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Lyr Req: WWII and Patriotic Songs

24 Oct 97 - 11:45 PM (#15171)
Subject: Song Lyrics

I remember snatches of two song lyrics from my childhood.

1. "... a carpet of corn for the floor. And I heard a voice within me whisper, This is worth fighting for."

2. "... Nathan Hale and Colin Kelly, too ..."

I would love to know the rest of the words to these songs. With the words I think I might be able to recall the melodies also.

25 Oct 97 - 04:48 PM (#15212)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: Susan of

More people will read and respond if you make this two threads with a piece of the song in the title

25 Oct 97 - 07:12 PM (#15217)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: lesblank

Don't recall the first one, BUT ----

"There's a Star Spangled Banner waving somewhere, Waving o'er the land of heroes brave and true. There's a Star Spangled Banner waving somewhere, And I know it's waving there for me and You"

There's Washington and Lincoln and Travers, And Nathan Hale and Cohen Kelly too --


I remember it being sung and Yodeled by the great Elton Britt.

Happy Memories

Les Blank

25 Oct 97 - 07:13 PM (#15218)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: dick greenhaus

The second request is for There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere. I'm blanking on the first (Gene, where are you?), but I can hum it--it's WWII vintage pop.

25 Oct 97 - 07:55 PM (#15220)
From: Joe Offer

Words and music by Paul Roberts and Shelby Darnell, ©1942.
As sung by Elton Britt

There's a star-spangled banner waving somewhere
In a distant land so many miles away.
Only Uncle Sam's great heroes get to go there,
Where I wish that I could also live some day.

I'd see Lincoln, Custer, Washington and Perry,
Nathan Hale and Colin Kelly too.
There's a star-spangled banner waving somewhere,
Waving o'er the land of heroes brave and true.

In this war with its mad schemes of destruction
Of our country fair and our sweet liberty
By the mad dictators, leaders of corruption,
Can't the U.S. use a mountain boy like me?

God gave me the right to be a free American,
And for that precious right I'd gladly die.
There's a star-spangled banner waving somewhere.
That is where I want to live when I die.

Though I realize I'm crippled, that is true, sir,
Please don't judge my courage by my twisted leg.
Let me show my Uncle Sam what I can do, sir.
Let me help to bring the Axis down a peg.

If I do some great deed I will be a hero,
And a hero brave is what I want to be.
There's a star-spangled banner waving somewhere.
In that heaven there should be a place for me.

"There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere" was recorded by Elton Britt on March 19, 1942. "The song seemed to fit America's wartime mood perfectly. It was arguably the most played song of 1943; and it brought Britt a gold record in 1944, the first awarded to a country artist."
I couldn't find a complete copy of the song online, so I'll post it here and submit it to Cowpie for their archive.
Say, who's Colin Kelly?
-Joe Offer-

25 Oct 97 - 09:03 PM (#15225)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: Dale Rose

I knew that Kelly was a flier in WWII, but your question, Joe, made me think about it a little more. This quote is from the website of the Colin Kelly Middle School in Eugene, Oregon.

"The Colin Kelly Junior High School student body was organized in the fall of 1945, with 375 students. The students chose the school's name from a list of heroes, statesman and presidents. They wanted to commemorate a "modern-day hero." Captain Colin Purdom Kelly II, a B-17 bomber pilot, was among the first servicemen to lose his life at the beginning of World War II."

Earlier this year, the Ozark Folk Center celebrated the memory of Elton Britt (from Marshall, Arkansas) in song. Among other things, we were treated to a stirring rendition of There's A Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere performed by his son. A magical moment indeed.

25 Oct 97 - 09:04 PM (#15226)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics for original Mockingbird Song

Help! I'm looking for the original lyrics to the Mockingbird song (i.e., if that mockingbird don't sing). Lyrics by Inez & Charlie Foxx. I can only find the Carly Simon version. If you have them, please Email to

It would be a great help!

Thanks in advance. . .


25 Oct 97 - 09:40 PM (#15227)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: Joe Offer

This is from Gene, who's having Internet problems:
This is one of my VERY FAVORITE WWII songs.....among many.

