mudcat.org: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafeawe

Post to this Thread - Printer Friendly - Home
Page: [1] [2]


Origins: Marching to Pretoria

DigiTrad:
MARCHIN TO PRETORIA


In Mudcat MIDIs:
Marching to Pretoria (from World Folk Songs, by Marais and Miranda)
Marching to Pretoria (from World Folk Songs, by Marais and Miranda - simple version, without harmony)


Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Apr 05 - 05:59 PM
Amos 28 Apr 05 - 06:16 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Apr 05 - 07:24 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Apr 05 - 10:48 PM
Charley Noble 29 Apr 05 - 09:04 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Apr 05 - 01:13 PM
GUEST,Charley Noble 29 Apr 05 - 05:17 PM
Rabbi-Sol 27 Apr 06 - 03:52 PM
Joe Offer 27 Apr 06 - 04:01 PM
Rabbi-Sol 27 Apr 06 - 04:07 PM
Joe Offer 28 Apr 06 - 02:47 AM
Charley Noble 28 Apr 06 - 03:53 PM
Little Robyn 28 Apr 06 - 05:02 PM
Little Robyn 28 Apr 06 - 05:07 PM
Charley Noble 28 Apr 06 - 07:28 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Apr 06 - 09:29 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Apr 06 - 09:33 PM
Little Robyn 29 Apr 06 - 05:23 PM
GUEST,Allan S. 09 Jun 08 - 09:06 PM
Melissa 09 Jun 08 - 11:45 PM
Joe Offer 10 Jun 08 - 02:14 AM
Jim Dixon 29 Mar 09 - 01:59 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 29 Mar 09 - 01:36 PM
GUEST,flatint 11 Jun 09 - 01:45 AM
Joe Offer 11 Jun 09 - 02:59 AM
GUEST,Lighter 11 Jun 09 - 10:11 AM
Bill H //\\ 11 Jun 09 - 10:27 PM
GUEST,Org Potgieter, Cape Town 12 Jun 09 - 04:58 PM
GUEST,Org Potgieter 12 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 12 Jun 09 - 06:13 PM
GUEST,flatint 12 Jun 09 - 10:59 PM
GUEST,Org Potgieter 10 Jul 09 - 02:46 PM
GUEST,Cort 23 Aug 09 - 11:24 PM
GUEST,Gerry 23 Aug 09 - 11:35 PM
greg stephens 24 Aug 09 - 09:14 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 24 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM
GUEST,why teach this song to suburban kids in NJ? 23 Sep 09 - 07:17 AM
olddude 02 Jan 10 - 05:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jan 10 - 05:55 PM
Bill Hahn//\\ 02 Jan 10 - 06:06 PM
olddude 02 Jan 10 - 06:46 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 02 Jan 10 - 07:48 PM
TonyA 02 Jan 10 - 07:55 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jan 10 - 07:55 PM
Joe Offer 02 Jan 10 - 07:59 PM
Charley Noble 03 Jan 10 - 01:19 PM
Steve Gardham 03 Jan 10 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Sean Rice 17 Jan 10 - 05:32 PM
Gibb Sahib 07 Mar 10 - 07:25 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 08 Mar 10 - 02:53 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:






Subject: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 05:59 PM

In the DT (as 'Marchin to Pretoria') is a Scouts version of the Boer War Song (English side).

I am looking for the song as sung originally by British soldiers.

In British Columbia, I heard a parody, but I can remember only the title, "Swimming to Victoria." Does anyone have the words?

Words to one or both would be much appreciated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Amos
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 06:16 PM

As it was played by Josef Marais and Miranda, it was a simple song, as marching osngs often are:

We are marching to Pretoria, Pretoria, Pretoria
We are marching to Pretoria
Pretoria, Hooorah!

You sing with me, I'll sing with you and so we will sing together
So we will sing together
So we will sing together
Sing with me, I'll sing with you and so we will sing together
As we march along.

We are marching to Pretoria, Pretoria....etc.

