The Soldier and the Music Hall

Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive
John Murray
Henry Yule, Arthur Coke Burnell (auth.), William Crooke (ed.)
Year:1903

available here:
Ta much, indeed! I use that resource for quite a lot of my family genealogical research, and if I'm happy with the researched literature I try to find a hard-copy for my Library ... which one day I hope my Heirs will find useful.
 
Ta much, indeed! I use that resource for quite a lot of my family genealogical research, and if I'm happy with the researched literature I try to find a hard-copy for my Library ... which one day I hope my Heirs will find useful.
Yes, I found Hobson-Jobson a useful reference to words, apart from the usual suspects, that I never realised originated from the sub-continent or the Far East

Where I worked, we used the word 'Chop' for our rubber name stamps, as in "can you put your chop on this (document)?' I never even thought about the names origins but, according to H-J it was originally a Hindi word which exported to both the China ports and to UK

The Malay word Amok (as in to run amok) has a large entry with one quote sounding even topical;
"And they, (the Mohammedans) are hardly restrained from running a muck, which is to kill whoever they meet till they be slain themselves" ,
 

QRK2

LE
Another song about the TA. Not really Music Hall, but I always thought it quite good.



He knew he was talking/singing about.

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Slightly more downbeat there's this one of his.

 
Another soldier themed song, once popular on the stage but rarely heard in recent years.

The Drum Major
All the pretty girls look out, when they hear they we're about
Oh of course you'll understand, how they dote upon the band
Especially the gay drum major

With my baton in my hand, don't you think we all look grand?
So you now can understand, why the darlings love the band
Especially the gay drum major
So you now can understand, why the darlings love the band
Especially, especially, especially the gay drum major

But when shots begin to fly, why should we lie down and die
When of course you understand, it's not expected of the band
Especially the gay drum major

So we just begin to play, then we gently march away
For we must not risk our lives, we have sweethearts, we have wives
Especially the gay drum major

For we must not risk our lives, we have sweethearts, we have wives
Especially, especially, especially the gay drum major

Song: The Drum Major
 
Another soldier themed song, once popular on the stage but rarely heard in recent years.

The Drum Major
All the pretty girls look out, when they hear they we're about
Oh of course you'll understand, how they dote upon the band
Especially the gay drum major

With my baton in my hand, don't you think we all look grand?
So you now can understand, why the darlings love the band
Especially the gay drum major
So you now can understand, why the darlings love the band
Especially, especially, especially the gay drum major

But when shots begin to fly, why should we lie down and die
When of course you understand, it's not expected of the band
Especially the gay drum major

So we just begin to play, then we gently march away
For we must not risk our lives, we have sweethearts, we have wives
Especially the gay drum major

For we must not risk our lives, we have sweethearts, we have wives
Especially, especially, especially the gay drum major

Song: The Drum Major

In the world of literature, one of the most intriguing titles is Drummer Dick's Discharge ... I kid you not.
 
Sir Harry Lauder, who alongside Max Miller was one of the greatest music stars of them all .

He was profoundly affected by the death of his son in WW1 and during the war it is said that he raised millions
from his performances and charity drives for the war effort,

Although he his associated with more famous songs, this is the one that reflects the mood off WW1, sung here, not by Lauder but by the City of Glasgow Choir,

 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
Sir Harry Lauder, who alongside Max Miller was one of the greatest music stars of them all .

He was profoundly affected by the death of his son in WW1 and during the war it is said that he raised millions
from his performances and charity drives for the war effort,

Although he his associated with more famous songs, this is the one that reflects the mood off WW1, sung here, not by Lauder but by the City of Glasgow Choir,


The death of his son is supposed to have been the inspiration for this song.
 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
Looking up details of an old music hall in my locality, I chanced upon an image (thanks to Victoria & Albert Museum) of a song made popular by one Vesta Tilley with a title that caught my attention.
Songs about soldiers and soldiering were a staple of Music Hall - not just the rousing patriotic stuff like 'Soldiers of the King/Queen' (which started life as the Manchester Canal March) or the long-time Forces Favourites hit, Anne Shelton's 'Lay Down Your Arms' with the memorable couplet;
"The girl who loves a soldier
Is either sad or gay"

(later un-sportingly changed to ' either sad or grey')

But the song sheet below is a bit out of the usual; The subjects are TA soldiers for a change

View attachment 632669
and the song appears to be allegorical, John Bull Shop - the store
in the song represents the nation and its wares are the national assets - heavy industry, ship-building
linen production and so on.
Featured guarding the 'store' is a young tommy in his walking out dress.