Colin Kelly was America's FIRST HERO in WWII...attacked the Japanese Carrier Ashigara on Dec 10, 1941 and was killed when his B17 crashed into Mt. Arayat on Luzon after he had ordered the rest of the crew to bail out....believe Kelly AFB near San Antonio, Texas is named for him.

I knew all that, but it didn't register until Gene mentioned Kelly AFB. Funny how hard it gets to remember things as one's hair gets grayer....
As for the Mockingbird song, it's in the database as "Hush Lil' Baby." I e-mailed the lyrics to the sender. Were the lyrics really by Inez and Charlie Foxx? I always thought the songwriter was 'traditional."

Now, what about that carpet of corn? How about if we move it to a specifically-named thread?
-Joe Offer-

28 Oct 97 - 01:03 AM (#15373)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: dick greenhaus

Captain Colin p. Kelly, Jr. was America's first hero of WW II. He was credited at that time with attacking and sinking the Japanese battleship Haruna off Luzon in the Philippines on Dec. 10, 1941. While returning to base, Kelly's B-17 was set on fire by Japanese airplanes and one waist gunner was killed. Kelly then ordered the remainder of the crew to bail out. All were saved but Kelly who died when the B-17 crashed to the ground.

Subsequently, President Franklin D. Roosevelt posthumously conferred the Distinguished Service Cross upon Kelly for his sacrifice.

It was not until after WW II had ended that it was learned that Kelly's airplane had attacked a light cruiser named Ashigara and not the Haruna.

At that early period of the war, the Haruna was operating hundreds of miles away off Malaysia.

Popular mythology of 1941 had Kelly sinking the Haruna by crashing his damaged B17 into it. Wars require heroes.

22 May 01 - 10:34 PM (#468335)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: toadfrog

I'm extremely curious, how is it that this song does not merit inclusion in DT, when Rodger Young, a song with about the same sentiments and provenance, does? If childhood memories are correct, they both came out about the same time.

22 May 01 - 11:28 PM (#468371)
Subject: Lyr Add: THIS IS WORTH FIGHTING FOR (DeLange/Stept
From: Sorcha

toadfrog, probably just because no one had posted them yet. It takes a while even after things are harvested for them to actually make it into the DT. Meanwhile, back at the Ranch.......

w&m: Eddie De Lange & Sam H. Stept, ©1942. As recorded by Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra, with Bob Eberly, vocalist.

I saw a peaceful old valley
With a carpet of corn for a floor
And I heard a voice within me whisper:
"This is worth fighting for."

I saw a little old cabin
And the river that flowed by the door
And I heard a voice within me whisper:
"This is worth fighting for."

Didn't I build that cabin?
Didn't I plant that corn?
Didn't my folks before me
Fight for this country before I was born?

I gathered my loved ones around me
And I gazed at each face I adore,
Then I heard that voice within me thunder:
"This is worth fighting for."

23 May 01 - 12:03 AM (#468391)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: Joe Offer

Hi, Toadfrog - on "Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere," you'll see the marks of the harvesting birdie, which looks like this: ^^
That means somebody has already harvested the song for inclusion in the Digital Tradition - it just hasn't made it to the published edtion of the Digital Tradition yet. It takes a lot of work to process songs, so we don't always get them right away. They're available through Mudcat search immediately after they're posted, but we take a lot of care and time in the process of including songs in the Digital Tradition. I bookmarked the other song, and I'll harvest it when I get back from vacation unless Jim Dixon or Susan of DT beat me to it.
I do have to say that composed songs are less likely to appear in the Digital Traditon than traditional songs.
-Joe Offer-

23 May 01 - 12:27 AM (#468410)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: catspaw49

To add a bit more to what Dick stated, there is a mixed opinion on whether Kelly's bombs hit the Haruna, but possibly he did score a hit....the Haruna sustained little damage in either case.

A great read is "Samurai" which is the autobiography of Saburo Sakai, the Japanese pilot who shot down Kelly's B-17. Sakai felt that Kelly's realheroism came in staying at the controls of his plane while the rest of the crew bailed out. Some have questioned whether it was Sakai or not, but others have documented the time and place. Like most history, it is always open to question because of the politics/nationalism involved.

