Skibbereen

Trad. Arr: Paddy Moloney
Vocal: Sinéad O'Connor



Oh, Father dear, I oft times heard you talk of Erin's Isle,
Her lofty scene, her valleys green, her mountains rude and wild
They say it is a pretty place where in a prince might dwell,
Oh why did you abandon it, the reason to me tell?

Oh son, I loved my native land with energy and pride
'Til a blight came over on my crops, my sheep and cattle died,
The rent and taxes were so high, I could not them redeem,
And that's the cruel reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Oh, It's well I do remember that bleak December day,
The landlord and the sheriff came to drive us all away
They set my roof on fire with their demon yellow spleen
And that's another reason why I left old Skibbereen.

Your mother too, God rest her soul, fell on the snowy ground,
She fainted in her anguish seeing the desolation round.
She never rose but passed away from life to mortal dream,
She found a quiet grave, my boy, in dear old Skibbereen.

And you were only two years old and feeble was your frame,
I could not leave you with your friends, you bore your father's name,
I wrapped you in my cóta mór in the dead of night unseen
I heaved a sigh and said goodbye to dear old Skibbereen.




He is an Englishman!
(from HMS Pinafore)

William Gilbert [lyrics], Arthur Sullivan [music], (1878)



He is an Englishman!
For he himself has said it,
And it's greatly to his credit,
That he is an Englishman!
That he is an Englishman!

For he might have been a Roosian,
A French or Turk or Proosian,
Or perhaps Italian!
Or perhaps Italian!

But in spite of all temptations
To belong to other nations,
He remains an Englishman!
He remains an Englishman!




I Vow to Thee, My Country

Cecil Spring-Rice
(music from "Jupiter" in Gustav Holst's The Planets Suite, Op. 32)



I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love;
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.

I heard my country calling, away across the sea,
Across the waste of waters she calls and calls to me.
Her sword is girded at her side, her helmet on her head,
And round her feet are lying the dying and the dead.
I hear the noise of battle, the thunder of her guns,
I haste to thee my mother, a son among thy sons.

And there's another country, I've heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness, and all her paths are peace.




A Soldier's Return

Brian Warfield




I went away to fight a war that small nations might be free.
Got a soldier's gun and uniform to fight the enemy.
I was trained to shoot my fellow man before he got to me,
And I danced with death in the mud and wept,
And prayed my home to see.

Refrain:
So come over to me darling girl, come here me Molly dear.
You are as welcome as the flowers in May, you're welcome here to me.
No more I'll fire the musket shot or hear the cannon roar,
I've done my time, now you'll be mine,
I'm yours forever more.

While in the trenches there I thought who starts these bloody wars,
And thought of these great Irishmen who died on these strange shores.
Then a bomb did burst, to the air it thrust some shrapnel, fire, and blood.
I escaped it then, shot back at them, and lay back in the mud.

Refrain:

While I was off in foreign lands, fighting other peoples' wars,
Some gallant men were fighting here to free their native shores.
You shot our leaders of '16, saw our city sacked and burned.
Then you sent us in the Black and Tans to greet our home return.

Refrain:

I don't need your hero's welcome.
I don't want your bugle call.
No brass band, no pipes and drums, no medal, badge, or star.
Just give me what you promised me when first I went to war,
That's freedom for old Ireland and I'll go to fight no more.




No Man's Land / Willie McBride

Eric Bogle




Well how do you do Private Willie McBride?
Do you mind if I sit here by your graveside?
And sit for awhile 'neath the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day and I'm near to done.
I can see by your gravestone you were only nineteen,
When you joined the great fallen of Nineteen Sixteen,
Well I hope you died well, I hope you died clean,
Or young Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Refrain:
Did they beat the drum slowly, did they play the pipe lowly?
Did they sound the death march as they lowered you down?
Did the band play "The Last Post" in chorus?
Did the pipes play "The Flowers of the Forest"?

Did you leave e'er a wife, or a sweetheart behind,
In some faithful heart is your memory enshrined?
Or did you die barren, in Nineteen Sixteen,
In that faithful heart are you forever nineteen?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Enclosed forever behind the glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn, tattered and stained,
And faded to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Refrain:

Well the sun it now shines on the green fields of France,
There's a warm Summer's breeze makes the red poppies dance.
And see how the sun shines from under the clouds,
There's no gas, no barbed wire, there's no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard it's still no man's land,
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand,
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man,
To a whole generation that was butchered and damned.

Refrain:

Ah, young Willie McBride, I can't help wonder why
Do those that lie here know why they did die?
And did they believe, when they answered the call,
Did they really believe that this war would end all?
But the sorrow, the suffering, the glory, the pain,
The killing, the dying, were all done in vain,
For young Willie McBride it's all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.