Repeat with other verbs in place of "sing" such as talk, march. As a youth I used to spice it up by adding a "sleep" verse, but it didn't make a hit.

A


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 07:24 PM

Amos, that is the Scout version. The original which I am looking for speaks of the invasion of the Transvaal.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Apr 05 - 10:48 PM

The tune, called by Marais a "veld song," was sung by soldiers on both sides during the war. Marais said "I wrote English verses and a definitive musical adaptation, which, to my delight, has captured..."
His verses were "I'm with you ...," "Sing with Me...," and "We have food n' ...," When we eat we will sing...," etc.

Anecdotally, Lord Baden-Powell on the march to Pretoria is supposed to have used the following, but this is mixed up with stories of Baden-Powell and Sgt. Major Goodyear and the founding of the Scouts:

March with me and we'll march together
And yes, we will march together (2x)
I'll march with you and you'll march with me
And yes, we will march together as we march.

Oh, yes, we're marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria, Pretoria.
We are marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria, Pretoria, hurrah!

One Boer version goes:

Jou kombers en
My matras en
Daar lê die ding,
Daar lê die ding,
Daar lê die ding.

(We are marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria, Pretoria.
We are marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria, here we come)

Die een kant op en
Die anderkant af en
Daar lê die ding,
Daar lê die ding,
Daar lê die ding.

This dance from Ralph Page, 1984, "An Elegant Collection of Contras and Squares," p. 15, Yates Publishing.

DANCING TO PRETORIA

Singing square. Song: Marching to Pretoria

Intro, Break and Ending
All join hands, circle left, circle once around
All the way around, 'til you get back home again
Reverse back, the other way you go then
Right hand to your partner for a grand right and left
[all the way around]; sing it!
We'll go dancing to Pretoria, Pretoria, Pretoria
We'll go dancing to Pretoria, Pretoria, hurrah!

Figure
Allemande left your corner and
Come back and swing your partner
Swing with your partner, swing around and round
The head two couples right and left through
Turn to face back in
And the side couples do the same old thing
Then you promenade one-quarter way round the ring
Four ladies chain, chain across the ring
Then you chain right back and with your partner swing
To Pretoria, hurrah!

Sequence: Intro; figure twice for heads; break; figure twice for sides; ending.
Origin? Or original with Ralph Page?
www.izaak.unh/nhltmd/syllabus2003.pdf


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Charley Noble
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 09:04 AM

As I recall Josef Marais and Miranda also sang an Afrikaansa verse which used to fascinate my brother and I with its rolling multisyllable words.

Have a great search!

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 01:13 PM

I should have noted that the comment by Marais is from Marais and Miranda, 1964, "World Folk Songs," pp. 16-18, where the sheet music is given for the song. Unfortunately, only Josef Marais's version in English is there.
There is a large Afrikaans song website, but it doesn't seem to have the "veld song" mentioned by Marais.

Yeah, Charley, I'll look some more, but later. I went through 38 pages of "Marching to Pretoria" on google, plus some other combinations, and my eyes don't want to cooperate any longer.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Charley Noble
Date: 29 Apr 05 - 05:17 PM

Q-

My eyes are also dim from web brosing myself, in my case looking for images of old Japanese fishing trawlers, but not to worry.

I wouldn't dare post the giberish that I remember singing with my brother.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Tune Req: Marching To Pretoria
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 03:52 PM

I am looking for a copy of the sheet music for "Marching To Pretoria".
I was told that the song is in the public domaine and hence no copyright laws will be broken if someone would furnish it to me. I need it to create a midi-karaoke file using the VanBasco player. The person who I am collaborating with on this project can only work from sheet music and not from chords or MP3s. I will be glad to make the finished product available to anyone who wants it free.