Sakai did survive the war as Japan's leading ace with 64 kills, most of these were prior to a dogfight which left him blinded in one eye. At the end of the war he flew in an aborted Kamikaze mission and then in Japan's newest fighters, gaining two more victories. Most of his combat time was spent in a squadron flying out of Lae which included some of Japan's greatest pilots, including their highest scoring ace, Hirioshi Nishizawa who attained 103 kills before being killed while on leave in an unarmed transport plane.


23 May 01 - 12:37 AM (#468418)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: toadfrog

Thanks a lot, Sorcha and Joe. I did not mean to question anyone's diligence; only curious about criteria. By the way, I don't think RODGER YOUNG is traditional; Levy gives the composer as PFC Frank Loess, of the Special Services Division of the Army, and first published in 1945. I thought I remembered hearing it on the radio earlier than that, but memories that go back that far can be v. untrustworthy.

23 May 01 - 12:56 AM (#468438)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: toadfrog

Gee, I am embarassed at my own ignorance. That was Frank Loesser, also author of "Slow Boat to China," "Wonderful Copenhagen," and "Thumbelina"

23 May 01 - 01:33 AM (#468451)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics

Saburo Sakai finished the war with 108 kills, the highest total of any WWII pilot. It is my understanding that Colin Kelly was awarded the Medal of Honor for staying at the controls of his airplane while the crew bailed out safely. Did you know that Mayer Levin the famous writer was Colin Kelley's Bombardier?

Love and kisses

24 May 01 - 01:34 AM (#469274)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics

In between enlistments in the USAF I worked for Elton Britt. I played bass and 5-string banjo and sang two or three songs each set. Mostly we toured Canadian cities. At the "Brass Rail" in London, Ontario, we were downstairs and there was a 19 year old girl who was just starting out, singing upstairs. First time I heard her I knew that she was going to make it BIG. She had a unique singing style that kinda made me tingle. Her name was (and still is) Della Reese.

Elton Britt used one of Woody Guthrie's songs as his theme song. I understand that it was the only one of Woody's compositions that made any real money, "Oklahoma Hills". I knew that Elton had a gold record (it hung on his living room wall) and he said that it really worked on his phonograph. I did not know that it was the first one ever given to a hillbilly singer. (The term "country and western" hadn't been invented yet.) I liked him a lot.

This was in 1956. I was doing hillbilly music exclusively in those days, wore a "Stetson", high heeled cowboy boots, frontier pants and embroidered shirts on stage. A picture of me in 1955 and one in 1999 is on the cover of "Spanning the Decades." If I can figure out this E-mail thing, I'll send a couple of pictures to Dick Greenhaus along with a drawing of my "Bass Foodle" During this time I weighed about 130 lbs, (I'm 5 ft 10 1/2 inches tall) In other words I was skinny. Well, from the time I re-enlisted in the Air Force in May 1956 (I really liked my job, very interesting and challenging) I didn't see Elton Britt until 1973 or 4. In the meantime I'd learned sailing (square rig style) and was the half-brig "Black Pearl's" boatswain and chanteyman. I was married to Donna and we'd rigged and sailed the full rigged ship "HMS Rose" when it was new. We were driving home from a week long gig in Mattapoisett, Mass (Ugh!!) and as we drove by the "Newport Motor Inn" which had live shows on stage in their lounge, The Marquis read, "Elton Britt and Eddie Zack in person" It had been 25 years since I'd seen Elton and had undergone a radical metamorphosis. For one thing, I'd put on a few pounds of beef (I weighed 175) and was dressed like someone out of the 18th century. I had on a monkey jacket, "Seafarer" bell bottom jeans, topsider shoes (no socks) a blue and white striped French navy shirt and a tarpaulin hat, a stiff brimmed shiny black "boater" (The real thing, made out of tarred and varnished canvas) I also had a rigging knife on a lanyard in my back pocket.

