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ADD/Origins: Company of Cowards


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chico 31 May 05 - 04:37 PM
Uncle_DaveO 31 May 05 - 04:53 PM
12-stringer 31 May 05 - 05:19 PM
12-stringer 31 May 05 - 05:30 PM
GUEST 31 May 05 - 08:55 PM
GUEST,Frederic Warbuel 30 Jan 12 - 05:27 AM
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Subject: Lyr/Chords Add: COMPANY OF COWARDS
From: chico
Date: 31 May 05 - 04:37 PM

Here are the lyrics and chords. This is from the New Christy minstrels. Is this a geniune civil war song, or after-the-fact? Who wrote it? Is it based on history?

   G          C             G             D
As I walkin' down the road upon a summer's day
G                     C             G         D    G (D7)
What do'you suppose I chance to meet comin' the other way
   G                   C            G             D
O sure it weren't the navy nor the whole McDougal clan
          G         C               G          D       G (D7)
'Twas a company of cowards I could tell by the way they ran

G                C                      G                  D
Oh get around oh get around get around, Oh get around get away
          G          C                G       D7       G   (D7)
'Twas a company of cowards and they've come to save the day?

You shoulda seen their uniforms as shabby as you please
Mighty shy of buttons and baggy at the knees
Oh such was their appearance we laughed until we cried
It's a pity Mr. Davis/Lincoln, they're not on the other side

I swore I never heard the bugle call retreat
But all I heard was the sound of a hundred scampering feet
It was forward into battle! They came marching one by one
But I guess they thought it over, and they thought it best to run

All men who wear the sabre share the scandal of the day
Napolean would have died of shame to see them run away
Remember George at Valley Forge, made the British boys behave
You can well imagine now he's rolling over in his grave

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Company of Cowards (ORIGINS REQ)
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 31 May 05 - 04:53 PM

I can't tell you anything authoritatively, but I'd personally bet money that it's not actually traditional from that time. I say that on two grounds, both very subjective:

1. You say it's from the New Christy Minstrels. My judgment of their stuff leads me to believe that anything they do is either modern forg-- err, modern composition or at best a heavy-handed rewrite from a traditional source, in order to fit their peculiar style of performance.

2. And even more subjective, the text given above just somehow doesn't feel to me like a genuine song of that period.

Your mileage may vary.

Dave Oesterreich

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Company of Cowards (ORIGINS REQ)
From: 12-stringer
Date: 31 May 05 - 05:19 PM

Theme song from a 1964 movie, "Advance to the Rear," released by MGM. It's a comedy western set during the Civil War and stars Glenn Ford and Stella Stevens. As Uncle DaveO says, it's very much unlike a traditional song and was surely written for the movie. (Movie is adapted from a Jack Schaefer novel that was published as "Company of Cowards," and no doubt that was the working title of the film.)

The credits should give the composer's name, but the IMDb page doesn't give the full credits for the film. A comment on the page says that the music was written by Randy Sparks. The song is sung over the intro credits.

This film plays from time to time on Turner Classic Movies but I don't know if it is available on VHS or DVD.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Company of Cowards (ORIGINS REQ)
From: 12-stringer
Date: 31 May 05 - 05:30 PM

The AFI catalog of feature films of the 1960s has an entry for this film and identifies Randy Sparks as the composer of all the songs, which were performed on the soundtrack by the NCM. The songs in the picture were:

Company of Cowards, This Ol' Riverboat, Today, Whistlin' Dixie, Anything Love Can Buy, Ladies, Company Q Whistle March, Way Down in Arkansas, Brackenby's Music Box, and Charleston Town.

The film title was changed from "Company of Cowards" to "Advance to the Rear" sometime between the copyright date of 31 Dec 1963 and the opening date of 15 April 1964.

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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: Company of Cowards (ORIGINS REQ)
Date: 31 May 05 - 08:55 PM

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Subject: RE: Company of Cowards - music and lyrics authors
From: GUEST,Frederic Warbuel
Date: 30 Jan 12 - 05:27 AM

Who is the author of music and lyrics of the song Company of Cowards. In the fitm titles is written Randy Sparks. Is he the only author of this song?

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