                                                SOL ZELLER


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Joe Offer
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 04:01 PM

Let's post in this thread instead of splitting the discussion.
Sol, send me a personal message with your e-mail address, and I can e-mail a scan to you. The version I have is copyright 1942 by G. Schirmer. Josef Marais says he introduced the song to American radio audiences in 1939, but that it comes from the Boer War of 1901. I'd say it's relatively clear that it's in the public domain - but not completely so. My Travelin' On With the Weavers songbook also gives the 1942 Schirmer copyright and attributes the song to Marais and Miranda.
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Rabbi-Sol
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 04:07 PM

Is the sheet music available anywhere on the web or can someone who has it scan a copy and e-mail it to me ?

                                                 SOL ZELLER


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 02:47 AM

Here's the tune from World Folk Songs, by Marais and Miranda. Lyrics are the same as what's in the Digital Tradition.
I e-mailed a scan of the song to Sol.
-Joe Offer-



Click to play (harmony)




Click to play


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 03:53 PM

Damn, can't someone else supply an accurate transcription of Josef Marais and Miranda's Afrikaansa verse? Maybe I'll ask my brother if he can still babble it out.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Little Robyn
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 05:02 PM

Charley, my cousin grew up in South Africa and used to sing an Afrikaans song that may be your missing verse. I heard it back in 1969 and I haven't a clue how it should be spelt but the phonics in my memory go something like this:

Oh, ill ma trass and ma pa trass and ah lady dum,
Ah lady dum, ah lady dum,
Oh, ill ma trass and ma pa trass and ah lady dum,
Ah lady dum, ah lady dum.

Which she reckoned meant:
Your mattress and my pillow and there lies the thing.!!!

A bit risque for a young lass but I was teaching her to play guitar and that was one of the few songs she knew and there wasn't time to teach her many new ones.
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Little Robyn
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 05:07 PM

Actually, looking back at the verses posted by Q, they could be similar:

Jou kombers en
My matras en
Daar lę die ding,
Daar lę die ding,
Daar lę die ding.

en daar le die ding = and ah lady dum.

It seems to have the mattress bit there already!
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Charley Noble
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 07:28 PM

Robyn-

That's much more interesting than what we were chirping!

Charley


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 09:29 PM

I have been unable to find any verification that this song was sung during the 'Boer War'. All 'evidence' seems to be anecdotal.
Its early association with the Scouts leads me to think that it originated with Lord Baden-Powell and the early Scout movement, after the War.
Any Afrikaans version would be even later, if my presumption is correct.

In British Columbia, a form of the song has survived, "Swimming to Victoria."

The tune could be Afrikaans- perhaps it may be found at the very extensive Afrikaans folk song site, "Ons Blêrkas van Afrikaanse volksmusiek."
http://esl.ee.sun.ac.za/~lochner/blerkas
Ons Blerkas


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Apr 06 - 09:33 PM

Added note- The midis at Ons Blêrkas are excellent.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Tune/Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Little Robyn
Date: 29 Apr 06 - 05:23 PM

Yep, that's the tune my cousin used, only she didn't sing the chorus part.
Robyn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: marching to pretoria author history?
From: GUEST,Allan S.
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 09:06 PM

Who wrote the song "We are Marching to Pretoria" No it wasn't the weavers or Josiepf Maris. What is the history of the piece???
From what I can figure it is from the 2nd. Anglo Boer War.. How does Baden-Powel figure in to this.   I know it is popular with the Boy Scouts from RSA..
Tot Siens   Allan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: marching to pretoria author history?
From: Melissa
Date: 09 Jun 08 - 11:45 PM

Baden-Powell was involved in the Boer War.
He used the song with his first batches of boys, I think.

Somebody here will probably know who wrote it..if not, I'll try to catch the thread again before it floats downstream and see if I can find info in my gs stuff.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Marching to Pretoria
From: Joe Offer
Date: 10 Jun 08 - 02:14 AM

Hi, Allan -
I moved your message over here so people can see what has been said before. I gather from the discussion above that Josef Marais is responsible for the English translation, published in 1942.

Here's what Josef Marais says in Marais and Miranda, 1964, World Folk Songs, pp. 16-18:

    In 1939 I introduced this song to American radio audiences over NBC's Blue Network. Pretoria, of course, was the important objective of the British during the Boer War of 1901, the last of the so-called "gentlemen's wars." As both sides sang it, there was no recognizable set way of performance. I wrote English verses and a definitive musical adaptation which, to my delight, has captured the enthusiasm of school and college students across the U.S.A.


