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Tune Req: Michael (Robert Service, Greg Artzner)

30 Sep 09 - 04:38 PM (#2735285)
Subject: Michael by Greg Antzner
From: Dahlin

I am looking for the music to this song. I have the lyrics written by poet Robert Service, but need the music or tablature as it is sing by Magpie

Dick D

30 Sep 09 - 05:14 PM (#2735308)
Subject: RE: Michael by Greg Antzner
From: sing4peace

Greg's last name is Artzner.
His partner's name is Terry Leonino
Together they are Magpie.

Good luck,

01 Oct 09 - 10:45 AM (#2735847)
Subject: RE: Michael by Greg Antzner
From: GUEST,Greg Artzner

Hey DIck,
I am the guy who wrote the melody setting for "Michael" by Robert Service. I haven't done any tablature transcription of the song, and I'm not even sure I have a lead sheet for it around here. The "mother" sections are a straight I-IV-V and then Michael's response goes into the relative minor. It's pretty simple.
Thanks for your interest and good luck!
Greg Artzner

01 Oct 09 - 11:43 AM (#2735882)
Subject: RE: Michael by Greg Antzner
From: Dan Schatz

Greg and Terry set the Robert Service poem to music at the suggestion of Utah Phillips, who had recorded the spoken poem on his I've Got to Know album. Greg and Terry wrote the setting as a gift to Utah and included it on the Singing Through the Hard Times set. It's also one of the highlights of the most recent Magpie album.

Greg and Terry are fantastic musicians and great folks.


02 Oct 09 - 11:57 AM (#2736697)
Subject: RE: Michael by Greg Antzner
From: Dahlin

Thanks for the quick response. Our group down here in Florida is planning to start singing it to folks down here. It's really a great musical setting for a powerful poem that alas still has much relevance to our world today.

Sorry about messing up the spelling of your name.

Dick Dufresne

12 Oct 09 - 01:02 PM (#2744235)
Subject: Lyr Add: MICHAEL (Robert Service)
From: Jim Dixon

Since the lyrics have never been posted at Mudcat...

From Ballads of a Bohemian by Robert W. Service (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1921), page 198:

Robert Service

"There's something in your face, Michael, I've seen it all the day;
There's something quare that wasn't there when first ye wint away...."

"It's just the Army life, mother, the drill, the left and right,
That puts the stiffinin' in yer spine and locks yer jaw up tight...."

"There's something in your eyes, Michael, an' how they stare and stare—
You're lookin' at me now, me boy, as if I wasn't there...."

"It's just the things I've seen, mother, the sights that come and come,
A bit o' broken, bloody pulp that used to be a chum...."

"There's something on your heart, Michael, that makes ye wake at night,
And often when I hear ye moan, I trimble in me fright...."

"It's just a man I killed, mother, a mother's son like me;
It seems he's always hauntin' me, he'll never let me be...."

"But maybe he was bad, Michael, maybe it was right
To kill the inimy you hate in fair and honest fight...."

"I did not hate at all, mother; he never did me harm;
I think he was a lad like me, who worked upon a farm...."

"And what's it all about, Michael; why did you have to go,
A quiet, peaceful lad like you, and we were happy so?..."

"It's thim that's up above, mother, it's thim that sits an' rules;
We've got to fight the wars they make; it's us as are the fools...."

"And what will be the end, Michael, and what's the use, I say,
Of fightin' if whoever wins it's us that's got to pay?..."

"Oh, it will be the end, mother, when lads like him and me,
That sweat to feed the ones above, decide that we'll be free...."

"And when will that day come, Michael, and when will fightin' cease,
And simple folks may till their soil and live and love in peace?..."

"It's coming soon and soon, mother, it's nearer every day,
When only men who work and sweat will have a word to say;
When all who earn their honest bread in every land and soil
Will claim the Brotherhood of Man, the Comradeship of Toil;
When we, the Workers, all demand: 'What are we fighting for?'...
Then, then we'll end that stupid crime, that devil's madness—War."