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RoyH (Burl) World War I and II Protest songs (40) RE: World War I and II Protest songs 14 Dec 13

In 1951 the 15 Medium Regt, Royal Artillery was holding a regimental 'smoker', which is an all-ranks party with a special meal, free drinks, and smokes, and as many blokes as possible were expected to 'give a turn.' Some sang, some told jokes, one recited Kipling's 'If'. I did my Al Jolson impression. Late in the proceedings Battery Sgt. Lou Hibbert got up and sang 'The D-Day Dodgers' to a hushed audience. The tune was 'Lili Marleen'. Sgt Major Hibbert was a long service soldier, a veteran of the Italian campaign, and had the scars to prove it. He did not sing the song as a jolly ditty, as I have heard it done many times in folk clubs. He sang with a hard tone, and a serious face, it was obvious that the song meant a lot to him. I never forgot this scene and was able to relate it to Hamish Henderson many years later. It made an impact on me in the same way that hearing 'McCafferty' early in my army career showed me that their was British folk song, and sent me in pursuit of it, thereby, eventually, changing my life. I was 18 at the time. I am now 80, and can still remember the occasion clearly. Songs have power.

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