-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 01:59 AM

WorldCat.org has this in its catalog:

Songs from the Veld: Fourteen Songs from South Africa
by Josef Marais
Type: Musical score : Folk music : Multiple forms : Popular music; English
Publisher: New York : G. Schirmer, ©1942.
Document Type: Musical Score
Music Type: Folk music; Popular music
Language Note: English words; at end of each song, one of the Afrikaans versions, with its literal translation.
Notes: Piano acc.
Description: 1 score (32 p.) ; 30 cm.
Contents: Sarie Marais -- Jan Pieriewiet -- There's the cape-cart -- Siembamba -- Sugarbush : vastrap -- On the top of the hill -- The world is very, very big -- Meisiesfontein -- Onions and potatoes -- The Capetown girls -- Train to Kimberley -- Marching to Pretoria -- Auntie Mina's cooking the sirup -- Polly, come with me to Paarl.
Responsibility: [arranged] by Josef Marais ; [English versions by Josef Marais].


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 29 Mar 09 - 01:36 PM

The Anglo-Boer War Museum Archives, Blomfontein, has a number of songbooks, including unpublished, that might help with the earlier history of the song.
University of Praetoria, Gray, A-M (2004)

The fabled march to Praetoria by Lord Roberts, foot soldiers against mounted Boers, was a futile exercise.
There were a number of songs about the march; sheet music title pages of some English compositions are shown at this Canadian website:
www.goldiproductions.com/angloboerwarmuseum/Boer93o5_sheet5_canada.html

-Roberts Marching through Praetoria
-Praetoria March
-March to Praetoria
-Quick March (for Lord Roberts of Kandahar)
Also
-The Transvaal March
-The Mafeking March (for Robert Baden-Powell)

"Marching to Praetoria" also has alliance to "Soldiers of the Queen."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,flatint
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 01:45 AM

Hi, I collect South African music and I might have an answer to your original question from April 2005. You were looking for the roots and lyrics of the song: "Marching to Pretoria" in it original form as sung by British Soldiers in the Boer War.

I have the song on a single sided 78 rpm record:

"MARCHING ON PRETORIA"
(Patriotic Song)
Sung by Mr. Ian Colquhoun
ZON-O-PHONE
International Zonophone Company
X-348
Orchestra Accompaniment, London
Reproduced in Germany

I am guessing that it dates from around 1901-1903.
And it is definitely a British patriotic song in this version.

I came across your thread because I was curious about the difference between "Marching ON" and "Marching TO" Pretoria. As a South African I was aware of the famous "Marching to Pretoria" song. I had always heard the song as "TO" and not "ON". But I was struck by this version which most definitely puts Pretoria on the defensive. I suspect as it was popularised in Afrikaans it would have been more politically correct to shift the emphasis to going to Pretoria rather than attacking it.

In any event the record is in poor condition but I have made a recording of it. One can still make out most of the lyrics. They are different from the Afrikaans version. But I can forward them to you if you like. It will take me a few days to transcribe.

Also a quick note on the Josef Marais version. In the 1940s booklet that accompanies the Decca 78 rpm album set, "Songs from the Veld, Vol.2", he says about his version of "Marching to Pretoria":

"The really well-known Afrikaans verses to this gay marching song are a little crude for recording, and other versions are given."

Interesting! He then sings it in both English and Afrikaans.

