by soldiers going off to war two years later. Bill frames this story with references to what was happening on the world stage in the build-up to war, and there's a nice version on June Tabor's A Quiet Eye (Topic TSCD510 )


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Willa
Date: 01 May 05 - 04:08 PM

Keith Marsden's wonderful song Normandy Orchards should get the message through to young people.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,cromdubh
Date: 01 May 05 - 04:34 PM

There is another song about the Christmas ceasefire, called "A Silent Night (Christmas 1915)" written by Cormac McConnell and recorded by his brother Mickey and Clare singer Gerry Lynch.

A very powerful song.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Boab
Date: 02 May 05 - 01:14 AM

Title track in Carolyn Robson's "All the Fine Young Men"; good song.
And Eric Bogle's songs "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" and "No Man's Land" ['the Green Fields of France'>]


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 May 05 - 01:31 AM

Didn't ex-Kiwi, now Yookay, Paul Metsers (recently discussed in a thread on Mudcat) have a good one???


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 02 May 05 - 01:46 AM

Australian duo Us Not Them (Jason & Chloe Roweth) have recently released
an album called The Riderless Horse which is mostly (entirely?) poetry written
by soldiers during the war and set to music more recently.
http://mail.speedlink.com.au/users/usnothem/


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 May 05 - 02:32 AM

Ted Egan also had a recording and accompanying book, c. 1986, about The Anzacs, which included Nerys Evans (Ted's wife) singing his song "A Song for Grace" - guaranteed to bring the tears ...

I used also to be moved in the 60s by Lionel Long - yes! :~)) - singing a setting of Leon Gellert's poem "Anzac Cove" ...

And there's Judy Small's "Mothers, Daughters, Wives"

Maybe Stewie can recall that good Paul Metsers song - I'm not having much luck googling at present ...

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Stewie
Date: 02 May 05 - 03:43 AM

Sorry, R-J, I cannot recall any Metsers song on the subject, but I do recall Paul Hemphill's fine 'Watchers of the Water' the lyrics of which I posted HERE.

--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 02 May 05 - 05:15 AM

Another one that I do is "Till We Meet Again". The words can be found with a forum search so I won't post them. This song should probably be in DT but I can't find it.
The chorus was used for the closing theme of the Don Messer Show. Marg Osbourne sang it so beautifully on that show.
         Sandy


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 02 May 05 - 05:40 AM

I second the recommendation of Eric Bogle's song "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" - it's a very powerful song and since it is about Gallipoli and Suvla Bay.. I think you'd find it most interesting.

If you have the old Irish Rover's LP, Tales To Warm Your MInd.. give a listen to the song 'The Village of Brambleshire Wood' about a village that's lost a generation of young men to the Great War. It's not available on CD. I always found that one to be a great statement on the futility of War.

I'm sure if you search the Mudcat on WWI, you will turn up many threads with lots of songs.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Michael
Date: 02 May 05 - 05:46 AM

The CD 'We're Here Because We're Here' Concert Party: Passchendaele'

Willem Vermandere, Jim Boyes, Barry Coope,Lester Simpson, Norbert Detaeye, Pot Depoorter, Freddy Desmedt, Freddy Possenier.

No Masters Co-operative Ltd. NMCD8 has songs from and about WW1.

mike


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: rich-joy
Date: 02 May 05 - 08:43 AM

Aaaahhhhh, Stewie!
I'm getting my Metsers and my Hemphills mixed up!!!!
"Watchers of the Water" - THAT'S the song I was meaning!(duh!)

Thanks, Mate!

Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Sandra in Sydney
Date: 02 May 05 - 09:09 AM

2 more Eric Bogle songs -

'The Gift of Years' (an old digger goes back to Gallipoli 75 years later)

'As If He Knows' (about the Lighthorsemen who shot their horses because they could not take them back to Australia & did not want to leave them behind)

sandra


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 02 May 05 - 09:28 AM

The words to Till We Meet Again can be found in this thread


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 02 May 05 - 10:19 AM

This discussion of the fine Eric Bogle songs leads me to ask a question. Is The Great War remembered THAT much more in OZ than it is in the US or do they just have better songs?

I suppose we could chalk it up to the US's late entrance into the War .. that Americans aren't as haunted by that War as your average Australian or UKer family is. Does anyone agree that this is it?

My grandparents were all children during the Great War, so their memories of it were always vague. I had some great-uncles who took part, but they were so much older than my Grandfather; I never knew them and my dad barely knew them. Since my parents were children during WWII.. same deal. Viet Nam had a more direct impact on our lives since my Dad was in danger of being reactivated and I had an 'uncle' die there (he was engaged to my aunt). However, for some reason I became fascinated and horrified by WWI when I was in High School and started studying up on the music, art and theater of the time.

So.. for the American Mudcatters who are older than I am.. was WWI a big deal in you families or is mine typical?


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: The Walrus
Date: 02 May 05 - 10:51 AM

Both my parents were born during the Great War<1>, indeed, family legend has it that my maternal Grandfather heard that my Grandmother and mother were ill and, when he couldn't get leave to visit then, walked home (Royal Garrison Artillery on the South Coast) to London, made sure they were OK then, in order to avoid punishment went around the corner and re-enlisted in the local infantry battalion <2>.
My paternal grandfather was a regular sailor (cruisers) and spent most of his time with the Grand Fleet.

As for songs about (rather than from) the Great War, try "Maginot Waltz" (yes the title's anachronistic (Maginot didn't make it into French politics until between the wars), but it does give a feeling of that last Bank Holiday of peacetime 1914.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST, DaveH
Date: 02 May 05 - 10:52 AM

Two immediately spring to mind..... Robb Johnson's "Gentle Men" song cycle (or whatever you'ld call it) about his grandfathers; both survived Ypres, first performed unforgettably at Passchendael Kirk for the 1997 Peace Concert. Also Maggie Holland's "Number 4071, Private Bennett", about a soldier in the Hampshires shot for "desertion" and buried in the Poperinghe New Cemetery. Both on Irregular Records.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: The Walrus
Date: 02 May 05 - 11:04 AM

Sorry folks.
I've just realised that I indicated footnotes and didn't put them in.
<1> Great War:-
Puck,
"...The term Great War is a bit of a contradiction in terms..."
Great, as in size, rather than quality. It was (nominally) the largest war the world had seen to date (some would disagree, I'm sure).

<2>"...in order to avoid punishment went around the corner and re-enlisted in the local infantry battalion..."
It would be difficult to bring major charges to bear on a man who left a moderately safe posting to join a unit likely to engage in more hazardous service (if the artillery unit is not under orders to move and the Army is crying out for infantrymen).