But most interest to me of all is that tucked in front of the can of Rum and Religion is
is a carton labelled Dum-Dum, presumably seen as a British Asset at that time,
View attachment 632680
Vesta Tilley was famous, if not infamous for her efforts recruiting men into Kitchener's army. The IMperial War Museum's sound archive has an interview with a Lancashire woman mill worker who talks about here life pre WW1 and how her husband was enticed onto the stange and into the war in which he died. Her recruiting song was this one - best known as a rugby song.

 
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Josef Locke had a style of his own when performing military songs (The Soldier's Dream;, Grenadiers) on the variety stage.
Locke (real name Joseph McLoughlin) came from the Bogside and before fame as a singer had servef in the Irish Guards, the Palastine Police and the RUC;
One of his famous songs, The Soldiers Dream was taken from the French song (La Reve Passe) and in the clip below, Locke attacks it with his usual exhuberance;

The Soldier's Dream

Out on the plain the weary soldiers now are sleeping,
lulled to slumber while the evening breezes blow.
From the field the smell of new mown corn is creeping
and the sentinel is pacing too and fro'

Then all at once the sky is filled with shapes of horsemen
lit up by lightning as the dying day goes down
and the famous white horse
is directing the course
to renown

See them pass on,
those hussars those dragoons and guardsmen
glorious throng, from Austerlitz meet the eagles high
braves from fair bears
from their foe a triumphant story
steel hearts are theirs, see them riding on to glory.

See them pass on (hear the guns),
those hussars, those dragoons and guardsmen (the trumpets sound)
glorious throng (towards the Hun), from Austerlitz meet the eagles high

See them pass on, our hussars, our dragoons, our glory
E'en though they die, yet they live in song and story.

Ha ha ha ha haa! Hey!!
 

Bubbles_Barker

LE
Book Reviewer
Not music hall and not about the British Army but given the poignancy I think appropriate: the end scene of All Quiet on the Western Front, not the butterfly bit (which I think is a bit contrived) but the dead marching away and turning back occasionally to glance over their shoulders always does me in, even if they are Huns.

Brilliant scene from a superb film:

 

Johned

War Hero
As a youngster and a keen wannabe piano player I scratched about for any piece of music to try and play. One military themed opus started off "Around the corner and under the tree, the gallant Major made love to me!" He said "Yes, yes!" I said "No, no! but it all came right in the end you see!" After all these decades, I can't recall the remainder but a good lilting tune.
 
As a youngster and a keen wannabe piano player I scratched about for any piece of music to try and play. One military themed opus started off "Around the corner and under the tree, the gallant Major made love to me!" He said "Yes, yes!" I said "No, no! but it all came right in the end you see!" After all these decades, I can't recall the remainder but a good lilting tune.

 
Arguably the finest of Kipling's poems set to music.
The Road to Mandalay

By the old Moulmein Pagoda, lookin' lazy at the sea,
There's a Burma girl a-settin', and I know she thinks o' me;
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple-bells they say:
"Come you back, you British soldier; come you back to Mandalay! "
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay:
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay ?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay!

'Er petticoat was yaller an' 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supi-yaw-lat - jes' the same as Theebaw's Queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on an 'eathen idol's foot:
Bloomin' idol made o' mud
Wot they called the Great Gawd Budd
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed 'er where she stud!
On the road to Mandalay...

When the mist was on the rice-fields an' the sun was droppin' slow,
She'd git 'er little banjo an' she'd sing "Kulla-lo-lo!
With 'er arm upon my shoulder an' 'er cheek agin my cheek
We useter watch the steamers an' the hathis pilin' teak.
Elephints a-pilin' teak
In the sludgy, squdgy creek,
Where the silence 'ung that 'eavy you was 'arf afraid to speak!
On the road to Mandalay...