Talk Soon!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Joe Offer
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 02:59 AM

Hi, Flatint,
I would really like to hear that 78 rpm recording if you could send it to me. I might even have enough Web space to post it at least temporarily.
All the best to you.
Joe Offer
joe@mudcat.org


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 10:11 AM

Yes, flatint. You may be the only person here who can supply the words of a Boer War-era version.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Bill H //\\
Date: 11 Jun 09 - 10:27 PM

Josef Marais does it in a very lively and happy manner.   I have the 10" LP of it. All the music always seems so happy no matter what the subject matter

Bill Hahn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Org Potgieter, Cape Town
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 04:58 PM

I've known this as a sort of Afrikaans party going song - always expected it had something to do with the Boer War. The words are
really somewhat meaningless - my matress and your blanket, and there lies the thing; up on the one side, down on the other side and there lies the thing etc.
Joseph Marais was the first to write original Afrikaans songs like
"Brandewyn laat my staan" (Brandy leave me alone) abd others.
There was not much interest, so he translated them into English and marketed them in the USA.
In 1990 I did a documentary TV-programme on the history of Afrikaans song, and it includes a medley of three songs by Marais.
Anybody is welcome to contact me.
vryskut@spektrum.co.za
12 June 2009


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Org Potgieter
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 05:18 PM

Maybe I can add that the Boers never marched on Pretoria, then
the capital of the ZAR (Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek of Paul Kruger).
The ZAR and the Free State were at war with England (1899-1902).
50 000 Boers resisted against 450 000 British soldiers in a war that cost England 230 million pounds.
By the time the English forces reached Pretoria it was pretty deserted, the ZAR having moved their HQ.
The scorched earth policy of Kitchener lead to the death of 28 000 Boer women and children in the concentration camps. Some 30 000
farm houses and 40 towns were burnt down.
And they also call it "the last gentleman's war". :-)
Google Anglo Boer War.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 06:13 PM

Many Afrikaanse folk songs and others, in Afrikaans, 400 in all, at Ons Blerkas, most with midi.

Afrikaan folksongs

Joseph Marais first broadcast the English version of his "Oh, Brandy ..." on WJZ, NYC, in 1939. The tune is based on an Afrikaans tune he heard as a boy, but he does not mention the name.
Marais and Miranda, 1964, "World Folk Songs," Ballantine Books.

About "Marching to Pretoria," Boer War of 1901, Marais says, "As both sides sang it, there was no recognizable set way of performance. I wrote English verses and a definitive musical adaptation which, to my delight, has captured the enthusiam of school and college students across the U. S. A." Up above somewhere, I had given part of this quotation.

Guest Flatint, your transcription of the part of that old recording that you can understand would be much appreciated.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,flatint
Date: 12 Jun 09 - 10:59 PM

OK, I have gone ahead and transcribed "Marching on Pretoria" as best I can. The sound quality is quite poor and certain words are difficult to make out. There is also a poetic license to the language used and sometimes the phrases do not make grammatical sense. I have put words that I cannot fully make out in square brackets.


"MARCHING ON PRETORIA"
(Patriotic Song)
Sung by Mr. Ian Colquhoun
ZON-O-PHONE, International Zonophone Company
X-348
Orchestra Accompaniment, London
Reproduced in Germany
Date: c1901 – 1905.

Transcription:

"Marching on Pretoria
Sung by […] Colquhoun
With orchestral accompaniment.

When the call to arms went forth [our hearts were…] and glad
[… those days and…] the brave it bloody had.
Every English meadow yielded up its human lad
We March! March! March! on Pretoria.

Hooraah! Hooraah! Come hither sail they come.
Hooraah! Hooraah! They've made the [business…] calm.
Round the world you heard the beat of Britain's ceaseless drum
When we went marching on Pretoria.

Far from overseas our brothers flocked to join the flag.
[Doing thus that pretty part] what neither blus nor brag.
Put the foot they stood with us beneath that dear old flag
When we went marching on Pretoria.

Hooraah! Hooraah! [… play this] bonnie song.
Hooraah! Hooraah! [Lets] mark an [aid in call]
They have thrown [it] in their [face/faith?] the blood of Britain's [rung/ruin/young?].
When we went marching on Pretoria.

Cheer up boys and sing good luck to all our gallant men
Who fought for the empire out in Africa and when
They have brought the seas once more we welcome home again
Conquerors of proud Pretoria.

Hooraah! Hooraah! [Foot-soldiers/Get hold] of the King
Hooraah! Hooraah! Their praises let us sing.
Victory they have brought us back wherever they have been.
And now they are coming home from Pretoria."

