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WWI Trench songs

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Jack Campin 11 Apr 20 - 05:22 AM
cnd 10 Apr 20 - 10:53 PM
Jack Campin 10 Apr 20 - 08:07 PM
robomatic 10 Apr 20 - 08:02 PM
cnd 10 Apr 20 - 10:02 AM
rich-joy 10 Apr 20 - 12:59 AM
Jack Campin 09 Apr 20 - 07:00 AM
cnd 08 Apr 20 - 10:46 PM
GUEST,Mac 08 Apr 20 - 10:05 PM
GUEST,Carl Eby 30 Mar 17 - 11:25 PM
Lighter 30 Mar 17 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,Carl Eby 29 Mar 17 - 11:58 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Dec 13 - 07:06 PM
GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band" 11 Dec 13 - 05:29 AM
Keith A of Hertford 11 Dec 13 - 03:11 AM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 13 - 09:28 PM
Jim Dixon 10 Dec 13 - 06:58 PM
Jim Dixon 09 Dec 13 - 11:50 PM
Lighter 08 Dec 13 - 08:01 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Dec 13 - 05:22 PM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Dec 13 - 02:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Dec 13 - 01:08 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Dec 13 - 12:37 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Dec 13 - 11:34 AM
Lighter 08 Dec 13 - 08:45 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Dec 13 - 06:09 AM
Keith A of Hertford 08 Dec 13 - 06:06 AM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 13 - 10:28 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 13 - 09:54 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 13 - 07:25 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 13 - 06:35 PM
Lighter 07 Dec 13 - 04:48 PM
Jim Dixon 07 Dec 13 - 01:59 PM
Keith A of Hertford 07 Dec 13 - 08:50 AM
Jim Dixon 06 Dec 13 - 11:35 PM
C Stuart Cook 08 Sep 13 - 02:51 AM
Jack Campin 07 Sep 13 - 05:07 AM
MartinRyan 06 Sep 13 - 05:42 PM
GUEST,JTT 02 Sep 13 - 02:49 PM
GUEST,JTT 02 Sep 13 - 02:45 PM
Old Grey Wolf 02 Sep 13 - 05:34 AM
GUEST,ron d 02 Sep 13 - 04:22 AM
GUEST,Chris C 19 Aug 12 - 05:43 PM
GUEST,Lighter 15 Apr 12 - 12:15 PM
GUEST 15 Apr 12 - 11:55 AM
Bugsy 19 May 11 - 08:18 PM
GUEST,Buffy marxon - spencer 19 May 11 - 04:18 AM
BanjoRay 18 May 11 - 08:46 PM
skipy 18 May 11 - 06:48 PM
GUEST 30 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM
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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 11 Apr 20 - 05:22 AM

...and thanks for typing all that in! I'd guess there are details in there you won't find in a regimental history, so the unsingable length does have compensations. I wonder what other productiins like that survive?


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: cnd
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 10:53 PM

Thanks for clearing that up for me, Jack. And thanks, robo, an interesting story about a sort of version of the folk song process


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 08:07 PM

Flood was the soldier's real name - the printer got it wrong. The FB poster was a descendant, also a Flood.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: robomatic
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 08:02 PM

There's a memorable sci-fi story from the 40s where a researcher in a long dead town hears some pitiful creatures living in the leftover sewers. They are singing an old song:

Balasamo, balasamo Sarnocorpano!
Binomosha, sadarosha!
Chu mila balasamo!

At the end of the tale the researcher is dying in the ruins and he realizes the singers were once human, and are reciting almost ritualistically the words:

Bless 'em all, bless 'em all, sergeants and corporals all!
There'll be no promotion this side of the ocean,
So cheer up my lads, bless 'em all.

He knows he is in London, after the Ten Minutes War.


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Subject: Lyr Add: The 7th Scottish Rifles Glorious Charge
From: cnd
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 10:02 AM

Thanks to Jack for emailing me the picture, here are the lyrics to "The 7th Scottish Rifles Glorious Charge", written by "Private James Floyd -- Killed in Action at the Dardenelles." It does not include the year of publication. Just under the attribution is the word "FLOOD" which I assume is the publisher? I have typed it up exactly as printed.

The 7th Scottish Rifles Glorious Charge
(Pvt. James Floyd)

It was on June the Twenty-Seventh,
Just at the close of day,
We paraded at our rest camp,
Prepared to move away.

We all moved off in single file,
Eager to take our spell,
Up in the British firing-line,
Under shot and shell.

Next morning just at Eight o'clock,
The roar of a mighty gun,
Was the signal to us all,
The bombardment had begun.

We hurried with our breakfast,
And soon we were all ready,
With bayonets fixed we all stood,
And every man was steady,

The Artillery and the Navy,
Set all their guns to work,
And did some awful damage,
To poor old John the Turk.

Of course the Turks they shelled us,
And did it very badly,
And for the name of King and Country,
We all stood it gladly.

But soon this work did tell its tale,
For on the ground were lying,
Some poor lads who had been struck,
And some of them were dying.

