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The Recruiting Sergeant

Seamus O'Farrell
Language: English

List of versions


Related Songs

The Kerry Recruit (One Morning In March)
(The Dubliners)
Twa Recruitin' Sergeants
(Anonymous)
Lorca's Novena
(The Pogues)


Recruiting sergeantE' probabilmente stata pubblicata senza nome o con un pseudonimo a suo tempo, perche' "sovversiva".
L'autore e' (era) mio padre, Seamus O'Farrell (1886-1973), giornalista e nazionalista. Doveva essere cantata con la melodia di una piu' vecchia canzone nazionalista "The Peeler and the Goat".

(Kathleen Rocchi)

Interpretata da Dominic Behan e anche dai Pogues in medley con "The Rocky Road to Dublin"

This is an anti-recruiting song and was composed by Seamus O'Farrell in 1915. The tune is that of The Peeler and the Goat. It was branded a ‘treason’ song by the British and anyone heard singing it in public rendered himself liable to six months' imprisonment. Anti-recruiting songs were a great vogue in Ireland as is demonstrated by Teddy McGrath, The Kerry Recruit and Kickham's beautiful Glen of Aherlow.

Mainly Norgolk
As I was walking down the road,
A feeling fine and larky oh!
A recruiting Sergeant came up to me,
Says he "You'd look fine in khaki, oh!(1)
For the King he is in need of men,
Come read this proclamation oh!
A life in Flanders for you then,
Would be a fine vacation now."

"That maybe so," says I to him,
"But tell me sergent Dearie-oh!
If I had a pack stuck upon me back,
Would I look fine and cheerie oh!
For they'd have you train and drill until
They had you one of Frenchies oh!
It maybe warm in Flanders,
But it's draughty in the trenches oh!"

The Sergeant smiled and winked his eye,
His smile was most provoking oh!
He twiddled and twirled his wee moustache,
Says he, "I know your only joking oh!
For the sandbags are so warm and high,
The wind you won't feel blowing oh!"
Well I winked at a colleen passing by,
Says I, "What if it's snowing oh!"

"Come rain or hail or wind or snow,
I'm not going out to Flanders oh!
There's fighting in Dublin to be done.(2)
Let your Sergeants and Commanders go.
Let Englishmen fight English wars,
It's nearly time they started oh!
I salute the Sergeant a very good night!"
And there and then we parted oh!
(1) "Khaki" refers to the British army uniform (they had by this point abandoned the "Redcoat" look)

(2) The "fighting in Dublin" refers to the Easter Rising of 1916.




Language: English

THE RECRUITING SERGEANT

As I was going down the road, feeling fine and larky O,
A recruiting sergeant says to me, “Now you'd look fine in khaki O.
The King he is in need of men, come read his proclamation O.
A life in Flanders for you then would be a fine vacation O.”

“That may be so,” says I to him, “but tell me sergeant dearie O,
If I had a pack stuck upon me back, do you think I'd look fine and cheery O?
You'd make me train and drill until they had me one of French's O.
It may be warm in Flanders but it's draughty in the trenches O.”

The sergeant smiled and winked his eye, his smile was most provoking O.
He twiddled and twirled his wee moustache, says he, “You're only joking O!
For the sandbags are so warm and high, the wind you won't feel blowing O.”
Well I winked at a cailin passing by, says I, “What if it's snowing O?

Come rain or hail or wind or snow, we're not going out to Flanders O.
There's fighting in Dublin to be done, let your Sergeants and your Commanders go.
Let Englishmen for England fight, 'tis just about time they started O.”
I wished the Sergeant a very good night and there and then departed O.

2013/3/23 - 23:53




Language: English

Versione cantata da Robin Hall e Jimmie McGregor
THE RECRUITING SERGEANT

As I was walking down the street I was feeling light and larky O
When a recruiting sergeant says to me, “You'd look fine in khaki O.
For the King he is in need of men, come read this proclamation O.
And it's a life in Flanders for you then, 't will be a lovely vacation O.”

So I looked the the sergeant then says I, “Please tell me sergeant dearie O,
If I had a pack stuck upon me back would I look bright and cheerie O?
For you'd make me drill and train until you'd had me like the Frenchies O,
Oh it may be warm in Flanders but it's draughty in the trenches O.”

Then the sergeant raised his little cane and his smile was most provoking O,
And he twiddled and twirled his wee moustache, says he, “Surely you're joking O!
For the sandbags they are lovely and high and the wind you'd never feel blowing O.”
But I winked at a cailin passing by, says I, “What if it's snowing O?

“O come wind, come rain, come hail, come snow, we're not going out to Flanders O,
For there's fighting in Dublin to be done, let your Captains and Commanders go.
And let Englishmen for England fight and it's time that they get started O.”
And I gave that Sergeant a jolly good night and there and then we parted O.

2013/3/23 - 23:55



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