To Thread - Forum Home

The Mudcat Café TM
https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=18542
16 messages

Lyr Req: Will Ye Go tae Flanders?

24 Feb 00 - 05:25 PM (#184251)
Subject: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: Calach

Heard this on a Altan album (a must for any collector who's not got one in their collection already). Will Ye go tae Flanders, my mammie-O Lyrics please for an Edinburgh Folk Singer. Thanks.


24 Feb 00 - 05:37 PM (#184257)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: Jeri

The song is in the DT. Click here and enjoy!


24 Feb 00 - 06:16 PM (#184283)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

It's also on my website (www.erols.com/olsonw) in Scarce Songs 2, from Herd's 'Scots Songs', 1776, and with the earliest copy of it's tune, 1743, from Oswald's 'Caledonian Pocket Companion'.


31 May 00 - 10:41 AM (#236346)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: GUEST,Judith

Scartaglen adds an updating verse, with appropriate aural effects in the background -

And will ye go to Vietnam, my mannie-o? To the Cedars of the Lebanon, my mannie-o? We'll see the bullets fly, and the soldiers, they still die Where the starshell lights the sky, my mannie-o.


01 Jun 00 - 12:04 AM (#236691)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: GUEST,Mrbisok@aol

I ran across this song early in my folk life, like around 1992. B/C I was an idiot and did not take notes, I don't know which recordings (taped from radio) I had. One ended with a classic bagpipe which lasted 2 minues, which thrilled me. Where can I go to get background to this song? Who is the genius who penned words and music?-- Thanx, Harold


01 Jun 00 - 11:03 AM (#236854)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: radriano

As far as I know, Will Ye Go to Flanders is an anti-recruitment song. I first heard it on the album Broken hearted I'll wander by Dolores Keane and John Faulkner. Here's what their liner notes say. John Faulkner says he learned the song from Ewan MacColl, who sang two verses of it on an old record. John wrote two additional verses to it. According the Peter Hall in Aberdeen, the original stanzas date back to the 1st Duke of Marlborough's campaign in Flanders in 1706.

radriano


01 Jun 00 - 02:07 PM (#236943)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: BeauDangles

I had always thought the line was: "Will ye go to Flanders, my Marley-oh" Marley-oh being a variation of Marlborough.

Am I wrong?

BeauD


01 Jun 00 - 02:09 PM (#236944)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: BeauDangles

Oh, and the line about "sack & sugar-candy" I always heard as "sark & sugar-candy." Sack, or sark, or whatever, is a kind of sugared wine drink, no?

Beau


01 Jun 00 - 02:18 PM (#236948)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: Malcolm Douglas

Sack:  A white wine of Sherry class from Spain or the Canaries.  The name probably derives from French sec, dry.

Malcolm


01 Jun 00 - 03:14 PM (#236979)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: Turtle

Beau, I always heard it as, "my Molly-O." Was I wrong? or is it just the folk process having its way with us again?

Turtle


01 Jun 00 - 04:17 PM (#237007)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: GUEST,jwmmccreadie@aol.com

My reading of the song has "My Mally-O". I always read sack as being the spoils of war, as in when one sacked a city. love John (See K.Olsen)


01 Jun 00 - 05:22 PM (#237046)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Sack and Canary are alcoholic drinks referred to several times in 17th century broadside ballads.

The earliest text I know of for "Will you go to Flanders, my Molly O" is that in Herd's Scots Songs, 1776, as I noted in the third note above. (which also notes where you can see that text)

I would be very interested to know if there's real evidence for the song being of 1706, or it that's just an 'educated guess'. King William was fighting in Flanders as early as 1692. Several 17th century broadside ballads on this subject can be found in the broadside ballad index on my website.


01 Jun 00 - 05:26 PM (#237047)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: radriano

I thought that Molly-o refered to the person the singer is talking to, his girlfriend, Molly, whom he is trying to dissuade from going to Flanders.

radriano


01 Jun 00 - 05:44 PM (#237050)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: Turtle

Or persuade to go to Flanders?


01 Jun 00 - 09:40 PM (#237182)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: Malcolm Douglas

If you take the trouble to look at the earliest known text that Bruce has mentioned twice in this thread, you'll see that it's Mally.

Malcolm


01 Jun 00 - 11:04 PM (#237220)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: 'Will ye go tae Flanders?'
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

This is the most powerful old anti-war song that I know, but in a good earlier one a soldier (returned from Flanders, c 1692) tries to convince his younger brother to go to war. It's hard to refute the younger brother's objections. This is "The Farmer's Son of Devonshire", and preceeds "Will you go to Flanders" in my Scarce Songs 2 file. A few earlier anti-war songs are also known, and Martin Parker's "The Maunding Soldier" (see my broadside ballad index) illustrates the old adage 'The fruits of war is beggary'.

Incidently, I don't think one should make too much of the woman's name. There are some copies of the tune in late 18th century American manuscripts, where titles are "Will you go to Flanders, Molly" and "Will you go to Flanders, Jane". [Well, compilers of music manuscripts often couldn't spell either, and in the Giles Gibb's MS of 1777, the tune "Yankee doodle" is called "Thehos Gender", and I don't think that one has been figured out yet. My best guess is "The Horse Grenadier", but I wouldn't bet much on it.]