This kept up for hours,
And we knew full well,
We had the great experience,
To have the glimpse of hell.

Just at Eleven to a minute,
Our hearts were growing large,
For we knew the next thing was,
To have a gallant charge.

Just then we leapt the parapet,
To meet a hail of fire,
From the Turkish rifles,
But we would not retire.

When we got the first Turkish trench,
They then threw bombs to perfection,
Lance Corporal Ross won his D. C. M.,
By saving the lives of his section.

The Colonel and Adjutant,
And two platoons of men,
Were looked for all along the line,
But found to be missing then.

We held the trenches we had gained,
With all our main and might,
And the word was passed along,
We'd be relieved at night.

We got back to our rest camp,
Very tired and sore,
We knew we had done our work,
Our first great charge was o'er.

Early the next morning,
When we called the roll,
It was then we realized,
We had paid a heavy toll.

We lost a lot of comrades,
Very true and brave,
Away out there in Turkey,
In their lonely graves,

We are sorry for their mothers,
Wife, comrade, or friend,
Of the wounded fellows.
And those who met their end.

We like the work we've got to do,
Because our fears diminished,
And hope that we will get revenge,
Before the war is finished.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: rich-joy
Date: 10 Apr 20 - 12:59 AM

I was rather fond of the Zo Elliot & Stoddard King composition "There's a Long, Long Trail" and so my partner and I learnt it from the John Roberts & Tony Barrand version, mentioned above in March 2001 by Meadow Muskrat.

We sang it for my late Mum on a visit home to Perth and she promptly burst into tears!
She explained that her Mother had told her "It was your Father's favourite song!" He had died in 1926 from the TB he had caught as an Aussie Medical Orderly in WWI.

I sure wish I had known him .......

R-J
Down Under


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 09 Apr 20 - 07:00 AM

I got a copy of a song sheet recently from a local history/nostalgia forum - it was written by a Scottish soldier who fought at Gallipoli and died shortly after. I doubt it's ever been reprinted - it's a longwinded description of the battle as his regiment experienced it, capped with a few gung-ho cliches, nowhere near in the same artistic league as "Çanakkale içinde", but still of historical interest.

I've only got it as a picture on this iPhone 4S, and have no other access to the Internet, which makes transcribing it impossibly difficult. I can send it to anyone with better technology - many of you can find me on Facebook or know my email address.


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Subject: Lyr Add: The Moon Shines Bright on Charlie Chaplin
From: cnd
Date: 08 Apr 20 - 10:46 PM

Mac, see https://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=105065&messages=29#4044771


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: GUEST,Mac
Date: 08 Apr 20 - 10:05 PM

Anyone remember a Glasgow soldiers song which finished with " An his wee baggy breeks were needin mendin,afore they send im to the Dardanelles .... My dad used to sing it before WW11... Many thanks for any info....regards...Mac


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: GUEST,Carl Eby
Date: 30 Mar 17 - 11:25 PM

Thanks so much for the reply! It's from an unpublished portion of Hemingway's posthumously published novel The Garden of Eden. Only about half of the manuscript was ever published, and I'm currently writing a book about the full manuscript. (For what it's worth, there are still a few unpublished stories--some not too bad, though none of them great.)

The passage with these verses also mentions Ernst Udet, who flew a Fokker. It also alludes to the French (post-WWI) pilot Michael Detroyat and mentions Archibald MacLeish's brother Kenny, who was a pilot who died in the war.

I agree about the authorship of the lines. I don't think the verse is a Hemingway original. Hemingway knew WWI aces like Billy Bishop and Udet, but this sounds more like an RAF song. Hemingway covered the RAF as a journalist very briefly in WWII, and he knew a young Roald Dahl when he was in the RAF, but I doubt anyone would have been repeating an old WWI verse like that in 1944. That said, Hemingway was a pretty meticulous researcher and I almost never check a detail in his work without pinning it down in something significant (although when writing first drafts his memory could be a imperfect).

I could be that the verses are authentic but just so bad that no one else ever bothered to write them down.... If anyone can shed light on them I'd appreciate it!


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Lighter
Date: 30 Mar 17 - 01:10 PM

I've read a *lot* abut WW1 songs and poems, memoirs of the war and books by and about Hemingway, and I've never seen this before or anything that resembles it.

It doesn't sound to me like a Hemingway original, for what that's worth.

What manuscript is it from? You mean there are still unpublished Hemingway mss.?


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: GUEST,Carl Eby
Date: 29 Mar 17 - 11:58 PM

Has anyone ever encountered the following bawdy piece of WWI doggerel?

Vive le cast iron steel the pilot's best friend
For who would have his cock and balls shot free
So that he could no proper part of England be
No progeny and wealth acquire
Some Fokker having blasted his desire.
Come celebrate with me the thin steel sheet
Where languidly we park our meat
Thus shielding England's tools and seed
Against our country's future need.

It pops up in a Hemingway manuscript where the character is a former WWI pilot, but I haven't been able to track down the source. If anyone could help it would be much appreciated!