W


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 02 May 05 - 12:01 PM

Try a search in DigiTrad for @WWI


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Keith A o Hertford
Date: 02 May 05 - 01:54 PM

The lyric of "Home Lads Home" [Homeward] first appeared in 1916, which gives it an authenticity lacking in the songs even of great songwriters who were born long after the events they write of.

it's message is poignant and most moving.

Keith.

(PS above mentioned Normandy Orchards is a WW2 song)


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Keith A
Date: 02 May 05 - 01:59 PM

Woops! just scroll up from where my link takes you.

(PPS there are a couple of songs about naval battle of Jutland in forum)


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST
Date: 02 May 05 - 03:03 PM

Martin Graebe wrote the song From Severn, By the Somme, which actually expresses the viewpoint of a man left behind, which I find quite moving. It's been recorded by Martyn Wyndham Read amongst others.

A CD which has a number of interesting songs based around this topic is another Coope Boyes and Simpson one, with the choir Wak Maar Proper "Christmas Truce/Kerstbestand" - I've probably spelled all that incorrectly!


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: webfolk
Date: 02 May 05 - 03:59 PM

what about
"the old mans tale" [actually The Old Man's Song]
alex glasgow [actually Ian Campbell]
which mentions the 'great war' by that name

When the great war came alone i didn't hesitate
I took me country's shilling and i went to do me bit....

webfolk
geoff of "bit on the side"


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Subject: Lyr Add: JUST A GIGOLO (Brammer/Casucci/Caesar)
From: sixtieschick
Date: 03 May 05 - 02:29 AM

"Just a Gigolo" was originally a lament about a World War I veteran. The introductory verse, usually omitted, explains it.

Lyrics by Irving Caesar   Music by Leonello Casucci, 1929
.
'Twas in a Paris cafe, that I first found him
He was a Frenchman, a hero of the war
But war was over, and here's how peace had crown'd him:
A few cheap medals to wear, and nothing more
Now ev'ry night, in this same cafe, you'll find him
And as he strolls by, the ladies hear him say:
"If you admire me, please hire me:
A gigolo who knew a better day."

Just a gigolo
Everywhere I go
People know the part I'm playing
Paid for every dance
Selling each romance
Ev'ry night some heart betraying
There will come a day
Youth will pass away
Then what will they say about me?
When the end comes
I know they'll say:
Just a gigolo
As life goes on without me.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 May 05 - 02:53 AM

'The Gift of Years' has been recorded by Martyn Wyndham-Read on his 'Sunlit Plains' CD, and is a wonderful perspective from one who survived and hasn't really come to terms with it (I believe there is a psychological term for it, something like survivors syndrome). And if anyone can find my CD of it (I have just the empty case here) I'd be very grateful!

I have a very old piece of sheet music called 'Songs our boys sang' if you're interested. It was printed in the 1920s so it is a fairly accurate record of what they were actually singing 'over there'. It has things like 'Tavern in the Town' and other songs of home.

Normandy Orchards is about young lads learning to fly so it's more WWII, however there was an air presence in WWI, but they were called the Royal Flying Corps and did more reconnaissance work than actual combat.

If you want a bit of 'lighter' entertainment - 'Snoopy versus the Red Baron' is loosely based on the WWI ace pilot Baron von Richthofen.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 May 05 - 03:11 AM

Hi Liz,

You might be visited by a few angry RFC ghosts for saying they did little actual fighting in WW1.

Also, Normandy Orchards refers just to "squaddies" and "licentious soldiery" so I think Keith M was thinking more of the infantrymen and tank crews who were flung into Normandy.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 03 May 05 - 03:39 AM

Keith - I worked in a Military museum... I've transcribed the reports and catalogued the photos and sketches! I didn't say they did little arial combat, they did originally start out on recon missions. Any ghosts that might want to visit me should stop off with my great great uncles Eli, William, John and Henry first and ask who still remembers them and what they did for us.

LTS


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Subject: LYr Add: ROY BROWN AND WOP MAY
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 03 May 05 - 05:13 AM

Two Canadian RFC pilots, Wop May and roy Brown, were engaged in a dogfight with The Red Baron over ANZAC lines. Airfire and groundfire brought him down.

ROY BROWN AND WOP MAY

"It's the Baron!" in terror they cried.
Eighty men tried him. Eighty men died.
With the German Flying Circus along for the ride
Nothing seemed likely to turn the tide.

CHORUS: Through the haze flew Roy Brown and Wop May,
Two Royal Air Force fly boys from Canadi-ay.
"Stop the Flying Circus!" they'd toast.
"Down with the Baron!" they'd drink to their host.

There was fear in the sky when the Red Baron did fly,
For numb was his nerve, and firm his despise.
Eighty small emblems appeared as his brand,
Each an opponent, shot down by his hand.
For Manfred was a sniper who wore no disguise.
From a fortress in Breslau came bullets with eyes.
From above, he'd swoop out of the sun.
On the doomed Allied pilot he'd open his guns! CHORUS

'Twas in spring of '18, over Amiens one day,
On his maiden mission, the rookie Wop May
Felt the roar of a tri-plane hurtling his way.
There were death lights flashing! He veered from the fray
And a free-fall.., he tried to escape but in vain,
For the Baron was right on his heels again.
And he prayed, "Take me home, Lord. I'm finished, I fear."
When high from the sky, Captain Brown did appear!
And with guns ablaze, from above and below,
The Great Baron's plane became lifeless and slow.
And it fluttered and fell to the ground
Where the great ace, Von Richtofen, dying was found. CHORUS


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Dave'sWife
Date: 03 May 05 - 07:38 AM

There is a song on THE "Western Wall" CD that Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt did together called '1917' which is a lament by a prostitute about the soldiers she entertains. it's kinda creepy at the end as a chorus sings some requiem lines in latin over the last hummed chorus. Pretty song - very sad content.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: gnomad
Date: 03 May 05 - 04:15 PM

Another worthy, neglected, one of E Bogle's songs is For King and Country, this one relates to the Somme.

Mike Sparks' Thirteen Florins (Hartest 1915) doesn't mention what war is involved, but the events speak to me quite clearly as being WWI, A fine song given a haunting treatment by Graeme Knights on his CD Voices From Afar.

I may be posting out of turn here and don't wish this to turn into the familiar "arrived late" row about US participation, but I suspect that the folk memory of WWI in Britain, Australia and New Zealand may be stronger than that in the US because a larger proportion of the population in these countries took part, or had relations who did so. Also a larger proportion of their populations either died or were severely affected in some other way.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 03 May 05 - 04:32 PM

Thirteen Florins (Hartest 1915) is about the pals from Hartest in Suffolk - definitely WW1.

Les Sullivan has written several good songs about the Great War, particularly Roses of No Man's Land, Menin Gate, Harvest of Iron and Jutland.

Robb Johnson wrote "Cold in the trenches tonight" many years before "Gentle Men".