We'll Meet Again

Vera Lynn (1939)




We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
'Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.

So will you please say hello to the folks that I know,
Tell them I won't be long.
They'll be happy to know that as you saw me go,
I was singing this song.

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when,
But I know we'll meet again, some sunny day.
Keep smiling through, just like you always do,
'Til the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away.




There'll Always Be An England

Vera Lynn (1941)




I give you a toast, ladies and gentlemen.
May this fair dear land we love so well,
In dignity and freedom dwell.
Though worlds may change and go awry,
While there is still one voice to cry.

There'll always be an England
While there's a country lane,
Wherever there's a cottage small
Beside a field of grain.
There'll always be an England
While there's a busy street,
Wherever there's a turning wheel,
A million marching feet.

Red, white and blue; what does it mean to you?
Surely you're proud, shout it aloud,
"Britons, awake!"
The empire too, we can depend on you.
Freedom remains. These are the chains
Nothing can break.

There'll always be an England,
And England shall be free
If England means as much to you
As England means to me.




The White Cliffs of Dover

Vera Lynn (1942)




There'll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover,
Tomorrow, just you wait and see.

There'll be love and laughter
And peace ever after,
Tomorrow, when the world is free.

The shepherd will tend his sheep,
The valley will bloom again.
And Jimmy will go to sleep,
In his own little room again.

There'll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover,
Tomorrow, just you wait and see.




When The Lights Go On Again

Vera Lynn (1942)




When the lights go on again all over the world,
And the boys are home again all over the world,
And rain or snow is all that may fall from the skies above,
A kiss won't mean "goodbye" but "Hello to love".

When the lights go on again all over the world,
And the ships will sail again all over the world,
Then we'll have time for things like wedding rings and free hearts will sing,
When the lights go on again all over the world.




Penny Lane

Paul McCartney & John Lennon (1966)




There is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he's had the pleasure to know,
And all the people that come and go
Stop to say hello.

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar.
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a "mac"
In the pouring rain,
Very strange.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
Wet beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit and meanwhile back in Penny Lane…

There is a fireman with an hourglass,
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen.
He likes to keep his fire engine clean,
It's clean machine.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes,
Full of fish and finger pies,
In summer meanwhile back in Penny Lane…

Behind the shelter in the middle of the roundabout,
A pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray.
And though she feels as if she's in a play,
She is anyway.

The barber shaves another customer,
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim.
And then the fireman rushes in
From the pouring rain,
Very strange.

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
Wet beneath the blue suburban skies.
Penny Lane...

© 1966 Northern Songs


Dedicated Follower of Fashion

R.D. Davies (1966)




They seek him here, they seek him there,
His clothes are loud, but never square.
It will make or break him so he's got to buy the best,
'cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

And when he does his little rounds,
'Round the boutiques of London Town,
Eagerly pursuing all the latest fads and trends,
'cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He thinks he is a flower to be looked at,
And when he pulls his frilly nylon panties right up tight,
He feels a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
There's one thing that he loves and that is flattery.
One week he's in polka-dots, the next week he is in stripes.
'cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

They seek him here, they seek him there,
In Regent Street and Leicester Square.
Everywhere the Carnabetian army marches on,
Each one a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
His world is built 'round discoteques and parties.
This pleasure-seeking individual always looks his best
'cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

Oh yes he is (oh yes he is), oh yes he is (oh yes he is).
He flits from shop to shop just like a butterfly.
In matters of the cloth he is as fickle as can be,
'cause he's a dedicated follower of fashion.

© 1966 Castle Communications



Shangri-La

R.D. Davies (1969)




Now that you've found your paradise
This is your kingdom to command.
You can go outside and polish your car
Or sit by the fire in your Shangri-la.
Here is your reward for working so hard
Gone are the lavatories in the back yard.
Gone are the days when you dreamed of that car
You just want to sit in your Shangri-la.

Put on your slippers and sit by the fire
You've reached your top and you just can't get any higher.
You're in your place and you know where you are
In your Shangri-la.
Sit back in your old rocking chair
You need not worry, you need not care.
You can't go anywhere
Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la

The little man who gets the train
Got a mortgage hanging over his head.
But he's too scared to complain
'cos he's conditioned that way.
Time goes by and he pays off his debts.
Got a TV set and a radio
For seven shillings a week.
Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la.