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Dec 13 - 07:06 PM

Lyr. Add: WHEN THE GUNS ARE ROLLING YONDER
Tune- When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder.

Every soldier leaves behind, oh, a girl that's true and kind,
But you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
To the war you'll be away, just a little while to stay,
Oh, you'll never see your sweetheart any more.

Chorus-
When the guns are rolling yonder,
When the guns are rolling yonder,
When the guns are rolling yonder,
When the guns are rolling yonder,
We'll be there.

2
You'll be marching up to battle where those damned machine-guns rattle,
But you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
When you're hanging on the wire under heavy hostile fire,
Oh, you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
3
When your lungs are filled with gas, you'll be thinking of a lass,
But you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
Lying in the mud and rain, with a shrapnel in your brain,
Oh, you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
4
When the charge is made at last, you'll be riding hard and fast, And you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
And the poppies they will nod when you bite the blooming sod,
Oh, you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
5
When the colonel says "G-- d--- it, get that battery to the front,"
And you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
When the Huns get your deflection, you'll be absent at inspection,
And you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
6
There will be no more to tell, when you stop a screaming shell,
And you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
For you'll wear a wooden jacket when the enemy gets your bracket,
Oh, you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
7
Still, you may come back to find the girl you left behind
Doesn't want to see her sweetheart any more,
For you were across the sea, she acquired a family.
Oh, you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
8
Let us love while yet we may, for perhaps there'll come a day
When you'll never see your sweetheart any more.
For the jackal and the crow said 'twas ever, ever so-
Oh, you'll never see your sweetheart any more.

With musical score, pp. 131-133.
From The Bearcat Hymn Book," 76th Field Artillery.

E. A. Dolph, 1929, 1942, "Sound Off," Soldier Songs from the Revolution to World War II," Farrar & Rinehart.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: GUEST,John from "Elsie`s Band"
Date: 11 Dec 13 - 05:29 AM

I recall a record from my grandmother`s collection with the song "They Were Only Playing Leapfrog" sung to the tune of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". This song is well and truly covered on the Internet and was used in the film "Oh What a Lovely War."


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 11 Dec 13 - 03:11 AM

In the style of Danny Deever by Kipling.


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOING HOME (Robert W. Service)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 13 - 09:28 PM

C. Stuart Cook, on 08 Sept 13 – 02:51, mentions having sung a song called "Back to Blighty" by Robert Service. I don't find a song with that exact title, but I find this one, which I suspect is what he meant:

From Rhymes of a Red Cross Man by Robert W. Service (New York: Barse & Hopkins, 1916), page 90:

GOING HOME
Robert W. Service

I'm goin' 'ome to Blighty — ain't I glad to 'ave the chance!
I'm loaded up wiv fightin', and I've 'ad my fill o' France;
I'm feelin' so excited-like, I want to sing and dance,
For I'm goin' 'ome to Blighty in the mawnin'.

I'm goin' 'ome to Blighty: can you wonder as I'm gay?
I've got a wound I wouldn't sell for 'alf a year o' pay;
A harm that's mashed to jelly in the nicest sort o' way,
For it takes me 'ome to Blighty in the mawnin'.

'Ow everlastin' keen I was on gettin' to the front!
I'd ginger for a dozen, and I 'elped to bear the brunt;
But Cheese and Crust! I'm crazy, now I've done me little stunt,
To sniff the air of Blighty in the mawnin'.

I've looked upon the wine that's white, and on the wine that's red;
I've looked on cider flowin', till it fairly turned me 'ead;
But oh, the finest scoff will be, when all is done and said,
A pint o' Bass in Blighty in the mawnin'.

I'm goin' back to Blighty, which I left to strafe the 'Un;
I've fought in bloody battles, and I've 'ad a 'eap of fun;
But now me flipper's busted, and I think me dooty's done,
And I'll kiss me gel in Blighty in the mawnin'.

Oh, there be furrin' lands to see, and some of 'em be fine;
And there be furrin' gels to kiss, and scented furrin' wine;
But there's no land like England, and no other gel like mine:
Thank Gawd for dear old Blighty in the mawnin'.


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Subject: Lyr Add: "In the night they let us wander...."
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 10 Dec 13 - 06:58 PM

On 15 Apr 12 - 11:55 AM above, guest Barbara said her grandfather sang a song called LOUSY SHIRTS, so I went looking with Google for "lousy shirts." I found the following song which contains the phrase "lousy shirts," but not so prominently, I think, that one would take it for the title.

From Lieutenant Owen William Steele of the Newfoundland Regiment by David R. Facey-Crowther, (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2002), page 66, at the head of a chapter titled "Suvla Bay (19 September 1915 – 5 December 1915)." I don't think the title of the chapter is meant to be the title of the song, but no other title is given.

In the night they let us wander.
There was no one sent to meet
Till we found some empty dugouts
Where to rest our weary feet.

Airplanes dropped bombs upon us.
Shells went screeching overhead.
Shelter from the rain was asked for.
"There is none," the staff all said.