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Santa
Date: 03 May 05 - 04:43 PM

Unless I missed it, no-one has mentioned "Dancing at Whitsun ". The superb "Big Pete" Rodger version by the Taverners is probably unavailable now, but I did find a Tim Hart version on a collection recently.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 04 May 05 - 03:11 AM

I love that one. And it is an interesting curiosity being set in the sixties while harking back to tragedy of 1914-18.

As mentioned above, the US experience having arrived in the final year can not compare with those countries that lost a whole generation of young men.

Keith.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Torctgyd
Date: 04 May 05 - 06:03 AM

Definitely Dancing at Whitsun , which I find very moving every time I listen to it. About the effect of the losses on village life.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: rich-joy
Date: 04 May 05 - 06:33 AM

I have just found out that "There's a Long, Long, Trail" was MUCH beloved by my Oz Grandfather, who died as a result of a WWI TB infection (he was a Medical Orderly in France).

The song was written c. 1914 by Alonzo Elliot (music) and Stoddard King (words) and I have a great version on CD by John Roberts and Tony Barrand ("A Present From the Gentlemen" Golden Hind, 1992), where they also do "The Valley of the Shadow" and "The Old Barbed Wire" from the Great War.

It may be classed as a rather "sentimental" song by today's world, but I have long been drawn to it and love to sing it in harmony with my partner - strange that I should now discover this link to my ancestral past too!!


Cheers! R-J


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Snuffy
Date: 04 May 05 - 04:03 PM

Vimy by Tanglefoot


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Micca
Date: 04 May 05 - 06:03 PM

Rich Joy, That it is slightly sentimental but was very popular at the time among the soldiers who took part on the Western Front is why I used the first 2 lines as the Coda to a song I wrote about the ghosts of the First World War missing returning home 100 years later.

"Theres a long, long trail a winding into the land of my dreams
Where Nightingales are singing and a pale moon gleams"


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 04 May 05 - 06:38 PM

Then there's Mike Harding's 'Christmas 1914', another song about the 'Christmas Truce', and Eric Bogle has written one titled 'All the Fine Young Men'. Don't know whether there are two songs of that title, or whether this is the song Boab referred to above as 'from Carolyn Hobson's album'.
'Tunes of Glory' / 'Margaret and Me' [When Margaret Was Eleven] by Pete St John is another fine song, as is 'Standing in Line' by Lester Simpson.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 05 May 05 - 04:35 PM

The Great War is only a contradiction in terms if you confuse the word with 'good'.
Anyway, there is a song about Gallipoli, performer that comes to mind are the Fureys.
Andy M. Stewart wrote one about Flanders, and John Tams's 'Scarecrow', from his Home Service days.
Also, there are songs in Turkish about Gallipoli.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,bfdk
Date: 05 May 05 - 05:42 PM

Matt Armour's "Hills of Caithness".
From the sleeve of Danish/Scottish Kontraband's CD Northstar:
"Some of the saddest victims of war are still alive long after the peace treaty has been signed."


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Hawker
Date: 05 May 05 - 06:15 PM

The Cornwall Songwriters new show 'Unsung Heroes - The Lost Gardeners of Heligan' is a tale about the gardeners that go away to the first world war, It has fine songs on this theme and there is a CD and a book of the entire script, which would be a useful resource. Fine songs such as Jon Heslop's 'Poor Murdered Men' Roger Bryant and Mike O'Connor's 'Foreign Fields' Tony Truscott's 'Where The Sun Meets The Shadows and Lucy Burrow's 'Battlefield Tree ' are all worth a listen.
I have copies of the CD available for sale, please pm me for details
Cheers, Lucy


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: lamarca
Date: 05 May 05 - 06:50 PM

There's a most excellent and grim song about young deserters "For the Sake of Example" written by the House Band - discussed here on the Mudcat:

http://www.mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=60894

There is an organizations trying to secure posthumous pardons for all the young men shot "For the Sake of Example" during WWI - you can read some interesting articles about the history of this abominable policy here:

http://www.shotatdawn.org.uk/

Coope, Boyes and Simpson have written many songs about WWI for their performances at the Peace Concerts - check out the No Masters web site for a list of albums:

http://www.nomasters.co.uk/

and their website for a discussion of their work:

http://www.coopeboyesandsimpson.co.uk/the_first_world_war.htm

I particularly like Lester Simpson's "Standing in Line", too...


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST
Date: 06 May 05 - 09:52 AM

In regard to this thread, there is a song entitled "Willie McBride's Reply" which is sung and played to the same tune as "No Man's Land: The Green Fields of France.

I often use war-theme songs to get across the message to kids I teach around ANZAC time here in Oz and around Remembrance Day as well.
This one is great as it deals with the WHY's of going to war - especially if you didn't have to.

PS - TRIVIA: Willie McBride actually existed, too. He was Pvte William McBride; Service Number - 21406 of the Royal Inniskillen Fusiliers and was killed on 10 / 2 - 16, probably in a skirmish following the Battle of Loos or in the early 'manoeuvrings' prior to the campaign for the Somme.

On a lighter side: there's always the Royal Guardsmen's "Snoopy versus the Red Baron" series :-)


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Muttley
Date: 06 May 05 - 09:54 AM

Sorry, Folks - I entered the posting above listed as "GUEST" and forgot to sign it.

However, I'm actually a member and I keep coming up as 'Guest' - any ideas why?

Mutt


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Parttimer
Date: 06 May 05 - 10:59 AM

I can't see any mention of another Mike Harding song 'The Accrington Pals'. This is about the disastrous effect of the policy of encouraging young men to join up together in the Pals regiments which had the result of killing a great part of a single generation of men from several Lancashire towns.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 06 May 05 - 11:26 AM

Oh yes, and Peter Bellamy recorded a Kipling poem, Gethsemane.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: The Walrus
Date: 06 May 05 - 08:30 PM

Muttley,

There are two Privates William McBrides entered in the Commonwealth War Graves commission register (there is also a rifleman and a 30 year old Naval Stoker).<1>

If we disregard the Rifleman and Stoker (Both no known graves, commemorated at Thiepval and Chatham respectively), we are left with:

21406 Pvt. McBRIDE, W   and 12/23965 Pvt. McBRIDE, WILLIAM both of Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, died 10/02/1916 and 22/04/1916 respectively.
12/23965 McBride has his age given as 21, while there is no age given for 21406 McBride (neither in the record nor on the gravestone). How can you the state that THIS is the William McBride of the song? (He may have been over age and falsified his age 'backward' for all we know <2>).

The graves are both at Authuile Military Cemetary (I've seen them). From the location it is more likely that they were both killed in the
build up to the Somme campaign.

Sorry, I have insomnia and it has put me in a slightly argumentative mood tonight.

