Chindits Tune.

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by Birddog, Jul 7, 2009.

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  1. Good Morning,

    I hope this is the right place for help. I friend of mine is burying a family friend who was a Chindit.

    He would like a tune played at his funeral and he asks;

    "Digressing to your recent history military knowledge, from the brief discussions the other day regarding The Chindits and Ammunition Box defences etc, do you know where I can find out the tune that the Chindits used to hum when meeting a patrol in the jungle. Apparently, if the other unit /patrol didn’t hum the tune back, they obviously were not British/ Indian or Ghurkha so were shot. The song is "One more river to cross" , which is strongly linked to many R.E. tunes and books on bridge building.

    Can any Sapper help?

    I have also suggested he contacts the RE Museum to see if they can help.

    Many thanks,

    Birddog.
     
  2. The R.E. Museum would certainly be the place to ask...

    Good Luck with your search, a very thoughtful thing to do, there must be hundreds of similar stories from WWII, mainly forgotten about :(
     
  3. Although they are not real Royal Engineers, it might be worth phoning the RE Band in Chatham.
     
  4. Only references are some recent number, or a Negro Spritual from 1865. Disappointed (and surprised) not to find it in Library of Congress.

    Highly likely to be your one, as it woud be a song sung softly rather than wailed out.

    Maybe a nearby church or tabernacle could help. Or Salvation Army, as their Canadian Staff Band have recorded it (with International Staff Songsters - natch).

    Or try International Military Music Society,

    A possible legal download here (couldn't see the site myself)

    Looks like the song has been taken up by the 'Got Aids Yet?' movement, so approach at your peril.
     
  5. I typed "one more river to cross" into Youtube; most of the results didn't have a particularly distinctive tune ..... certainly not something that could be recognised when hummed. 8O

    This recording (starting at 3:20 on the video) seemed a bit more likely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Id8ZnJSWzDk
     
  6. Don't know if this will be of any help but I remembered something from my childhood with the chorus:

    There's one more river
    And that's the river of Jordan

    So I Googled "river of Jordan" and got the following:

    http://www.recmusic.org/lieder/get_text.html?TextId=1360

    The animals came in two by two,
    Vive la compagnie!
    The centipede with the kangaroo,
    Vive la compagnie!
    One more river, and that's the river of Jordan,
    One more river, there's one more river to cross.

    The animals came in three by three,
    Vive la compagnie!
    The elephant on the back of the flea,
    Vive la compagnie!
    One more river, and that's the river of Jordan,
    One more river, there's one more river to cross.

    The animals came in four by four,
    Vive la compagnie!
    The camel, he got stuck in the door,
    Vive la compagnie!
    One more river, and that's the river of Jordan,
    One more river, there's one more river to cross.

    The animals came in five by five,
    Vive la compagnie!
    The missing link was the last to arrive,
    Vive la compagnie!
    One more river, and that's the river of Jordan,
    One more river, there's one more river to cross.

    The animals came in six by six,
    Vive la compagnie!
    The monkey, he was up to his tricks,
    Vive la compagnie!
    One more river, and that's the river of Jordan,
    One more river, there's one more river to cross.

    Then the door was shut and it started to rain,
    Vive la compagnie!
    If you want any more you must sing it again,
    Vive la compagnie!
    One more river, and that's the river of Jordan,
    One more river, there's one more river to cross.

    There are other references, showing similar words.