Then the order came to dress up,
To get picks and shovels from HQ.
They brought back no bloody shovels
And I fear the story is true,
For they raided and stole puddings,
Pinched the general's turkey too,
And of Christmas cheer they gave us
Bulley beef and biscuits few.
No tobacco, rum or pudding.
Did we grumble?—Wouldn't you?

All our lousy shirts and jam tins,
O'er the parapet did throw.
Did the staff complain about it?
No! They chucked it long ago.

Capt. Wilson says we are dirty.
Armstrong's views are just the same,
So we are never downhearted.
What is dirt compared to fame?

Song composed for the Dardanelles Companies
(Tune: What a Friend We Have in Jesus)


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Subject: Lyr Add: GOOD-BYE BROADWAY, HELLO FRANCE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 09 Dec 13 - 11:50 PM

A guest mentioned this song back at 30 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM. These words are from the sheet music at The University of Mississippi; Click for a PDF.

"Big song hit of 'Passing Show of 1917' at N.Y. Winter Garden"
GOOD-BYE BROADWAY, HELLO FRANCE
Words by C. Francis Reisner and Benny Davis; music by Billy Baskette.
New York: Leo. Feist, Inc., ©1917.

1. Goodbye, New York town! Goodbye, Miss Liberty!
Your light of freedom will guide us across the sea,
Ev'ry soldier's sweetheart bidding goodbye,
Ev'ry soldier's mother drying her eye.
Cheer up! We'll soon be there,
Singing this Yankee air:

CHORUS: Goodbye, Broadway! Hello, France! We're ten million strong.
Goodbye, sweethearts, wives, and mothers. It won't take us long.
Don't you worry while we're there. It's for you we're fighting too,
So goodbye, Broadway! Hello, France! We're going to square our debt to you.

2. "Vive Pershing!" is the cry across the sea.
We're united in this fight for liberty.
France sent us a soldier, brave Lafayette,
Whose deeds and fame we cannot forget.
Now that we have the chance,
We'll pay our debt to France   

CHORUS 2: Goodbye, Broadway! Hello, France! We're ten million strong.
Goodbye, sweethearts, wives, and mothers. It won't take us long.
Don't you worry while we're there. It's you we're fighting for.
So goodbye, Broadway! Hello, France! We're going to help you win this war.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 08:01 PM

In my castle on the river Rhine,
I'm gonna have one hell of a time!
Inlaid pretzels on the floor,
Kaiser Bill to open the door!
My cook'll be Princess Hohenzollerin,
She'll bring me Christmas dinner from the town of Berlin.
I'll hang my pants on the Hindenburg Line,
In my castle on the river!
Castle on the river!
Castle on the river Rhine!


(Parody of "My Castle on the River Nile," by Robert Cole, James Weldon Johnson, and J. Rosamund Johnson [1902].)


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN WE WIND UP THE WATCH ON THE RHINE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 05:22 PM

This might be the song that gnomad referred to back on 11 Nov 01 – 10:10 am—but note the difference in verb tense: "When we wind up..." rather than "When we've wound up...". Also, see the footnotes.

From the sheet music at The Levy Collection:


WHEN WE WIND UP THE WATCH ON THE RHINE
Words by Gordon V. Thompson, music by Gordon V. Thompson and William Davis.
New York: Leo Feist, Inc., 1917.

1. Now we must part,
Heart of my heart.
I can hear the bugle sounding with a call so clear.
Till I return,
My heart will yearn
For the girl I leave behind me in the homeland dear

CHORUS: When we wind up the watch on the Rhine,
And we grind up the Kaiser's last line,
When the war is done and the victory won,
I'll come back to the girl that I call mine.
When we wind up the watch on the Rhine,
We will bind up two hearts that entwine.
Wedding bells will be ringing.
"Home Sweet Home" we'll be singing,
When we wind up the watch on the Rhine.

2. Just one short line,
Sweetheart of mine:
I am battling for my country far from home tonight.
Though foes assail,
Right must prevail,
So keep knitting still and smiling till we win our fight.


[The title is a punning reference to a German patriotic anthem Die Wacht am Rhine (tr. The Watch on the Rhine).]

The National Library of Australia has sheet music described thus (but it is not viewable online):

WHEN WE'VE WOUND UP THE WATCH ON THE RHINE
Words by F. W. Mark, music by H. E. Darewski
Melbourne & London: Allan & Co. Pty. Ltd.; Francis, Day & Hunter ©1914.
"Sung by Jack Cannot in the Tivoli Follies. Also by Sydney James and the Royal Strollers"

The British Library has sheet music described thus (but it is not viewable online):

WHEN WE'VE WOUND UP THE WATCH ON THE RHINE
by J. Urquhart Ireland
Winnipeg & Toronto: Whaley, Royce & Co., ©1916.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 02:52 PM

If the sergeant steals your rum, never mind,
If the sergeant steals your rum, never mind,
Though he's just a greedy sot,
Let him take the bleedin' lot
If the sergeant steals your rum, never mind.