But that's all shove be'ind me - long ago an' fur away
An' there ain't no 'busses runnin' from the Bank to Mandalay;
An' I'm learnin' 'ere in London what the ten-year soldier tells:
"If you've 'eard the East a-callin', you won't never 'eed naught else."
No! you won't 'eed nothin' else
But them spicy garlic smells,
An' the sunshine an' the palm-trees an' the tinkly temple-bells;
On the road to Mandalay...

I am sick o' wastin' leather on these gritty pavin'-stones,
An' the blasted English drizzle wakes the fever in my bones;
Tho' I walks with fifty 'ousemaids outer Chelsea to the Strand,
An' they talks a lot o' lovin', but wot do they understand?
Beefy face an' grubby 'and -
Law! wot do they understand?
I've a neater, sweeter maiden in a cleaner, greener land!
On the road to Mandalay...

Ship me somewheres east of Suez, where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments an' a man can raise a thirst;
For the temple-bells are callin', an' it's there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda, looking lazy at the sea;
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay,
With our sick beneath the awnings when we went to Mandalay!
O the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin'-fishes play,
An' the dawn comes up like thunder outer China 'crost the Bay !

And one of the best sung versions is by Kenneth McKellar
 
The pipe tune will be etched in many folk's memory as it was played daily in Aden as a prelude to the World Service News on the RAF run Aden Forces Radio
But the multi-talented Andy Stewart wrote some very fine lyrics to the tune and must have sung it a good few times at the Glasgow Empire, thus qualifying as a music hall song.

Piper laddie, hear the song to mark the soldiers march along.
Play it now and play it strong, it's the barren rocks of Aden,
Drummer laddie beat your drum to let them know that we are come.
Friends will cheer and foe will run, play the barren rocks of Aden.
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the Highland men to the barren rocks of Aden.

Bonnie lassie dinna cry, oh bonnie lassie dinna sigh
But wish them luck as they go by,
To the barren rocks of Aden
Long the roll of honour's name
From Waterloo to Alamein
Oh wish them all safe home again
To the Barren Rocks of Aden
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the gallant men to the barren rocks of Aden.
Oh, did ye see them marching there,
And did ye stop and did ye stare.
And did ye hear the famous air,
The Barren Rocks of Aden
Let it sound the wor-ld wide.
As they go marching side by side.
To fill the country's heart with pride,
In the barren rocks of Aden
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the Highland men to the barren rocks of Aden
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the gallant men to the barren rocks of Aden
The barren rocks of Aden
The barren rocks of Aden

 

Pteranadon

LE
Book Reviewer
When
The pipe tune will be etched in many folk's memory as it was played daily in Aden as a prelude to the World Service News on the RAF run Aden Forces Radio
But the multi-talented Andy Stewart wrote some very fine lyrics to the tune and must have sung it a good few times at the Glasgow Empire, thus qualifying as a music hall song.

Piper laddie, hear the song to mark the soldiers march along.
Play it now and play it strong, it's the barren rocks of Aden,
Drummer laddie beat your drum to let them know that we are come.
Friends will cheer and foe will run, play the barren rocks of Aden.
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the Highland men to the barren rocks of Aden.

Bonnie lassie dinna cry, oh bonnie lassie dinna sigh
But wish them luck as they go by,
To the barren rocks of Aden
Long the roll of honour's name
From Waterloo to Alamein
Oh wish them all safe home again
To the Barren Rocks of Aden
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the gallant men to the barren rocks of Aden.
Oh, did ye see them marching there,
And did ye stop and did ye stare.
And did ye hear the famous air,
The Barren Rocks of Aden
Let it sound the wor-ld wide.
As they go marching side by side.
To fill the country's heart with pride,
In the barren rocks of Aden
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the Highland men to the barren rocks of Aden
Up the hill and down the glen the stirrin' tune will sound again.
They will march the gallant men to the barren rocks of Aden
The barren rocks of Aden
The barren rocks of Aden


Whenever I see any reference to White Heather club stuff in a military context I am reminded of his recording of this little ditty. It is said that the bands struck up this tune as the infantry of the Highland Diviison marched past Churchill and Montgomery in the victory parade at Tripoli in early 1943
 

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