Walrus

<1> There were only 18 W. McBrides registered for the whole Great War.
<2> Yes it happened, there was an upper age for service too.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: alanabit
Date: 07 May 05 - 02:23 AM

It is a good thing Eric Bogle did not choose to write about Private John Smith.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Muttley
Date: 07 May 05 - 02:27 AM

Actually I DON'T know for certain - however, going by an interview with eric Bogle I viewed here in Australia; he specifically mentioned the age as accurate and stated that the date of death was "VERY early 1916 - around January / February". I thought I had forgotten this little snippet (even an eidetic memory slips occasionally - and especially so since my short-term memory was scrambled in the same accident that scrambled the rest of my body).

So, when I was researching the chords for "Green Fields of France" [No Man's Land] a couple of years ago and came across the Steve Suffet offering of Willie McBride's Reply, I decided to research Willie McBride as well as the "lost memory" surfaced and tickled the conscious levels and I wondered whether the memory was false or whether Bogle was just 'playing up his song for all it was worth' and simply "spinning a yarn" as we say over here or was he "fair dinkum".

I came across both W. McBrides in the War Graves Register ( and I do recall the stoker, now that you mention him again). Going by Bogle's words in the Television interview (done for our ABC network on folk singers) and the info from the WGC site - I narrowed it down to the Willie McBride I quoted.

However, you raise a valuable point - I apologise for being 'pedantic': I fell into the same trap I despise the writers of Dinosaur books and documentaries etc for - that is, they take a "POSSIBILITY" or theory and then state it as Gospel Fact without using the better determinative of "It was PROBABLY....." or "It was most likely....."

So, it was most probably that 21406; Pvte McBride was THE Willie McBride sung about.

Thanks for the pull up Walrus - you're not a Vietnam Vet are you?

I'll try to be more careful in future

Mutt


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: The Walrus
Date: 07 May 05 - 06:32 AM

Hi Mutt,

I'm wish to apologise for the grouchy tone of my last post (it had been an early start, then, that evening I couldn't get to sleep and I was just in the mood for a row - but that is no excuse for being so hectoring).

One thing, If I recall correctly, one cannot 'sit down beside' either of the McBride graves as neither is at the end of rows.
Actually, I seem to recall that Authuile Military Cemetery is quite a pleasant spot, just away from the main drag and so, fairly quiet and, as with all CWGC sites, beautifully kept (that said, I haven't been there for about 10 years).

I assume, from your 'Vietnam' question<1> that you are American Yes/no?
If you ever get a chance to visit France of Flanders, I would recommend that you visit a Commonwealth Cemetery. On a warm summer's evening, they have an air of sadness but without the depression one sometimes feels in civil cemetaries of the same era.

Regards

Walrus

<1> To answer your question, No, I'm not a Vietnam vet, I was fortunate enough to be a year too young and at least three thousand miles too far East(I'm British).


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Muttley
Date: 07 May 05 - 07:28 PM

Actually, Walrus, I'm an Australian - However, 'Walrus' is generally an 'unusual' nickname and I know a member of the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club with the same monicker - I think his stems from the moustache.
I spent 10 years or so as "Padre" to the club, so got to knbow them all quite well. A fair responsibility; especially considering that my 'commission' was for the entire club, Australia wide!

I too was too young, thank God - Australia pulled out just before I turned 18: However I tend to showcase VV's when I talk to kids in schools and often sing "I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green)"

Anyway - gotta go to "The Kirk" I'll finish this entry later

So - - - - - - - - Later!!

Mutt


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: RobbieWilson
Date: 07 May 05 - 07:59 PM

With regard to the Song No Man's Land I think it is important to remember that Eric Bogle wrote this as a result of the effect that visiting War Cemeteries had on him in terms of the number of graves and the fact that so many of them were so young. I have heard him more than once explain the title of the song in these terms. These were only boys who never got to be men. So while he may have used one name he saw that day the song is about thousands of men, not one.

Another much lighter but very good song in its own way is Ralph McTell's Maginot Waltz.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Muttley
Date: 10 May 05 - 02:50 AM

G'day Robbie

Yes, I heard him say much the same in the interview I quoted that I heard some years ago. However, in the same interview he mentioned that McBride's name stuck because as an Irishman, he was a native of virtually the only "western" Empire nation which did not enforce conscription. I guess the British government felt they had enough trouble in Ireland without stirring up even greater resistance by forcing their young men tp go fight in a war on foreign soil.

Thus the only Irishmen fighting in the British Army in WW1 were those from who were living permanently in England / Scotland / Wales and "naturalised/nationalised" or they were volunteers from Ireland itself. It is a credit to the Irish nation that so many of them felt it was necessary to do so: As the line in the Steve Suffet reply to No Man's Land (Willie McBride's Reply) says -

"And call it ironic that I was cut down
While in Dublin my kin-folk were fightin' the crown
But in Dublin or Flanders the cause was the same
To resist the oppressor whatever his name

It wasn't for King or for England I died
It wasn't for glory or the Empire's pride
The reason I went was both simple and clear
To stand up for freedom did I volunteer"

Very powerful words.

And though I am a huge fan of Bogle and find his songs about the Great War both poetic and emotive, I can't help but feel they are both respectful of those who fought and scornful at the same time.

After all, No Man's Land seems to be almost rubbing it in the face of Willie McBride that, though he died for a noble cause, it achieved nothing because the wars just went on (and on and on etc) and in "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" his central 'narrator' says at the end "and the young people ask what are they marching for? And I ask myself the same question".

This is not a criticism of Eric Bogle - just something that occurred to me a few years ago and I still haven't resolved in my own head - I come, after all from a family who has represented Britain and Australia in WW1 & 2, Korea, Malaya and Vietnam in all three services.

BTW Walrus; that line (subtitle) of I Was Only 19 (A Walk in the Light Green) - the 'Light Green' referred to was the colouring on the map. If a patrol route took the soldiers through areas coloured in with dark green then they could 'relax' a little as that meant HEAVY jungle and very very little chance of "contact" (with the enemy) or ambush. Light green colouration, however, signified light jungle, rice paddy, rubber plantation etc - places where one could almost EXPECT to be 'jumped' by the VC or come in for a well-placed ambush.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Micca
Date: 10 May 05 - 03:31 AM

Muttley, there was also, for some, an economic element to "serving the colours" for many young Irishmen, and there had been a history of recruiting them for generations stretching back a few hundred years. Also Ireland had always had a good sprinkling of retired ex British Army men on pensions so the route of "escape" was as common and known as in working-class areas of mainland Britain for young men with a sense of adventure and few prospects in a depressed economic climate. This is not to underrate or decry their sense of justice and desire to resist tyranny, but to simply to point out there may have been less obvious contributing factors also to their volunteering.