And all the houses in the street have got a name
'cos all the houses in the street they look the same.
Same chimney pots, same little cars, same window panes
The neighbors call to tell you things that you should know.
They say their lines, they drink their tea, and then they go
They tell your business in another Shangri-la.
The gas bills and the water rates, and payments on the car
Too scared to think about how insecure you are.
Life ain't so happy in your little Shangri-la
Shangri-la, Shangri-la la-la-la-la-la-la-la-la

Put on your slippers and sit by the fire
You've reached your top and you just can't get any higher.
You're in your place and you know where you are
In your Shangri-la.
Sit back in your old rocking chair
You need not worry, you need not care.
You can't go anywhere
Shangri-la, Shangri-la, Shangri-la.

© 1969 Castle Communications



God Save the Queen

Sex Pistols (1977)





God save the Queen,
The fascist regime,
They made you a moron,
Potential H-Bomb.

God save the Queen,
She ain't no human being,
There is no future,
In England's dreaming.

Don't be told what you want,
Don't be told what you need,
There's no future, no future,
No future for you.

God save the Queen,
We mean it man,
We love our Queen,
God saves.

God save the Queen,
'Cause tourists are money,
Our figurehead,
Is not what she seems.

Oh God save history,
God save your mad parade,
Oh Lord God have mercy.
All crimes are paid.

When there's no future,
How can there be sin,
We're the flowers in the dustbin,
We're the poison in your human machine,
We're the future, your future.

God save the Queen,
We mean it man,
We love our Queen,
God saves.

God save the Queen,
We mean it man,
And there is no future,
In England's dreaming.

No future, no future,
No future for you.
No future, no future,
No future for me.


© 1977 Warner Records


Anarchy in the UK

Sex Pistols (1977)




Right! Now, Ha, Ha,
I am an Antichrist,
I am an anarchist.
Don't know what I want,
But I know how to get it.
I wanna destroy the passerby.

'Cause I wanna be anarchy,
No dog's body.

Anarchy for the UK!
It's coming sometime and maybe,
I give a wrong time,
Stop a traffic line,
Your future dream
Is a shopping scheme.

'Cause I wanna be anarchy
It's in the city.

How many ways to get what you want,
I use the best,
I use the rest,
I use the enemy,
I use anarchy.

'Cause I wanna be anarchy,
It's the only way to be.

Is this the MPLA or
Is this the UDA or
Is this the IRA?
I thought it was the UK.
Or just another country,
Another council tenancy.

I wanna be anarchy,
I wanna be anarchy,
Oh what a name.

I wanna be anarchy,
Know what I mean?

And I wanna be an anarchist.
Get pissed,
Destroy!


© 1977 Warner Records


London Calling

The Clash (1979)




London calling to the faraway towns,
Now war is declared—and battle come down.
London calling to the underworld,
Come out of the cupboard, all you boys and girls.
London calling, now don't look at us,
All that phoney Beatlemania has bitten the dust.
London calling, see we ain't got no swing,
'cept for the ring of that truncheon thing.

CHORUS
The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in,
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growing thin,
Engines stop running, but I have no fear,
London is drowning—I live by the river.

London calling to the imitation zone,
Forget it, brother, you can go at it alone.
London calling upon the zombies of death,
Quit holding out—and draw another breath.
London calling—and I don't wanna shout,
But when we were talking, I saw you nodding out.
London calling, see we ain't got no hides,
Except for that one with the yellowy eyes.

CHORUS
The ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in,
Engines stop running and the wheat is growing thin,
A nuclear era, but I have no fear,
London is drowning—I live by the river.

Now get this
London calling, yeah, I was there, too,
An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial,
After all this, won't you give me a smile?

© 1979 CBS Records


The Guns of Brixton

The Clash (1979)




When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun

When the law break in
How you gonna go?
Shot down on the pavement
Or waiting on death row

CHORUS
You can crush us
You can bruise us
But you'll have to answer to
Oh, the guns of Brixton

The money feels good
And your life you like it well
But surely your time will come
As in heaven, as in hell

You see, he feels like Ivan
Born under the Brixton sun
His game is called survivin'
At the end of the harder they come

You know it means no mercy
They caught him with a gun
No need for the Black Maria
Goodbye to the Brixton sun

CHORUS
You can crush us
You can bruise us
Yes, even shoot us
But oh-the guns of Brixton

When they kick at your front door
How you gonna come?
With your hands on your head
Or on the trigger of your gun

CHORUS
You can crush us
You can bruise us
Yes, even shoot us
But oh-the guns of Brixton

Shot down on the pavement
Waiting in death row
His game is called survivin'
As in heaven as in hell

© 1979 CBS Records


Created by campion@lclark.edu
Updated: August 2014