(Transcribed by flatinternational)


This British patriotic song is different from the Afrikaans version both in lyric and melody. It is also sung from a home-front perspective rather than from the war-front. Perhaps it could have been derived from the battle version. But in any event, it is the "Hurrah!" in the Josef Marais version at the end of "We are marching to Pretoria, Pretoria, hurruh!" that makes me think that they are historically linked. The "Hooraah!" in the British version is definitely the most catchy part—the hook if you like. I suspect that if this was sung on battlefields, that it might have been the thing that people most responded to—Afrikaaners or English. Anyway this is just an opinion.

But here's another thought! I have never heard the main lyric in this song sung in Afrikaans. As far as I know it has always been "We are marching to Pretoria" plus some Afrikaans lyrics. Perhaps for this reason alone it could have been derived from the English version. For example Q's lyric quote from above:

"Jou kombers en
My matras en
Daar lę die ding,
Daar lę die ding,
Daar lę die ding.

We are marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria, Pretoria.
We are marching to Pretoria,
Pretoria, here we come

Die een kant op en
Die anderkant af en
Daar lę die ding,
Daar lę die ding,
Daar lę die ding."

Also a note on the translation as given by Org Potgieter. The original Afrikaans lyrics could have been interpreted as sexual by Marais. Maybe this what he was referring to when he claimed that they were a "little crude for recording" and changed the lyrics in his 1940s version.

"My matress and your blanket, and there lies the thing. Up on the one side, down on the other side and there lies the thing."

I'll post the British version on my web-site in the near future or email me at flatinternational@hotmail.com


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Org Potgieter
Date: 10 Jul 09 - 02:46 PM

Thank you Q for pointing me to Die Blęrkas - what a wealth!
Incidentally 215 Vat Jou Goed en Trek Ferreira is one of the songs that Marais translated into English. (Hip! Hop! Skip to the one side, Johnny with the bandy legs etc.)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Cort
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 11:24 PM

I was sitting in church today "listening" to the sermon when this tune goes through my head: "We are marching to Pre-tor-ia, Pre-tor-ia, hooray" and I think "Hey, Pretoria is in South Africa" why do I know this song?

I grew up in suburban New Jersey in the late 1950's early 1960s. It never occurred to me to wonder why did we sing this song about South Africa is NJ in 1960? So, I Google "Marching to Pretoria" and find this site and all these interesting threads. No one explained this to us in fourth grade, of course and it still doesn't answer the question: why teach this song to suburban kids in NJ? I figure I was singing this song in music class during the "Cuban Missle Crisis". Does that make sense?

Thanks for the great info.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 23 Aug 09 - 11:35 PM

Cort, you and I come from about the same place and about the same time, and I also remember singing Pretoria, and a few other songs that were not of that time and place, like I've Got Sixpence. I don't know exactly why those songs found their way into the New York City area grade school repertoire, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that Pete Seeger had something to do with it. He recorded nearly every folk song known to mankind, and those records got around to people who liked to sing the songs to kids.

I'd have a look to see whether Seeger and/or the Weavers ever recrded Pretoria, or see if maybe Burl Ives did, and that may explain how it came to you and me.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: greg stephens
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 09:14 AM

How does "WE are marching to Peoria" fit in to the history of this song. I belive "Peoria" is an Amercian camp-fire type of song. Can anyone confirm this? And what are the words?
The cod Cornish song "Where be going to jagger?" also uses the Pretoria/Peoria tune for the final chorus "And we'll all go back to Oggie land" etc etc.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 24 Aug 09 - 12:23 PM

In British Columbia, it's "Swimming to Victoria."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,why teach this song to suburban kids in NJ?
Date: 23 Sep 09 - 07:17 AM

I can remember the Smothers Brothers singing this song in the 60's.
That's how I learned it.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: Origins: marching to Peoria
From: olddude
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 05:44 PM

Haven't thought about this song for years, can't remember who did it back in the 60's anyone know anything about it

Dan


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: marching to Peoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 05:55 PM

A variant of "Marching to Pretoria;" see thread.
In Canada, "Marching to Victoria" is well-known on the west coast.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: marching to Peoria
From: Bill Hahn//\\
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:06 PM

Marais and Miranda have it on one of their recordings about S. African Veldt and The Weavers have an excellent version (with Lee Hays lead vocal) on one of their Carnegie Hall Concert LPs.