He went out to France in 1915
A man with the Connaught Rangers
To fight with the Kaiser who he'd never seen
And in the defence of some strangers
But the times they were hard there was no work around
And the Army gave gold in your fist
You didn't need much yourself, it was "all found"
So Grandfather went to enlist


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 10 May 05 - 07:12 AM

Micca, Sure poverty was always a good recruiter in Ireland and Britain, but during WW1 Irishmen volunteered in their tens of thousands at a time when there was more work than men to do it.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Santa
Date: 10 May 05 - 03:17 PM

I read recently that when they went back they arrived in a new country that ostracised them for "fighting for England". Not the first nor the last servicemen to find public attitudes very different at the end of a war from at the start.

Possibly, of course, it was even more prominent in the new nations formed out of the Austro-Hungarian empire?


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: mg
Date: 10 May 05 - 03:58 PM

I agree that Eric Bogle songs, at least the two mentioned, do sound scornful. I won't sing Willie McBride [No Man's Land] for that reason, and I don't particularly like it as a song. I do think "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda" is scads better as a song..he still gets a dig in but I let that one slide. mg

p.s. keep the home fires burning. mg


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: The Walrus
Date: 10 May 05 - 08:04 PM

Sorry, slight thread drift, no musical content in this post.

Keith & Santa,

One point which many people miss is that both Redmond (National Volunteers) and Carson (UVF) offered their organisations to the Government at the begining of the war and encouraged their members to join.
Redmond, in the hope that the Government would honour its pledges and grant Home Rule at the end of the War
Carson to prove that Ireland should remain part of the Kingdom.
I suspect that both also hoped to gain some combat training for their respective forces, just in case matters 'went sour' - remember, in 1914, it was going to be a very short war.
Whatever the reasons, Ireland gave three full Infantry Divisions:
10th (Irish) Div
16th (Irish) Div
36th (Ulster) Div
as well as men serving in other formations throughout the Forces.

I seem to recall reading that the Irish Republican Brotherhood (which became the IRA of 1916) stems largely from those who refused Redmonds appeal.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 11 May 05 - 05:37 AM

No, not at all like that in the ex-Austro-Hungarian Empire. Nobody had a choice really.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 May 05 - 05:43 AM

Not sure what you are saying Allen.
I'm not so bright this early. Could you elaborate a little?


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Allen
Date: 11 May 05 - 07:11 AM

"Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Santa
Date: 10 May 05 - 03:17 PM

I read recently that when they went back they arrived in a new country that ostracised them for "fighting for England". Not the first nor the last servicemen to find public attitudes very different at the end of a war from at the start.

Possibly, of course, it was even more prominent in the new nations formed out of the Austro-Hungarian empire?"

I was replying to this.
Things were different, because nobody had a choice really about joining.
A possible exception are the Jews (including a few ancestors), they fought, but can't remeber if it was conscription or volunteering


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE CAPTAIN'S LETTER
From: el_punkoid_nouveau
Date: 12 May 05 - 03:05 AM

My own small contribution to the genre, to mark the 80th Anniversary in August 1994. The song did not follow my intention, but wrote itself for the 300+ British soldiers shot by their own side because they just couldn't cope with it any more. Could any of us have done any better?

The Captain's Letter

Our Tommy was a gallant lad, the Captain's letter said -
At only nineteen years of age in France he's lying dead.
He joined when he was just sixteen, and lied about his years -
He went despite his Father's cries, and ignored his Mother's tears.

Lord Kitchener had called him, and to the battle bade him go
To serve his King and Country, and fight the German foe.
From the day he left to the day he died, we ne'er saw him again -
Lord Kitchener took his body, Lord Haig left him insane.

It was no German bullet that took his life that day
When the fear of death and constant noise had worn is mind away.
For three years in the trenches, Tommy served his country well -
While others, more important, escaped that bloody hell.

Through Passchendaele and Wipers, and when the Somme ran red with blood,
With frostbite in his fingers, and trench foot from the mud.
His comrades bloody deaths cut through him to his heart
As they were raped by German bullets, or by shrapnel torn apart.

Our Tommy was a gallant lad, his comrade's letters said,
Until the blood and battles drove him off his head.
The chaos and confusion that was poor Tommy's lot
Sentenced him forever as a coward to be shot.


As an historian, I am aware that there may be a touch of poetic licence in there, but the same is true of any song. I'm also quite happy to put it on a CD if anyone wants a copy...

epn


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Muttley
Date: 13 May 05 - 04:43 AM

Dear el punkoid nouveau - is that one your own creation?? if so it is unbelievably powerful and emotive. For that simple reason that a0 we didn't trust the British High Command (who were largely outdated and inept - read Montgomery's autobiography / biography and he'll tell it truly as it was - they were incompetent) and b) the fact that the Officers were so critical / scornful / contemptuous of men they weren't willing to follow out of the trenches that the Australians actually passed legislation following the Boer War that prevented ANY British court from trying or executing an Australian serviceman in wartime. This all came about following their high-handed and ultimately incorrect handling of the "Breaker" Morant episode.

If you have a recording of your singing this song (or anyone else) I'd love to hear it and learn it - it would add to my repertoire of songs I can do for school kids here in Oz to tell them the "real life" stories behind the "Guts-and-Glory" tales we are served up in books.

A copy of the lyrics with the attendant chords in the right places would be most appreciated as well.

NOW - a note for MARY GARVEY. Please DO PERFORM the song "No Man's Land"; but follow it up with Steve Suffet's "Willie McBride's Reply". This is what I do when I sing & play to the kids at school. I explain that No Man's Land is a highly cynical song and WHY - the fact that it was the "Great War" because for the first time in history whole nations were fighting other whole nations and the conflict spread to 3 continents but the dying was futile as when it ended, they just picked up the reins 21 years later and reprised the whole thing again only longer and bigger and when THAT one finished they "took it on the road" to Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, etc.
BUT - - - - I then play Willie McBride's Reply to show them that even if war in itself IS futile (and it is) there is STILL A REASON TO FIGHT.

Interesting to note too the comment about the treatment the returning Irish soldiers got in 1919. It almost sounds like the way the Aussie soldiers (and the Americans) were treated with contempt by their own people and families and worse, by the governments that SENT them when they returned from Vietnam.

Mutt


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 13 May 05 - 07:57 AM

Good song.
Those names should really be added to their town and village memorials.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: GUEST,Verdell Davis, San Antonio, TX/Buffytxus@yah
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 10:46 PM

Many years ago when I was a small child, we had an old Victrola. My Daddy, who had served in WWI, bought a record, and I think the name was 'When The Roses Bloom Again Beside The River'. [I'll Be with You When the Roses Bloom Again] Lyrics went something like this -

'They were roamin'' in the gloamin', Where the roses were in bloom,
A soldier and his sweetheart, brave and true.
Their hearts were filled with sorrow
and their thoughts were of the 'morrow,
when she pinned a rose upon his coat of blue.
'Do not ask me,Love, to linger, for you know not what you say,
when duty calls your sweetheart's name in vain....'.