If the Jeri shells your trench, never mind,
If the sergeant steals your rum, never mind,
Though the bleedin' sandbags fly;
You have only once to die,
If the sergeant steals your rum, never mind.

If you get caught on the wire, never mind,
If you get caught on the wire, never mind,
Though the light's as broad as day,
When you die they stop your pay,
If you get caught on the wire, never mind.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 01:08 PM

Lyr. Add: NEVER MIND
Tommy's version

Though your heart may ache awhile, never mind,
Though your heart may ache awhile, never mind,
You'll forget about it soon,
When you've had a good old spoon,
And your heart, it aches no more, never mind.

If the Sergeant's pinched your rum- never mind
If the Sergeant's on the bum- never mind.
If he collars all your fags, and you've nothing on but rags,
It's his affair- not yours- so never mind.
If the Swergeant says you're daft- never mind,
Maybe you are- who knows?- never mind.
It's no use to answer back, 'cos he won't stand any slack,
So if he says you're daft- then you are.

Many verses.
If the Sergeant's lost your bread- never mind
If he sticks it round a side car- never mind
And even if it's messed- he did it for the best,
For he's the Sergeant- dontcherknow- so never mind.
(Sung about a Sergeant RFC who fetched rations in a sidecar, bread tied around the sides and back. When he arrived at the unit, the bread was *"napoo"

* Il n'y a plus- no more, gone, spoiled, "Vamoosed."


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 12:37 PM

Lyr. Add: OUR LITTLE WET TRENCH IN THE WEST
Tune: Little grey Home in the West

In a little wet trench in the west,
Where the Germans cannot get at me,
It's not very grand, and we most of us stand,
And the only good thing is our tea.
Over there where the big shells fall,
The Huns are afraid of us- lest
We should bayonet them with British phlegm,
Should they visit our home in the west.

There are hands that will welcome them out,
There are guns that are waiting to fire,
There are eyes that look out for a chance of a bout,
Though we're up to our eyes in the mire.
It's a hell upon earth for us all,
But we mean to be first on the ball.
When the kick-off takes place, we'll be first in the race,
From our little wet trench in the west.

There are dug-outs and other things new,
Funk-holes, trench mortars, bombs and grenades,
The only thing hot is our ration of stew,
Don't we wish we were back at our trades?
Never mind- we're out on the job,
Though we're not paid at Union Rates,
Oh! we shan't rest content till we've made a big dent
In another wet tranch in the west.

Flanders, 1914. Nettleingham makes no comment about this song, which probably was never sung to any extent.

F. T. Nettleingham, 1917, "Tommy's Tunes," p. 29.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 11:34 AM

Another version of "Sing Me To Sleep," from Nettleington, 1917, Tommy's Tunes, 1917, posted in thread "Songs about World War 1."
(Sing me to sleep where Very lights fall...)


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Lighter
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 08:45 AM

The humorous satire of such soldier-made songs differs enormously from both the fake sentimental cheerfulness and/or jingoism of the pop songs - and the sincere, but equally contrived, tear-jerking of a much later,retrospective generation.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 06:09 AM

In my head the chorus ends,

Damp is my dug out,
Wet are my feet,
Waiting for whiz-bangs
To sing me to sleep.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 08 Dec 13 - 06:06 AM

Posted by Lighter 26 Mar 09 - 06:23 PM
Far, Far From Wipers, or Sing Me To Sleep.
British Army parody from World War I:

Sing me to sleep where bullets fall,
Let me forget the war and all;
Damp is my dug-out, cold my feet,
Nothing but bully and biscuits to eat.
Over the sandbags helmets you'll find
Corpses in front and corpses behind.

CHORUS: Far, far from Ypres I long to be,
Where German snipers can't get at me,
Think of me crouching where the worms creep,
Waiting for the sergeant to sing me to sleep.

Sing me to sleep in some old shed,
The rats all running around my head,
Stretched out upon my waterproof,
Dodging the raindrops through the roof,
Dreaming of home and nights in the West,
Somebody's overseas boots on my chest.

Patrick McGill published this in his "Soldier Songs" (1917). He ascribed authorship to Anonymous. Other, briefer versions exist.


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Subject: Lyr Add: TICKLER'S JAM(?)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 13 - 10:28 PM

This song, without a title, is quoted in Hunting the Hun by Capt. James Belton & Lt. E. G. Odell (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1918), page 207. I suspect it is the one The Walrus referred to as "Tickler's Jam":

Tickler's Jam, Tickler's Jam,
How I love old Tickler's Jam;
Sent from England in one pound pots,
Tracked it is in ten ton lots;
Every night when I'm asleep,
I'm dreaming that I am
Forcing my way through the Dardanelles,
With a pot of Tickler's Jam.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ODE TO TICKLER
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 13 - 09:54 PM

I suppose this is the song that The Walrus referred to as "Jam for Tea."

Lyrics and footnotes copied from Tommy's Tunes by F. T. Nettleingham (London: E. Macdonald, 1917), page 27:

ODE TO TICKLER.*
Tune: "Sweet Genevieve."

