Mudcat Café message #423921 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #31970   Message #423921
Posted By: Bob Bolton
23-Mar-01 - 07:38 AM
Thread Name: WWI Trench songs
Subject: Lyr Add: SUVLA BAY
G'day again, Frank Harte,

Here are the words - in their WWI version. The song was recycled in WWII to refer to Suda Bay, in Crete instead of Suvla Bay at Gallipoli.

I have not had a chance to key in the music, so I haven't posted a MIDItext tune to accompany. If you need that, I will do it next week: I still have the Magazine to finish and tomorrow is taken up with a memorial / wake for our premier folksong collector John Meredith. The gathering is down in the Southern Highlands and I won't get back until the Loaded Dog Folk Club starts ...and I still have to finish the magazine ...

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton

Suvla Bay

Inn an old Australian homestead with roses round the door,
A girl received a letter, just newly from the war.
With her mother's arm around her she gave way to sobs and sighs,
For when she read that letter, the tears came to her eyes.
Chorus:
Why do I weep? Why do I sigh?
My love's asleep so far away.
He played his part that April day
And left my heart in Suvla Bay
.

She joined a band of nurses underneath the cross of red
And swore to do her duty to the soldier who lay dead.
Many soldiers came to woo her but were sadly turned away
As to them she told the story of the grave at Suvla Bay,
Chorus:
Why do I weep? Why do I sigh?
My love's asleep so far away.
He played his part that August day
And left my heart in Suvla Bay
.

Bill Scott, in The Second Penguin Australian Songbook, says he learned the WWII version ("Suda Bay" and "August day") from an RN sailor in a Navy wet canteen in Brisbane in 1944. He says many older people, including his mother, knew the WWI version.