This song haunts me. Does anyone out there know the rest of the lyrics? Thank you, Verdell


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 05 Aug 05 - 11:06 PM

See this previous discussion:

I'll Be with You When the Roses Bloom Again


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: ad1943
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 12:22 AM

Has anyone heard "Suvla Bay"? Very emotive.

There is an interesting feminist view of the First World War regarding young aggressive men killing each other.

Allen From OZ


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 07:17 AM

The Great War left a great impression on Australia. All over the country, in almost every country town, a War Memorial was eventually erected, often in the very centre of town. Many of them were not erected until the 1920's. Many small towns were gutted of a generation, those not killed or severely injured (limb loss, lung and eye damage) were often mentally scarred for life. Some towns have ceased to exist nowadays, but the monument is still in what was the focal point of the town. Many country towns had most of their casualties in a single battle or even day, as they usually had enlisted en masse, and ended up in the same fighting unit.

The one in Toowoomba - a large country town in Queensland - was called, and still is today, "The Mother's Memorial". It was shifted from a main town intersection to East Creek Park - near Queen's Park.

There is a story that is was supposed to be made of solid marble, but when moved it was discovered that it was not solid marble.

I once as a child attended the Dawn Service in Bundaberg in the main intersection opposite the Post Office Clock Tower corner - another large country town, and it was eerie, what with the newly installed traffic lights flashing amber in the dawn light.

Many work places, such as the Post Office and large businesses used to display until quite recently 'Honor Rolls' - wooden boards with gilt names of members of staff who did not return. These were usually added to regularly as casualties were confirmed. Many of these businesses have ceased to exist in the modern world due to takeovers and bankruptcies.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Tam the man
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 07:31 AM

I know that this has nothing to do with songs from the 'great' war, but my grandfather was shot at Gallopli, he was shot through the leg.

Tam


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Mr Red
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 09:40 AM

Puck

Try "The Old Barbed Wire" I have a version sung by Robert Graves the War poet & "I Claudius" on my website cresby.com - look in "songs". The popular version is very easy to learn - ideal for kiddies and it is a genuine Folk song.

I have since written a version that takes the story on by two or three generations - same tune/format. The Old Barbed Why Here?
PM me if you want the words.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 10:10 AM

Re: punkoid, may 12, 2005 -

The disease described here was known by the troops as shell shock. It needed about three years of grim warfare until it was recognized as heavy a mental disturbance and not cowardice.
I'm on furlough now, but I'll look up my source when I'm back at university.
Methinks there is not a bit of poetical license in it; it is correct in its description. Based on truth it is one of the most moving songs about this theme.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War
From: Susanne (skw)
Date: 06 Aug 05 - 06:56 PM

I wouldn't call No Man's Land 'cynical'. Rather, its main emotion seems to be sadness. The cynicism - I'd rather call it bitterness - isn't (I think) directed at the soldiers but at those who use them to fight their wars for them.

Found this snippet of information from Hamish Imlach, when he introduced the song at our venue in Kiel, Germany, in 1993:

"[Eric] actually started to write this song when he was in this country. He'd done the Osnabruck Festival and had some time off. He was fascinated by the First World War so he went and looked at military cemeteries. He looked at thousands of crosses and couldn't find one man who was more than twenty-three years old - Eric was nearly thirty. He came back to Muenster, and in the military cemetery there he saw a name he remembered. So he started to write this song ..."

(If anyone should doubt my ability to remember this verbatim after 12 years - I taped the gig :-))


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Subject: Lyr Add: ARE WE DOWN-HEARTED? NO—! (David/Wright)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 03:51 PM

From the sheet music, which can be seen at The National Library of Australia. Spotify also has a recording by Arthur Boyton, on 2 albums: "Oh! It's a Lovely War, Vol. 2" and "The Great War: 50 Original Historical Recordings..."


ARE WE DOWN-HEARTED? NO—!
Words and music by Worton David and Lawrence Wright, ©1915.
"Sung by Miss Florrie Forde"

1. Mister Pat Malone upon the continong,*
Was fighting with the Irish fusiliers.
One night in the camp he rose to sing a song,
And all the Tommies greeted him with cheers.
Said Pat: "I'll sing a song about our gallant fighting men.
Although we've had a tussle with the Germans now and then,—

CHORUS: Are we down-hearted? NO!
Then let your voices ring
And all together sing.
Are we down-hearted? NO!
Not while Britannia rules the waves. (Not likely!)
While we have Jack upon the sea,
And Tommy on the land, we needn't fret.
It's a long, long way to Tipperary,
But we're not down-hearted yet!

2. With a Frenchy girl Pat toddled out one night,
And arm in arm they strolled, you may depend,
Till a dozen pals all sang out with delight:
"Hello! Hello there! Who's your lady friend?"
Said Patrick, "I don't know her name, but listen here old pal,
If this is what they give us with the Entente Cordiale,—CHORUS.

3. Before I leave the stage a word I'd like to say,
To ev'ry British son and daughter here.
Reverses we must have; we can't win all the way,
But while we've Jack and Tommy, never fear.
Don't listen to the rumours that Germans spread about.
When people try to scare you, do the same as me and shout:—CHORUS.


[* I assume this spelling is meant to mimic the French pronunciation of "continent."]


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War (WWI)
From: selby
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 04:10 PM

Please follow the link to support a potentially great CD

http://www.sponsume.com/project/songs-voiceless
Keith


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Subject: Lyr Add: ARE WE DOWNHEARTED? NO! NO! NO! (Sherwood
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 04:22 PM

I guess someone decided the Americans needed their own version. From the sheet music at Indiana University:


ARE WE DOWNHEARTED? NO! NO! NO!
Words by Ray Sherwood, music by Will Donaldson.
New York: F. B. Haviland Pub. Co. Inc., ©1917.

1. "Cheer up, cheer up, cheer up, ev'ryone,"
Said a soldier boy one day.
"Cheer up, cheer up; let us have some fun,
Before it's time to go away.
Ev'rybody sing! Let your voices ring.
We'll march away with a song."

CHORUS: Are we downhearted? No! No! No!
We are ready to go, go, go.
Goodbye sweetheart, for a little while.
Goodbye, mother; let me see you smile.
Soon the bugle will blow, blow, blow.
Duty calls, we know,
And we'll hang the kaiser to a sour apple tree.
Are we downhearted? No! No! No!

2. Dearie, dearie, now's the time to dance.
Soon the band will start to play.
Dearie, dearie, over there in France,
I won't forget this happy day.
Though we go to fight, still our hearts are light.
Cheer up; it's time to be gay.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ARE WE FAINTHEARTED? NO! (McCormick)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Oct 13 - 07:04 PM

And another specifically Australian version, from the National Library of Australia:


ARE WE FAINTHEARTED? NO!
"Respectfully dedicated to the sons of Australia"
Words and music by "Amicus" (P. D. McCormick)
Sydney: W. H. Paling & Co. Ltd., ©1916.