Oh, jam for tea! Oh, jam for tea,
I'm jolly sure it don't suit me;
I've tried for years, and now in tears,
I'll sing it to you mournfully.

Oh, jam for tea! Oh, jam for tea!
The world knows how you've tortured me;
I've frills and squills, you've made me bills,
And filled the dentists' empty tills.

Oh, jam for tea! Oh, jam for tea!
Fried bully** and Maconochie;***
But when we get back to Blighte-e-e-e....
We will have ham and lamb for tea.

* Jam maker to the Army.
** Bully beef—otherwise corned beef.
*** The maker's name: a tinned food issued to Tommy, consisting usually of tinned tomatoes, haricots, potatoes, some sort of meat, usually fat, and some shiny stuff that might be gravy or jelly.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WHEN THE STEW IS ON THE TABLE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 13 - 07:25 PM

The Walrus also mentioned this one:

From The Long Trail: What the British Soldier Sang and Said in the Great War of 1914-1918 by John Brophy & Eric Partridge (A. Deutsch, 1965), page 57:

WHEN THE STEW IS ON THE TABLE
Tune: "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder"

When the stew is on the table,
When the stew is on the table,
When the stew is on the table,
When the stew is on the table, I'll be there.

When the beer is in the tankard,
When the beer is in the tankard,
When the beer is in the tankard,
When the beer is in the tankard, I'll be there.


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BOYS IN PALESTINE
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 13 - 06:35 PM

The Walrus above referred to a song he called "The Middle East Lament," but the first line he quoted is nearly like this one:

Lyrics copied from More Tommy's Tunes by F. T. Nettleinghame (London: Erskine Macdonald, Ltd., 1918), page 26:


THE BOYS IN PALESTINE
Tune: "From Greenland's Icy Mountains."

(The following verses were sent by some of the boys, from Richmond and district, who were then fighting in Palestine.)

We came from Turkey's mountains,
    To Egypt's blazing strand,
Where Afric's sunny fountains
    Are mostly choked with sand.
We've seen its ancient river.
    We've seen its palmy plain.
Our greatest hope is never
    To see the place again.

We've climbed up both the pyramids.
    We've fished in the canal.
If we haven't got the sunstroke,
    No doubt in time we shall.
They've placed us near to Suez.
    Our heads are fit to burst,
And we quite agree with Kipling
    That a man can raise a thirst.

We've felt those gentle showers
    Whose very rain is sand.
We've seen, like Joseph's brethren,
    The bareness of the land.
We've tried the plagues of Egypt.
    We've known the flies and lice,
And we sympathise with Pharaoh,
    Who hadn't any ice.

What though the spicy breezes
    Blow soft o'er Ceylon's isle,
They ain't much good to us blokes
    Who sweat beside the Nile.
In vain with lavish kindness
    They issue Tickler's jam.
We're blinking with sun-blindness
    And no one cares a damn.

From Sidi Bishr to Kubri,
    From Suez to El Shatt,
There's nothing here but niggers,
    Each blacker than your hat.
The sun has scorched our noses,
    And our idea of bliss
Is for another Moses
    To take us out of this. Amen.


[For the tune, see Franklin Square Song Collection, No. 2 by J. P. McCaskey (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1884), page 115.


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Lighter
Date: 07 Dec 13 - 04:48 PM

The chorus of Rice's song, occasionally altered in various small ways, seems to have been one of the best known "trench songs" of the war in the English-speaking armies. It was still being sung in WW2.

Lines 3 and 4 go to a melody very much like that of lines 3 and 4 of "Bless 'em All."

Rice, a post-war vaudeville performer in Canada and the U.S., penned several wartime hits. Testimony and circumstantial evidence strongly suggest that he and E. C. H. Rowland created, but never copyrighted, "Mademoiselle from Armentieres" for a behind-the-lines concert party early in 1915.


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Subject: Lyr Add: I WANT TO GO HOME (Gitz Rice)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 07 Dec 13 - 01:59 PM

Several people have mentioned a song called I WANT TO GO HOME, but I'm not sure whether they're referring to the following song, or GEE, MA, I WANNA GO HOME (which Bard Judith posted earlier in this thread, but which, I believe, is actually a World War II song), or some other song.

Lyrics copied from the sheet music a the Levy Collection:

I WANT TO GO HOME
Words and music by Lieut. Gitz Rice, 1st Canadian Contingent
"Written at the Battle of Ypres, 1915."
New York: Leo Feist, Inc., ©1917.

1. When first I joined the army, not so very long ago,
I said I'd fight the foe,
And help Sir Douglas Haig, you know.
I've been in France just sixteen months and fighting now as yet,
I haven't seen a German; all I've seen is mud and wet.
Tomorrow when the off'cer asks, "What would you like to do?"
I'm going to stand right up and say, "If it's all the same to you—

CHORUS: I want to go home.
I want to go home.
The whizzbangs and shrapnel around me do roar.
I don't want this old war any more.
Take me far o'er the sea
Where the {allemand/Prussian guard} cannot get me.
Oh, my!
I don't want to die.
I want to go 'ome.

