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Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example

Wolfgang 03 Jul 03 - 04:54 AM
Gareth 03 Jul 03 - 05:23 AM
Wolfgang 03 Jul 03 - 06:19 AM
Keith A of Hertford 03 Jul 03 - 06:39 AM
Steve Parkes 03 Jul 03 - 08:16 AM
Jim Dixon 05 Jul 03 - 08:45 PM
Wolfgang 07 Jul 03 - 11:21 AM
Mary in Kentucky 07 Jul 03 - 01:43 PM
GUEST,Stephen 07 Jul 03 - 05:35 PM
Mary in Kentucky 07 Jul 03 - 06:59 PM
GUEST,Q 07 Jul 03 - 07:51 PM
Wolfgang 08 Jul 03 - 05:25 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: FOR THE SAKE OF EXAMPLE
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 04:54 AM

The House band are singing this beautiful and moving song. I have it on tape with the title being the only information I have.

I'd like to know more about the song, for instance who has written it, about which war it is...

And then in my transcription there are bound to be errors and one or two lines I don't understand and have just written down what I hear. I've put the bits I'm not sure in parentheses. I'd appreciate corrections.

Wolfgang

FOR THE SAKE OF EXAMPLE

I was fourteen years old when I first started running
And for two years I lived on a seaman's poor wage
'Til I met with a sergeant who said I'd do better
So I joined up by adding two years to my age.

In the winter I found I was scared stiff of dying
Up to my knees in mud and in snow
And I knew then it wasn't just me who was lying
And I wish that I'd heard someone say: Don't you go.

So I ran and I crawled I swam and I stumbled
Away from the sound, the smells and the (sights)
And I got past the barbed wire, the (red caps and bullies)
(that be stationed behind us to help us to fight.)

For six days and more I kept moving westward
Walking by night and hiding by day
'Til at last in the barn of a farmer I trusted
The price of a shilling I was given away.

They took me away many miles from the frontline
And the court-martial's justice was promised to me
But the colonel and major who'd never seen fighting
Both told me that only a coward would flee.

Then I heard someone say they were shooting deserters
The first time in years I made myself wet
And I started to run to escape from the (S-guards)
If they hadn't shot at me I'd be running yet.

It's three months and more in the cellar they kept me
Tomorrow at dawn when I'm just turned eighteen
I'll have grown old enough to be made an example
An example (to make mere and men won't to leave)???

For the sake of example just as an example
That was the reason they gave to the boy
For the sake of example just as an example
To encourage the others his final employ.


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Gareth
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 05:23 AM

Wolfgang - Historical note refers to the Great War of 1914/18.

Some 200 + British "Deserters" were officially shot after Court Martial for desertion. Some reprts suggest that rather more were shot out of hand. Those days "shell shock", "Battle fatigue" were not acepted as a medical diagnosis.

Redcaps were military police, in this context they were used to seal the front off and prevent desertion. Later they were actually stationed in the trenches to force the troops out if neccessary.

in that era, the age of School leaving in the UK was 14. You could sign on at sea at that age. In theory you could not go for a solidier untill you were 18 . Some recruiting Seargents were not over zealous on enforcing that age limit. Boys could join the Army at an earlier age, but they could not be sent overseas on active service untill they passed 18.

This gave the senario described here, a 17 year old who breaks under pressure, court martialed, sentanced to death, and shot as soon as he turns 18. Actually not as far fetched as it sounds. 16 and 17 year old deserters were shot "To encourage the Others"

Gareth


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 06:19 AM

Thanks, Gareth, Great War makes sense as a timing for that song.

The numbers of deserters shot is interesting, in comparison between wars and countries:

The British Army has shot much more deserters in the Great War, 269, than in the Second ('very rarely' my German source says).

The German Army has shot 18 deserters during the first war and more than 10000 during Hitler's war ("He who fights can die, he who doesn't will die" was the propaganda then).

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 06:39 AM

It is said that bands of deserters lived rough in the country behind the lines and towards the coast.
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 03 Jul 03 - 08:16 AM

You may be interested in the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, Staffordshire, England. The linked page has a photo of "Shot at dawn", a statue comemorating those men and boys shot for desertion in WWI. If you check the sitemap, it's in area C.