We got Elton's room number from the desk clerk who knew me from my performances at the "Black Pearl Tavern" and accepted my explanation that I was a friend of Elton's. We went up, knocked on the door and when Elton asked who it was, I replied, "Jody Gibson" He was mumbling something like, "I'll be a son of a bitch" as he unlocked the door. When he caught sight of me he yelled, "Whoa, Nellie" and as we shook hands he said that except for Hank Williams I had been the skinniest person he'd ever seen. We talked a while and I told him about what I'd been doing and about the kind of music I was doing. He was really interested, especially about chanteys and asked some good intelligent questions. Of course he was smitten with Donna. He'd known my ex-wife, "Bobbie" (Joyce Kate and David's mother) and remarked that I still had excellent taste. Then he asked me to sing a couple of sailor songs during his next set. I did, "While cruising 'Round Yarmouth" and "Fiddler's Green." There were a lot of people in the audience who had seen us at "The Pearl" and were familiar with the material, and, of course, they joined in the choruses. Eddie Zack was surprised at this. I guess he thought that "hillbilly singer" and "windbag sailor" were mutually exclusive terms.

This was one of the most enjoyable evenings I'd ever had. After the show, he went home with us. We lived in an apartment house on 2nd street in Newport where all the other tenants were musicians or folk singers, and we sat around and swapped songs until the wee hours of the morning.

I was led to believe that Elton Britt was from Oklahoma, not Arkansas.

Let's see if I can figure out the electronic magic necessary for sending scanned images and/or music via E-Mail. Then I'll send Dick some stuff. I think I know him too.

Jody Gibson

Newport, Rhode Island.

25 Jun 01 - 12:10 AM (#491119)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics
From: Sourdough

Cranky Yankee: Thanks for the memories. You may no thear much back when you take the trouble to write a long post but people do read them and enjoy them, even if they don't let you know.

I remember when I was a six year old or so, I had a jigsaw puzzle that was a picture of Kelly's B-17, on fire, and streaking towards a Japanes cruiser which it presumably destroyed. I had always believed that it was literally true until I saw it questioned in this thread.

I also remember that Kelly had a son. I think that one of the awards that went to his father was that his son got an automatic appointment to West Point. I am not sure whether or not that was one of the privileges of winning a Congressional Medal of Honor.


25 Jun 01 - 12:55 PM (#491510)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,colwyn dane


The highest scoring air fighter of WW2 was Major Erich Hartmann - representing Germany - who downed 352 enemy planes.

The highest scoring Irish pilot was Wing Commander Brendan E. Finucane, DSO,DFC & Bar who shot down 32 enemy planes.

Thanks for your time.

15 Jul 01 - 10:06 AM (#506960)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,Dr. Ron Barnes

I need the lyrics to:

"I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"

"Somewhere, Over the Rainbow"

Would be much appreciated. I intend to do vocal medley of these two great tunes mixing and matching the music and lyrics. To the person who provides me with the lyrics, I will send a final CD at no cost. Promise.

Dr. Ron Barnes

15 Jul 01 - 10:29 AM (#506968)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: George Seto -

Dr. Ron

Somewhere Over The Rainbow
I'm Always Chasing Rainbows

15 Jul 01 - 11:48 AM (#507034)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: Little Hawk

Spaw - nice summation on Colin Kelly and Saburo Sakai. Here are a couple more details. I believe it was the Ashigara, a heavy cruiser, which Kelly did a bombing run on. It did not get sunk, nor did any other Japanese ships on that occasion, but Kelly certainly gave it a try, anyway. His B-17 was of an early type, lacking a rear gun postion at the end of the fuselage (though it had waist gunners), and Sakai was able to get right behind the tail and fire enough rounds to bring down the plane. Japanese fighters usually had great trouble shooting down B-17's. They later found, like the Luftwaffe fliers, that the head-on attack worked best.

Sakai was officially credited with 64 victories, as Spaw indicated. The highest scoring Japanese pilots were Nishizawa and Iwamoto, both around a hundred victories. The Japanese were very stringent about awarding official victories, so it's hard to say what the real combat score of any of these men was. They weren't sure themselves, in the heat of action, whether some of their damaged foes made it home or not.

