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Lyr Req: Freedom Isn't Free

Pete M 10 Feb 99 - 07:57 PM
Anne Lee 10 Feb 99 - 10:27 PM
Pete M 10 Feb 99 - 11:36 PM
katlaughing 11 Feb 99 - 01:05 AM
Steve Parkes 11 Feb 99 - 03:29 AM
Tim Jaques 13 Feb 99 - 04:30 PM
Lonesome EJ 13 Feb 99 - 06:14 PM
Steve Parkes 15 Feb 99 - 03:49 AM
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From: Pete M
Date: 10 Feb 99 - 07:57 PM

Thanks for adding the links to the DT Joe. The first "here" against the 51st farewell is as written. The second seems to be an Anglicised? Americanised? version.

The version of Bloody Orkney in the DT is as sung by Ian Campbell, with his last stanza. (It should read "roll on demob.." by the way Dick)

The original, taken from a book of war poetry whose title escapes me and I can't find at the moment, is:

Capt. Hamish bloody Blair
Doesnae live here any mair
And no one seems to Bloody care
In Bloody Orkney.

As the Kreigie Ballad doesn't appear to be in the DT I've added it below.

"The Kriegie ballad"

Robert Garioch
Tune: Botany Bay

Yes this is the place we were took Sir,
And landed right into the bag
Right outside the town of Tobruk, Sir,
So now for some bloody stalag.

ChorusWith a toora-lie, oora-lie addy,
With a toora-lie oora-lie ay,
With attora-lie oora-lie addy,
Here's hoping we're not here to stay!

There was plenty of water in Derna
But that camp was not very well kept
For either you slept in the piss-hole
Or pissed in the place where you slept


And then we went on to Benghazi
We had plenty of room, what a treat!
But I wish that the guard was a Nazi
He might find us something to eat


And then we went on to Brindisi,
With free melons in fields on the way
Parades there were quite free and easy
Except that they went on all day


The sun it grew hotter and hotter
The shit trench was streaked red and brown
The stew was like maiden's water
With gnat's piss to wash it all down


With hunger were nearly demented
You can see it at once by our looks
The only ones really contented
Are the greasy fat bastards of cooks


And now it was late in the autumn
And our clothes they were only a farce
For torn KD shorts with no bottom,
Send a hell of a draught up your arse.


At Musso's show camp at Vetrella,
They gave us beds, blankets and sheets,
They've even got chains in the shit house,
But still they had no bloody seats.


We were promised a treat for our Christmas,
Of thick pasta-shoota, all hot,
But some how the cooks got a transfer,
And shot out of sight with the lot.


So somewhere they wish us good wishes,
That we're not all feeling too queer,
And while they arte guzzling our pasta,
They wish us a Happy New Year.


Pete M

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Subject: RE: Freedom Isn't Free
From: Anne Lee
Date: 10 Feb 99 - 10:27 PM

Does "Sink the Bismarc" sung by Johnny Horton and "The Ballad of the Green Berets" sung (and written?) by Ssgt. Barry Sadler count as WWII folk?

I know that the Germans (not to bring up ill feeling) sung many folk/marching songs during WWII, but not sure if they were from prior eras.

I tend to agree that due to modern inventions in America, there was a shift away from folk songs during WWII. Shows how quickly a culture can change.

Anne Lee

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Subject: RE: Freedom Isn't Free
From: Pete M
Date: 10 Feb 99 - 11:36 PM

Good question Anne,

there are undoubtedly a lot more songs written during WWII such as "Browned off" by MacColl and about WWII such as "Dunkirk" by Zetta St Clair, but whetrher they count as WWII folk songs is an open question. I"m fairly confident that those I mentioned were sung during the war and they they gained widespread usage by oral transmission, which is close enough for my definition. Others of course differ in their view as to what constitutes a folk song.

Pete M

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Subject: RE: Freedom Isn't Free
From: katlaughing
Date: 11 Feb 99 - 01:05 AM

Hey, Joe, that was a great listing. I hadn't thought of "So long it's been good to know you" in quite a few years. I grew up hearing mom and dad sing it.

Funny story about it. Dad got caught out at a drilling rig and was late getting in on Christmas Eve, or so the story goes, I wasn't around, yet. Anyway, the only store open (of course it was pre-Walmart/Kmart, etc.) was a little drug store. He stopped in to get a gift for mom. Bought a little round metal music box with a kind of receptacle in the top, I think for powder.

Anyway, she opened it in the morning and was pleasantly surprised until she wound it up and heard it play "So long it's been good to know you"! Needless to say he was in the dog house for quite awhile and never lived it down!


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Subject: RE: Freedom Isn't Free
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 11 Feb 99 - 03:29 AM

"Bloody Orkney" also goes by the name "Bloody Halkirk" (the polite version, anyway!). I don't know which one is the original.


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Subject: RE: Freedom Isn't Free
From: Tim Jaques
Date: 13 Feb 99 - 04:30 PM

"Ballad of the Green Berets" was a Vietnam War era song, IIRC. Certainly I can remember it being played on the radio, and I wasn't around during WWII.

The drunken quarrelling, I have heard, was generally between soldiers and sailors when they met in taverns. Groups of one branch of service would band together, regardless of nationality, to battle their multinational foes of the other service. Then the Military Police would come, beat on everybody, haul them off, and the fun would be over for the night.

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Subject: RE: Freedom Isn't Free
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 13 Feb 99 - 06:14 PM

One of the most popular songs among all the troops on both sides in the European theatre was "Lily Marlene" which I believe started life as a German Beerhall tune. As to the US/UK rivalry during the war, my father told the story of an English pub where he and a fellow GI went in for a drink. Americans weren't always welcome in these neighborhood pubs, and in this case Dad and his buddy,an Italian from Brooklyn,had to wait til all the Brit soldiers were served before they got their pints.After they finished their beers, the Italian guy shouts to the bartender"Bring us another round faster than the Limies left Dunkirk!"Dad said only the sudden appearance of a gang of mps allowed them to get out with their lives. My father in law, who was in the English Army, says"During the war your fellows had a bit of trouble handling our strong British beer. They often had to be carried into the street to sober up".Right. Or be run over by a lorry,whichever came first.

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Subject: RE: Freedom Isn't Free
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 15 Feb 99 - 03:49 AM

There was much consternation recently when "Friends" had someone say "you'd all be speaking German if it wasn't for us" to an unpeasant Englishman. Inthe interests of maintaining the excellent relations our two countries enjoy, I think I'd better point out - in the most affectionate manner - that if you wittily make remarks of that kind over here you are likely to get a witty smack in the gob by return. (I completely ignore that fact that other nations would all be speaking Gaelic/Welsh/Dutch, etc. if it wasn't for us).


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