2. From measles I have suffered, and had twelve attacks of flu,
And meningitis too,
But then no one ever knew.
The rain and mud has given me the 'meditus' of the spine.
I get it ev'ry time they ask me to go up the line.
I've got rheumatism of my hair, a dislocated face.
I think it's really, really time that someone should take my place.

Additional lyrics by Percival Knight
Sung with striking success by Percival Knight in the British-Canadian recruiting play "Getting Together"


1. I'm married now for seven years and it don't seem a day.
Since first I went away,
For two years I've been gay.
My missus heard that I was dead and married my pal Jim.
It really is the first time that I've sympathized with him.
I wouldn't be unkind to them and break their lives apart.
I think I'd better stay right here; 'twould be cruel to break her heart.

CHORUS 1: I don't want to go home;
I don't want to go home.
The whizzbangs and shrapnel around me do roar.
I don't want that old face anymore.
Take me over the sea
Where the missus will never get me.
Oh, my!
I'd much rather die;
I don't want to go home.

2. In learning foreign languages I never made advance
Until I got the chance
To study here in France.
I know the French for mustard and can say comme ci, comme car.
I know that every Frenchman eats his patty dees foros grar.
The French for house is maison; a potato's pomme de terre.
Your aunty is a tanty and your father is a pear.

CHORUS 2: Je veux aller home;
Je veux aller home.
Les whizzbangs and shrapnel do sound effrayant,
Je don't want this old war plus longtemps.
Take me over la mer,
Where the Germans can get me nevaire,
Oh, Lor',
I don't want la mort,
Je veux aller
home.

3. Now every soldier's got a sense of honor that is dear.
It keeps away the tear,
And keeps away his fear.
I've got a white-haired mother waiting for me 'cross the foam.
Thank God she's never heard me say that I want to go home!
Although I'm dying to see her, and I pray for her each night,
I'm never going home until we've won this blinking fight!

CHORUS 3: Then I'm going home;
Then I'm going home,
But not until Belgium is Belgium again,
And not until France has got Alsace-Lorraine.
When we've got Germany,
And we've dumped her into the sea,
Then when all's well
And we've given them h——,
Then, I'm going home.

[I'd love to hear this song, but recordings are hard to track down, because many other people have written songs with the same title.]


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Subject: RE: WWI Trench songs
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 07 Dec 13 - 08:50 AM

Thanks Jim.


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Subject: Lyr Add: WE ARE FRED KARNO'S ARMY
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 06 Dec 13 - 11:35 PM

This song was mentioned by Keith A of Hertford back on 19 Mar 01 - 01:57 PM:

WE ARE FRED KARNO'S ARMY
Tune: "The Church's One Foundation."
As sung by Fitzrovia Chorus & John Mealing on "Songs from the Great War" (2009)

We are Fred Karno's Army, the ragtime infantry.
We cannot fight; we cannot march; what earthly use are we?
And when we get to Berlin, the Kaiser he will say:
"Hoch! Hoch! mein Gott! What a jolly rotten lot are the ragtime infantry."

We are Fred Karno's Army; a jolly lot are we.
Fred Karno is our Captain, Charlie Chaplin our O.C.
And when we get to Berlin, the Kaiser he will say:
"Hoch! Hoch! mein Gott! What a jolly fine lot are the boys of Company C."


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Subject: RE: WW1 Trench songs
From: C Stuart Cook
Date: 08 Sep 13 - 02:51 AM

Robert Service, the Yukon poet was an ambulance man in WW1. He published a book of poems from Paris. Certainly one of them 'Back to Blighty' [Going Home?] has been sung by myself.


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Subject: RE: WW1 Trench songs
From: Jack Campin
Date: 07 Sep 13 - 05:07 AM

In another thread I mentioned that there are a great many Turkish songs from WW1, both about Gallipoli and about the Mesopotamian campaign. There is an album of them by Ruhi Su, "Seferberlik Turkuleri" (Songs of Mobilization). And "Burasi Mustur", which I don't think Su recorded, became something of an anthem, covered by many singers, after the US started blasting the hell out of Iraq, because of its historical parallels.

But I can't think of any song from the British side in Mesopotamia. Are there any? You'd think there'd be a song about the Siege of Kut, at least.


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: MartinRyan
Date: 06 Sep 13 - 05:42 PM

This thread has reappeared in nice time for the centenary... Any further contributions? And can anyone point me towards a good general source of WW1 songs - either in print or online?