- LH

02 Dec 04 - 08:17 AM (#1345325)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,

A friend of mine was looking for the lyrics to a WWII song and asked me to try to find them on line. I haven't been able to. Maybe you can help. The only line I have is "If you don't like you're Uncle Sammy." Thanks Joyce Donnelly

02 Dec 04 - 09:02 AM (#1345366)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,Lighter at work

The song is from World War I. It's a parody of a popular song called "Don't Bite the Hand That's Feeding You."

Your line is the first and "Don't bite the hand..." is the last.

If you can't find the text online, I'll go back and check my notes.

03 Dec 04 - 04:20 AM (#1346091)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: Joe Offer

I really hate the sentiments expressed in that "Uncle Sammy" song, but here it is (click). Any further discussion of that song should be in the other thread.
-Joe Offer-
(e-mail sent)

17 Jan 05 - 05:38 PM (#1380892)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,

I am looking for a song or songs that my father used to sing me as a child in the 1950s. I am presuming they are army songs as he was in the army. The first one talks about "a naughty sporty college boy threw all his books away," and may have words about raining in it. The other, same or second song is about onions making you cry.

I would be very grateful if someone could help me find the lyrics to these songs.

Thank you, Cathy UK

17 Jan 05 - 06:17 PM (#1380916)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,Murray MacLeod

Cathy, the song is called "When it's Wednesday in Italy", and the lyrics can be found on This thread

13 Jan 07 - 09:41 AM (#1935235)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,Bubblyrat

It was interesting to read about the B 17 pilot"s heroism. I wonder how many people out there know that the British Royal Air Force used the B 17 as well ?? They had two squadrons of mixed B 17 F & G types,---my father was a wireless (radio !) operator/ air gunner in a squadron of "Flying Fortresses,"based in East Anglia at RAF OULTON.He always flew with the same guys --Squadron Leader Van Den Bok, and two Canadians,Smitty & Ed Schaefer.Apparently,they all knew lots of WW 2 songs, mainly about womens bodies , & assorted unnatural sexual practises !! That"s Fliers for you !!

13 Jan 07 - 09:40 PM (#1935802)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: The Walrus

"...I wonder how many people out there know that the British Royal Air Force used the B 17 as well ?? They had two squadrons of mixed B 17 F & G types
I seem to remember there was an RAF song with the chorus:

So prang the bloody Fortress
Prang it good and strong
We'll have to prang the Fortress now
The Hudsons are all gone.

The only verse that I can recall is

The Gunner in the ballock
does not have very much room
But the Doctor says that he's got more
Than he'll have in his tomb.

Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the tune.

Just my two penn'orth.


14 Jan 07 - 07:13 AM (#1936071)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: Keith A of Hertford

According to this site
Queen Victoria's personal donation for famine relief was £2000 not £5.
Also, a single British charity raised over £450 000.
If correct it suggests that the English cared more than Ard would have us believe.

14 Jan 07 - 07:16 AM (#1936072)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: Keith A of Hertford

sorry, wrong thread

14 Jan 07 - 12:20 PM (#1936268)
Subject: RE: Song Lyrics - WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: Lighter

Walrus, Ewan MacColl sang the song on his ca1959 album "Bless 'em All." The tune he used was "Ten Thousand Miles Away."

His text is from the 1945 "Airman's Song Book." I suspect it has been bowdlerized a little.

Oscar Brand recorded a U.S. version not long after. It is debowdlerized but very likely his own rewrite. Brand's tune was a
Stephen Foster song, "The Glendy Burke," IIRC.

03 Aug 08 - 12:37 AM (#2404136)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,dgs712

I have this sng on an Edison Amberola cylinder recording. You may listen to this song at this URL. The quality is very good.

18 Apr 10 - 04:16 PM (#2889297)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: WWII and Patriotic Songs

This is worth fighting for:

I saw a oeaceful old vally, with a carpet of corn on the floor.
And a Heard a voice within me whisper. This is worth fighting for.

19 May 10 - 11:30 AM (#2909949)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: WWII and Patriotic Songs
From: GUEST,kathy

Does anyone have the words to Dig Did Dig the song that was sung in WW2