1. Britannia called her loyal sons from every clime and land,
And well they rallied to the flag and made a gallant stand.
Her offspring 'neath the Southern Cross soon heard the bugle call,
And joined the ranks, like sires of old, to conquer or to fall.

CHORUS: Are we fainthearted? No!
When called to face the foe,
We've placed our names on the scroll of fame
And marching on we'll go.

2. We read the deeds in hist'ry's page of Nelson, Blake and Clyde,
Of Drake and Cook and Wellington, whose names we hold with pride,
As scions of the daring race who fought on field and flood.
Their spirit lives, and in our veins still flows the dauntless blood.

3. Now let us keep the Empire Flag of Britain to the fore
And send our sons to man the ships and fill the ranks on shore.
They've met and fought the enemy without a thought of fear.
Their deeds of valour we admire and raise a royal cheer.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FAREWELL TO ANZAC (C. Fox Smith)
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 02:02 PM

next April is the 99th anniversary of ANZAC DAY - when the Australian and New Zealand forces attacked Gallipoli. The staunchly patriotic C. Fox Smith wrote a poem Farewell to ANZAC that has been put to music by a number of singers, the hubby among them.


Oh, hump your swag and leave, lads, the ships are in the bay —
We've got our marching orders now, it's time to come away —
And a long good-bye to Anzac Beach — where blood has flowed in vain
For we're leaving it, leaving it, game to fight again!

But some there are will never quit this bleak and bloody shore —
And some that marched and fought with us will fight and march no more;
Their blood has bought till Judgment Day the slopes they stormed so well,
And we're leaving them, leaving them, sleeping where they fell.

(Leaving them, leaving them — the bravest and the best —
leaving them, leaving them, and maybe glad to rest!
We've done our best with yesterday, to-morrow's still our own —
But we're leaving them, leaving them, sleeping all alone!)

Ay, they are gone beyond it all, the praising and the blame,
And many a man may win renown, but none more fair a fame;
They showed the world Australia's lads knew well the way to die;
And we're leaving them, leaving them, quiet where they lie.

(Leaving them, leaving them, sleeping where they died;
Leaving them, leaving them, in their glory and their pride —
Round them sea and barren land, over them the sky,
Oh, We're leaving them, leaving them, quiet where they lie!)


I'm surprised that Dancing at Whitsun hasn't been mentioned. Very powerful song.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War (WWI)
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 17 Oct 13 - 06:57 PM

Great ideas here, some new to me--thanks.

One I'd also mention is
11:11 by Garnet Rogers--on Sparrow's Wing
http://garnetrogers.com/site/?page_id=44#6

I play a few of these songs at 11 am on Armistice Day every year (if I can), and usually end up with this one.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War (WWI)
From: GUEST,eldergirl on another computer
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 05:07 PM

Les Sullivan's Roses of No Man's Land
Martin Graebe's song about the man whose sweetheart went to France as a nurse, and was killed; I think that was mentioned earlier in the thread.
Dancing at Whitsun , absolutely.
Jim Mageean's medley of songs the soldiers actually sang. Keep your spirits up, lads! The content is Nothing like our present-day soul-searching bordering on dare I say maudlin offerings..

I don't mean All of them. but quite a few. or maybe it's how they are presented?
or do I mean, Respect please, but let us not Wallow? yes I think that is what I mean.


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Subject: RE: Songs about the Great War (WWI)
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 18 Oct 13 - 07:06 PM

Farewell to ANZAC is on youtube.

Included in allpoetry.com, where Chariie Noble gives it a small write-up and cites two books which include the poem (first in "Fighting Men," 1916.

It has its own thread on mudcat, posted by Charlie Noble. With chords. 135040:
Lyr Add Farewell to ANZAC


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Subject: Lyr Add: 1917 (David Olney)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 13 Nov 13 - 02:32 AM

Dave's Wife mentioned this song earlier in this thread.

This is mostly my own transcription, but I found the Latin words online. I also listened to David Olney's recording on his album "Women across the River" (2002); it helped me fill in a few muffled words on the Ronstadt/Harris recording.

1917
Written by David Olney
As sung by Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris on "Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions" (1999)

The strange young man who comes to me,
A soldier on a three-day spree,
Who needs one night's cheap ecstasy
    And a woman's arms to hide him.
He greets me with a courtly bow,
And hides his pain by acting proud,
And he drinks too much and he laughs too loud.
    But how can I deny him?
Let us dance beneath the moon.
I'll sing to you Clair de Lune.
The morning always comes too soon.
    But tonight the war is over.

He speaks to me in schoolboy French
Of a soldier's life inside a trench,
And the look of death and the ghastly stench.
    I do my best to please him.
He puts two roses in a vase,
Two roses sadly out of place
Like the gallant smile on his haggard face.
    Playfully I tease him.
Hold me 'neath the Paris sky.
Let's not talk of how or why.
Tomorrow's soon enough to die,
    But tonight the war is over.

We make love too hard, too fast.
He falls asleep, his face a mask.
Then he wakes with the shakes and he drinks from his flask.
    I put my arms around him.
Oh, they die in the trenches and they die in the air.
In Belgium and France, the dead are everywhere,
And they die so fast there's no time to prepare
    A decent grave to surround them.

Old world glory, old world fame,
The old world's gone, gone up in flames,
And nothing will ever be the same,
    And nothing lasts forever.
Oh, I'd pray for him, but I've forgotten how,
And there's nothing, nothing that can save him now,
But there's always another with the same funny bow,
    And who am I to deny them?

Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius eis.
Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine.

    Tonight the war is over.
Quia pius eis,
Lux aeterna luceat eis, Domine,
Cum sanctis tuis in aeternum, quia pius eis,
Requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine.

    Tonight the war is over.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FROM SEVERN BY THE SOMME (Martin Graebe)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Nov 13 - 08:18 PM

This song was mentioned by a GUEST back on 02 May 2005 - 03:03 PM, and I think it is also the song eldergirl was referring to.

Lyrics copied from Martin Graebe's web site. Musical notation is also there for the melody line, in Sibelius Scorch format. (Which is very useful because you can play it, transpose it, change the tempo, save it, and print it; but you probably need to install a plug-in to do these things.)

FROM SEVERN, BY THE SOMME
Written by Martin Graebe, ©1996.

1. The swan floats over flooded fields; the heron hunts the hawthorn brake.
The wayward streams have drowned the land, the green grass turned to silver lake.
Through winter's dark and stormy days, I tend my sheep upon the hill
And think of you so far away, and wish that I was with you still.

