Mudcat Café message #3557700 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152141   Message #3557700
Posted By: Teribus
10-Sep-13 - 02:10 AM
Thread Name: Improving Lyrics?
Subject: RE: Improving Lyrics?
"Folks "improving" songs are often merely demonstrating their own failure to grasp the author's intention.

In some cases they improve things into utter nonsense (thinking here particularly of some changes to E Bogle's well-crafted works)"

No Mans Land - absolute howler crafted by Eric:

"But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand"

No British and Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery has "white crosses" - they intentionally went for non-denominational square headstones upon which a cross, Star of David or Crescent could be carved. The only WWI Cemeteries that have crosses are those honouring the German dead and that would have made the subject of the song Wilhelm.

As for "The Band Played Waltzing Matilda"

"They gave me a tin hat they gave me a gun
and they sent me away to the war"

Not in 1915 they didn't Eric - It would have been a Slouch Hat - "Tin Bowlers" were not issued as standard part of every man's kit until 1916, prior to that they were issued to those moving into the trenches in France and the soldiers then handed them over to their reliefs at the end of their stint.

"And how in that hell they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter"

A couple of points here for Eric - there were no Australian troops landed at Suvla Bay, and the landing there was largely unopposed.

If you are going to the trouble to write a song in retrospect then you should at least pay your subject the respect to get things right.