Alrewas is not far from the forest of Cannock Chase, where the German military cemetary is situated, with the graves of German POWs and others who died in or over Britain in both wars; the Chase is also home to the memorial to the Katyn Forest massacre.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 05 Jul 03 - 08:45 PM

At AMG "For the Sake of Example" is credited to "Foley/Martyn/Skelton." I assume that would be Ged Foley (one of the founding members of the House Band) and John Skelton (who joined in 1986). I'm not sure about Martyn. John Martyn, maybe? At least he's a Scottish singer-songwriter.

"For the Sake of Example" appears on their CD "Groundwork", which is a reissue of their first two albums: "The House Band", 1985, and "Pacific", 1987.


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Wolfgang
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 11:21 AM

Thanks for the responses.

An audio of the song is found here

Could a kind soul please listen to the last line of the before last verse. In all other places what I have posted is close to what they sing and I'm confident any error left is minor and doesn't change the general sense. But in that one line what I have posted is far from correct and I cannot make the slightest sense from what I have written.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 01:43 PM

Sorry I can't help. Maybe an English speaker (or is that a Scottish accent?) can hear it. I had to listen to the link for the entire record at ~24:11 for that line. I hear "to make Mur......an man/men want to leave." But then I'm influenced by hearing a familiar name that starts with M.

I don't have a good ear for unfamiliar sounds. I once listened to a video of Pride and Prejudice ~100 (well, maybe 50) times to figure out one line! I noticed in Hubby's business where we have a telephone recorder for messages that most people really slur over their name and telephone number. I often just have to guess at the name. Then there were all the times I couldn't tell the difference between calf and cat!


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: GUEST,Stephen
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 05:35 PM

Last line of penultimate verse is, I believ...

an example that ignorant men want to leave

I'll ask Ged when I next see him


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 06:59 PM

That's it! It seems so obvious in retrospect!

A few other very minor corrections/additions:

1st v/ 3rd line
'Til I met with a sergeant

2nd v/ 2nd line
Up to me knees

4th v/ 4th line
For the price of a shilling

I'm not sure about S-Guards in 6th v/ 3rd line
maybe escorts...


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Subject: RE: Lyr add & quest: For the sake of example
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 07 Jul 03 - 07:51 PM

4/4- For the price of a---
6/3- Escorts. I hear what Mary in K. said.
7/4 Last part seems to be - ....so that men won't want to leave. ?? I would have to listen again.


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Subject: Lyr Add: FOR THE SAKE OF EXAMPLE
From: Wolfgang
Date: 08 Jul 03 - 05:25 AM

Many thanks to you all. Below you'll find the improved version of the song. I'm not completely sure about the one line, but 'ignorant' seems a very big improvement to me.

Wolfgang

FOR THE SAKE OF EXAMPLE

I was fourteen years old when I first started running
And for two years I lived on a seaman's poor wage
'Til I met with a sergeant who said I'd do better
So I joined up by adding two years to my age.

In the winter I found I was scared stiff of dying
Up to me knees in mud and in snow
And I knew then it wasn't just me who was lying
And I wish that I'd heard someone say: Don't you go.

So I ran and I crawled I swam and I stumbled
Away from the sound, the smells and the sights
And I got past the barbed wire, the redcaps and bullies
that be stationed behind us to help us to fight.

For six days and more I kept moving westward
Walking by night and hiding by day
'Til at last in the barn of a farmer I trusted
For the price of a shilling I was given away.

They took me away many miles from the frontline
And the court-martial's justice was promised to me
But the colonel and major who'd never seen fighting
Both told me that only a coward would flee.

Then I heard someone say they were shooting deserters
The first time in years I made myself wet
And I started to run to escape from the escorts
If they hadn't shot at me I'd be running yet.

It's three months and more in the cellar they kept me
Tomorrow at dawn when I'm just turned eighteen
I'll have grown old enough to be made an example
An example that ignorant men (won't) want to leave

For the sake of example just as an example
That was the reason they gave to the boy
For the sake of example just as an example
To encourage the others his final employ.


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