2. Like Severn's floods, the storms of war have drowned my hopes for you and I.
With deadly grace the hunters kill, and lords and lowly learn to die.
To serve my king and those I love, I would have gone to play my part,
But the doctors saved me for the hills, to nurse my over-tender heart.

3. You smiled so sadly when you said though I'd remain, I'd stay alone.
The carriage window framed your face above your spotless uniform;
For women too must go to war, although they face a different fight,
To use their skills with broken men, and help them face their fears at night.

4. I'd read your letters on the hill; they told of madness, mud and pain,
How tired you were, how angry with the wasted lives for little gain;
Of quieter times when guns were cool, and blackbirds sang, though trees were gone,
And how you wished to smell again a rose from Severn, by the Somme.

5. I've walked through twisted woods and fields that fifty years of healing soothed.
The painful harvest garnered there defies a man to stand unmoved.
I've seen the grave in which you lie; my tears have washed the snowy stone,
And there I left a single flower: a rose from Severn, by the Somme.

[Also recorded by Martyn Wyndham-Read & No Man's Band on "Beyond the Red Horizon" (2000), and by Johnny Coppin on "The Winding Stair" (2005).]


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE ROSE OF NO MAN'S LAND
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 15 Nov 13 - 09:48 PM

From the sheet music at Mississippi State University:

[Other copies can be seen at
American University
The National Library of Australia
Indiana University
Temple University
University of Tennessee.]


THE ROSE OF NO MAN'S LAND
LA ROSE SOUS LES BOULETS
French words by Louis Delamarre, English words by Jack Caddigan, music by James A. Brennan.
New York: Leo Feist, Inc., ©1918.

J'ai vu bien des fleurs s'empourprer,
Au jardin de la vie,
Et souvent j'aime à m'enivrer,
De leur senteur be'nie,
J'en sais une au pur eclat,
Sans rival ici bas.


CHORUS: La rose fleurit sous les Boulets,
En avant du front elle est,
De pleurs arrosée,
Pour bien des années,
Dans nos coeurs elle restera
La rose rouge amour du soldat,
Dans cette enciente où rien ne bouge,
L'ombre qui parâit,
Portant la Croix Rouge,
C'est la rose des Boulets.


1. I've seen some beautiful flowers
Grow in life's garden fair.
I've spent some wonderful hours,
Lost in their fragrance rare;
But I have found another,
Wondrous beyond compare.

CHORUS: There's a rose that grows on "No Man's Land"
And it's wonderful to see.
Though it's sprayed with tears,
It will live for years,
In my garden of memory.
It's the one red rose the soldier knows.
It's the work of the Master's hand:
'Mid the war's great curse
Stands the Red Cross Nurse.
She's the rose of "No Man's Land."

2. Out of the heavenly splendor,
Down to the trail of woe,
God in his mercy has sent her,
Cheering the world below.
We call her "Rose of Heaven."
We've learned to love her so.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANZAC COVE (Leon Gellert)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 16 Nov 13 - 07:40 AM

This was mentioned by Rich Joy above.

These lyrics copied from History of the 10th battalion, A.I.F. by A. Lumb (London...: Cassell and Company, Ltd., 1919), page 26:

ANZAC COVE
Poem by Leon Gellert

There's a lonely stretch of hillocks:
There's a beach asleep and drear:
There's a battered broken fort beside the sea.
There are sunken trampled graves:
And a little rotting pier:
And winding paths that wind unceasingly.

There's a torn and silent valley:
There's a tiny rivulet
With some blood upon the stones beside its mouth.
There are lines of buried bones:
There's an unpaid waiting debt:
There's a sound of gentle sobbing in the South.

[This poem previously appeared in Songs of a Campaign by Leon Gellert (Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1917). It may have been set to music more than once. There is a version composed and sung by Ben Abraham on YouTube.]


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE YANKS STARTED YANKIN (McCarron/Morgan
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 17 Nov 13 - 03:59 PM

Lyrics below are from the sheet music at Indiana University.

You can hear a 1918 recording by Arthur Fields at YouTube. Where Fields' words differ from the sheet music, I have put them in brackets.

THE YANKS STARTED YANKIN'
Words and music by Charles McCarron and Carey Morgan
New York: Broadway Music Corporation, ©1918.

1. I dreamed of a scene in an old soldier's home.
The year was nineteen fifty three.
With medals galore that he'd won in this war,
He sat smoking peacefully.
"Tell me of the war of nineteen seventeen,"
Said his grandson who stood by his side.
"How did they fix up that terrible mix-up?"
And proudly the old man replied:

CHORUS: The Russians were rushin' the Prussians.
The Prussians were crushin' the Russians.
The Balkans were balkin' and Turkey was squawkin',
Rasputin disputin' and Italy scootin' [or "hootin'"],
The Boches all bulled Bolshevikis.
The British were skittish at sea [or "watching the sea"],
But the good Lord I'm thankin',
The Yanks started yankin'
And yanked Kaiser Bill up a tree.

2. My dream quickly changed to a schoolroom that day.
The lesson was geography.
A child raise her hand, said, "I don't understand.
This map looks all wrong to me.
What is this strange place that is marked Germany?"
And the teacher replied with a roar:
"Why, that's an old map, dear; since we had that scrap, dear,
There ain't no such place any more.

CHORUS: The Russians were rushin' the Prussians.
The Prussians were crushin' the Russians.
The good old Italians were hurling battalions,
Canadians raidin' and Frenchmen invadin'.
The Bulgars were bulgin' the Belgians,
But Yanks started yankin', you see,
And when peace was conceded,
Some new maps were needed.
They ruined the geography.


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Subject: Lyr Add: OVER THERE (George M. Cohan)
From: GUEST,sciencegeek
Date: 18 Nov 13 - 11:00 AM

had forgotten about this one:

Lyrics to "Over There" by George M. Cohan

Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gun
Take it on the run, on the run, on the run
Hear them calling you and me
Every son of liberty

Hurry right away, no delay, go today
Make your daddy glad to have had such a lad
Tell your sweetheart not to pine
To be proud her boy's in line.

CHORUS (repeated twice): Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming everywhere

So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We'll be over, we're coming over
And we won't come back till it's over over there.

Johnnie get your gun, get your gun, get your gun
Johnnie show the Hun you're a son of a gun
Hoist the flag and let her fly
Yankee Doodle do or die

Pack your little kit, show your grit, do your bit
Yankees to the ranks from the towns and the tanks
Make your mother proud of you
And the old Red White and Blue.

CHORUS (repeated twice): Over there, over there
Send the word, send the word over there
That the Yanks are coming, the Yanks are coming
The drums rum-tumming everywhere

So prepare, say a prayer
Send the word, send the word to beware
We'll be over, we're coming over
And we won't come back till it's over over there.


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