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Lyr Req: The King's Shilling (John Prentice)

20 Oct 03 - 03:33 PM (#1038529)
Subject: Lyr Req: King Billy
From: GUEST,Shantyjohn

Help rreq please with the words to the rest of ths song:

Fight for King Billy of England, me boys
Fight for the cross of St George
Fight for the colours and glory me boys
Fight for the shilling, it's yours

Thanks in hope

Shantyjohn


20 Oct 03 - 04:04 PM (#1038547)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling
From: Pinetop Slim

There's a version in the DT.


20 Oct 03 - 07:00 PM (#1038630)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling
From: Herga Kitty

John Prentice has recorded his version, with this chorus, on his CD, "The King's Shilling". The notes say it was inspired by Roy Palmer's book, "The Rambling Soldier".

Kitty


21 Oct 03 - 11:21 PM (#1039382)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling
From: Jim Dixon

There are 2 songs in DT that mention the King's shilling:
MARCHING THROUGH ROCHESTER by Pete Coe – and there's another copy called COME BE A SOLDIER FOR MARLBORO AND ME
THE KING'S SHILLING from Jean Redpath

And I found 7 songs posted in the forum that mention the King's shilling:
THE SCARLET AND THE BLUE (Irish version)
THE SCARLET AND THE BLUE (English version)
I WILL GO from the Corries.
THE MAID OF MELROSE TOWN by Les Barker – and there's another copy here.
I'LL MAKE A MAN OF YOU
FAREWELL TO DERRY (where it is called a bob)

Unfortunately, none of them match the lyrics you have quoted.


22 Oct 03 - 01:25 AM (#1039419)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling
From: LadyJean

OK this isn't the one on Jean Redpath's "Love is Teasing". It's probably a good thing to let you know. Not that the album isn't wonderful, and Jean Redpath isn't the greatest. But it isn't the song you're looking form


22 Oct 03 - 02:46 AM (#1039442)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling
From: Malcolm Douglas

Kitty has already told us where the song is to be found, though I'm not familiar with John Prentice. Is this is a piece of his own making? I don't have time to go through the whole of Palmer's Rambling Soldier looking for a fragment, but "inspired by" suggests that. Certainly it is none of the above; though they do mostly include the term "king's shilling", as do a good many other, equally unrelated songs, none of them have anything at all like the lines quoted in the question.


22 Oct 03 - 03:18 AM (#1039457)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling
From: Nigel Parsons

Background from earlier thread:
"The "taking of the king's/Queen's shilling" was presumed when the Navy "Press-ganged" men from the pubs of an earlier time. Recruitment officers would provide a round of drinks for men who appeared well intoxicated, and a shilling would be found in the bottom of the tankard or in the mouth, hence showing that the men had "Accepted the shilling". The men would wake up the next day already at sea.

The above practice would not have worked with glasses, but at the time pewter tankards were the norm. This cheap trick led to the development of taknkards with glass bottoms, so that the contents could be viewed before imbibing. One enterprising firm has now started producing tankards with a shilling embedded in the transparent base as a reminder of times past.


Nigel


23 Oct 03 - 09:41 AM (#1040349)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling/King Billy
From: GUEST,John Prentice

I wrote the "King's Shilling" and would forward the lyrics to anyone contacting me at johnprentice45@hotmail.com


23 Oct 03 - 09:48 AM (#1040353)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: King's Shilling/King Billy
From: GUEST,MMario

e-mailed John to see if they could be posted here


26 Oct 03 - 12:48 PM (#1042048)
Subject: Lyr Add: THE KING'S SHILLING (John Prentice)
From: MMario

with John's permission -

KING'S SHILLING, THE
(© 1998 John Prentice)

Fight for King Billy of England, me boys
Fight for the cross of St. George
Fight for the colours and glory, me boys
Fight for the shilling that's yours

Ye children of England who battle alone
For your food and a bed and a place to call home
Who have no family to call of your own
Come fight for King Billy of England

Ye skivvies and lackies who work in the fields
With masters who profit from all that you yield
Come stand together behind England's shield
And fight for King Billy of England

Ye steel-workers, coal miners, labourers all
Who sweat and who slave `till you're ready to fall
Take up the shilling and heed England's call
And fight for King Billy of England

All ye who suffer from wive`s lashing tongue
Come to the colours that's where you belong
Come stand together and make England strong
And fight for King Billy of England


Capo 2


26 Oct 03 - 01:28 PM (#1042061)
Subject: Lyr Add: FIGHTING FOR STRANGERS (Steeleye Span)
From: Reiver 2

My impression (correct me if I'm mistaken) is that "taking the King's shilling" (or Queen's) was used in regard to service in the British army as well as the navy.

There's a reference to "taking the shilling" in "Fighting For Strangers" which I learned from Steeleye Span's album "Rocket Cottage." It's listed as Trad. and arranged by various members of the group. The first verse goes:

CHO: What makes you go abroad, fighting for strangers,
    When you could be safe at home, free from all dangers?

1. A recruiting sergeant came our way
   To an inn nearby at the close of day.
   He said, "Young Johnny, you're a fine young man.
   Would you like to marce along behing a military band,
   With a scarlet coat, a big cocked hat
   And a musket on your shoulder?"
   The shilling he took and he kissed the book,
   Oh, poor Johnny what'll happen to you?

Steeleye Span sing 4 verses, interspersed with the 2 line chorus. One of the great anti-war songs.

There's also a reference to the practice of taking the King's shilling in "Arthur McBride" though it's referred to a "a guinea" in that song. Verse 2 refers to the recruiting sergeant's "pitch":

He says, "Me young fellows, if you will enlist,
A guinea ye quickly shall have in your fist,
Besides a crown for to kick up the dust
And drink the King's health in the morning."

Arthur and his cousin are not taken in as was Johnny in "Strangers."
I suspect the particular coin was not the issue, but that once you had accepted any money "from the King" via a government recruiter, you were considered to have agreed to your enlistment. Perhaps someone has more information on that.

Good song by John Prentice. Does anyone know what recordings of it have been made?

Reiver 2