Bill Hahn


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: marching to Peoria
From: olddude
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 06:46 PM

thanks Bill and Q


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: marching to Peoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 07:48 PM

Too bad the thread search is gone. There was quite a lot of information, plus variants, but I can't remember the thread number.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: marching to Peoria
From: TonyA
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 07:55 PM

It was a Smothers Brothers bit. They'd sing the song, but Tommy would sing Peoria instead of Pretoria, and then Dicky would explain very patronizingly, and Tommy would be embarassed at his mistake.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: marching to Peoria
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 07:55 PM

You can always find threads by using the Filter, which may well be our most efficient search engine - and I can't ever remember it being broken. I'm going to close this thread because there's already an informative discussion started here (click).
-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Joe Offer
Date: 02 Jan 10 - 07:59 PM

Anybody have the lyrics to the "Swimming to Victoria" parody mentioned above? Seems to me there was a "Peoria" version, too.

-Joe-


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Charley Noble
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 01:19 PM

Odd that this song didn't make it into the Fireside Book of Folk Songs.

Cheerily,
Charley Noble


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 03 Jan 10 - 05:50 PM

Flatint's Zonophone 78 version seems to have a lot in common structurally with 'Marching through Georgia'. Is there any connection between the two songs?

No one has yet mentioned on this thread the British forces versions of the song such as 'Zulu Warrior'. These are rather crude and racist in places, but I can post some versions if required.
Zulu Warrior (click)


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: GUEST,Sean Rice
Date: 17 Jan 10 - 05:32 PM

I distinctly remember hearing the song over the radio, sung by The Weavers, in the 1950s. I attended a concert by Josef Marais and Miranda, but I don't recall their performing the song. They probably did, but that was a long time ago. To me, it sounds like a jolly marching song, a hell of a lot better than our jody cadence calls.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 07 Mar 10 - 07:25 PM

Though not the ideal Boer War era version that some are seeking, the chantey version of this, in Stan Hugill's SHANTIES FROM THE SEVEN SEAS (1961) may also have some age on it. He does not say where he learned it from, unfortunately. For what it's worth, here are the lyrics to his version:

Oh, kiss yer gal, say goodbye
CH: An' make fast the dinghy, an' make fast the dinghy, an' make fast the dinghy
Kiss yer gal, say goodbye
CH: An' make fast the dinghy, make fast the dinghy, make fast the dinghy
GRAND CH: We are marchin' to Pretoria, oh gloria, Victoria!
We are marching to Pretoria, Victoria rules the waves!

The Afrikaans part in the original verse, says Hugill, "went something like this":(!)

Mitchen truss, mitchen truss an
Da der di ding-dong! Da der di ding-dong!
Da der di dong-dong!

And he says that in the "original song," the part filled by "oh gloria, Victoria" here had Zulu words: "Ai-oria, ai kona!"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Origins: Marching to Pretoria
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:53 PM

We still have not found this song in use at the time of the Boer War, although it seems likely. On the other hand, it may have originated with Lord Baden-Powell and the Scout movement.

The tune could be older.
Other songs, same tune?

Gibb Sahib's contribution rang a bell concerning the parody I heard on Vancouver Island but couldn't remember, "Swimming to Victoria." It had the 'Oh, gloria' line. The whole verse-

We are swimming to Victoria,
Oh gloria! Victoria!
We are swimming to Victoria
Victoria rules the waves!

The verse-
Jou kombers en
My matras en
Dar le die ding
In the Pretoria version, this verse may have been added from a different song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
Next Page

  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 13 December 9:06 AM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.