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: I DO LIKE A S'NICE, S'MINCE, S'PIE
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 02:49 PM

…and indeed, here it is:


I DO LIKE A S'NICE, S'MINCE, S'PIE

I'm so fond of what I like,
And what I like, I like it
Some like this, and some like that
Some like lean, and some like fat
Some like pudding, some like pie
With which to fill their phiz
But there's one thing I like best
I'll tell you what it is

Chorus: Oh I do like s'nice s'pince s'pie
Oh I do like s'nice s'pince s'pie
Don't like lamb, ham or jam
And I don't like roly-poly
But when I see a s'nice s'pince s'pie
Then I ask for a helping twice
For I do like a s'nice s'pince s'pie
'Cos it's s'nice, s'nice, s'nice

I've a sweetheart all my own,
There's no one else would have her
Her face I've not tasted yet
It's so slobbery and so wet
We sat in the Park, last night
She nudged my arm and sighed
'What do you like the best of all?'
I grinned, and then replied

Chorus:

Once I went to Parliament
I'd been sent there to dust it
Found a meeting on inside
One young member loudly cried
'Matters we'll no longer mince
Our country must be led
We can't mince matters' I said 'No
Lets all mince pies instead'

Chorus:

PDF Sheet music (link)

Written and composed by Worton David & Bert Lee - 1914
Performed by Jay Laurier (1879-1969)


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 02:45 PM

Robert Graves, in Good-Bye to All That, writes about the refrain of "I don't like ham, lamb or jam, and I don't like roly-poly" and the chorus "'s nice, 's nice, 's nice, 's nice, 's nice, 's nice 's pie".


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE OLD DUN COW CAUGHT FIRE (H Champion)
From: Old Grey Wolf
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 05:34 AM

It's called "The Old Dun Cow Caught Fire" by Harry Champion

Some mates and I in a public house
Were playing dominoes last night
When all of a sudden in the pot-man came
With his face all chalky white
"What's up?" says Brown. "Have you seen a ghost?"
"Have you seen your Aunt Mariah?"
"Me Aunt Mariah be blown," said he.
"The bloomin' pub's on fire!"

Oh there was Brown, upside down
Knocking back the whiskey on the floor
"Booze, booze," the firemen cried
As they came knocking at the door
Oh don't let 'em in till it's all mopped up
Somebody shouted "MacIntyre!"
And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire

Old Johnson rushed to the port wine tub
And gave it just a few hard knocks
He started taking off his pantaloons
Likewise his shoes and socks
"Hold on," said Tibbs, "If you want to wash your feet
There's a tub of old ale here
Don't wash your feet in the port wine tub
When we've still got some old stale beer"

Oh there was Brown, upside down
Knocking back the whiskey on the floor
"Booze, booze," the firemen cried
As they came knocking at the door
Oh don't let 'em in till it's all mopped up
Somebody shouted "MacIntyre!"
And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire

instrumental

Just then there came such an awful crash
Half the bloomin' roof gave way
We were doused with a fireman's hose
But still we were all gay.
So we got some sacks, and some old tin tacks
And we bunged ourselves inside
And we all got drinking good old Scotch
'Til we was bleary-eyed

Oh there was Brown, upside down
Knocking back the whiskey on the floor
"Booze, booze," the firemen cried
As they came knocking at the door
Oh don't let 'em in till it's all mopped up
Somebody shouted "MacIntyre!"
And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire

Fire! x8 during instrumental

And we all got blue blind paralytic drunk
When the Old Dun Cow caught fire.

Hope that helps. I don't think it is a trench song though.


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: GUEST,ron d
Date: 02 Sep 13 - 04:22 AM

does any one know of a song starting My pals and I were in a public house one night    when the blooming pub caught fire


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: GUEST,Chris C
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 05:43 PM

I find it very hard to believe that the Germans didnt have their own trench songs?
Does anyone know of any ?


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 12:15 PM

Sorry I can't help, but let me ask you this: what version did he sing of "Mademoiselle from Armentières"?


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: GUEST
Date: 15 Apr 12 - 11:55 AM

My Grandfather sang with the Dumbells during the war and he used to sing a song Lousy Shirts after the war - does anyone have the lyrics or melody for that song.

Thanks in advance Barbara


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: Bugsy
Date: 19 May 11 - 08:18 PM

The last survivor of the Great War died recently and will have a naval funeral in Perth today.

The last link is no more

Bugsy


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: GUEST,Buffy marxon - spencer
Date: 19 May 11 - 04:18 AM

Yer can get reprint edition of Wipers time on ebay.

http://shop.ebay.co.uk/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p4522.m570.l1313&_nkw=wipers+times&_sacat=See-All-Categories


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: BanjoRay
Date: 18 May 11 - 08:46 PM

My grandfather, an artillery man in WWI, used to sing a song to the tune of "The Old Rugged Cross" that included the lines:

At the cross, at the cross
where the Kaiser lost his 'oss
And the Eagle on his helmet flew away
oh he ran and he ran,
Till he saw the British van
Then he turned around and ran the other way

These are the only words I have, but I'd love to hear the rest. Anyone come across this song?


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: skipy
Date: 18 May 11 - 06:48 PM

Anyone got the chords to "Vimy" as performed by the great Tanglefoot?
Skipy


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Subject: RE: Trench Songs of World War I
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jul 10 - 05:15 PM

Has anyone mentioned:

Over There
Goodbye, Broadway, Hello, France
(Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and) Smile, Smile, Smile!
America, I Love You
Smiles ("There are smiles that make us happy...")
Oh! Frenchy
Arrah, Go On, I'm Gonna Go Back to Oregon


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