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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
delphinium Lyr Req: Grand Old Duke of York (57* d) RE: Grand Old Duke of York lyrics 10 Jul 03


From this site:

THE GRAND OLD DUKE OF YORK

Oh! The grand old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
He marched them up to the top of the hill
And he marched them down again
And when they were up they were up
And when they were down they were down
And when they were only half way up
They were neither up nor down

Oh! The grand old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
They banged their drums as they went up the hill
And they banged them down again
And when they were up ...

Oh! The grand old Duke of York
He had ten thousand men
They tootled their flutes as they marched up the hill
And they tootled them down again
And when they were up ...

===

Re the origin of this nursery rhyme, info from here says:

The Duke of York was Frederick Augustus, the second son of George III.
There is nothing in his military career that even remotely resembles the actions in the rhyme, so it is possible that someone who disliked him adapted an old rhyme which went:

The King of France went up the hill
With forty thousand men.
The King of France came down the hill
And ne'er went up again.

[In some versions it's ten thousand men.]

===

And this site says that the King of France nursery rhyme originated from the earlier "There was an old woman tossed up in a basket" one. These two rhymes are allegedly both about King Henry V - the "old woman" one mocking his unrealistic ambitions to conquer France, and the "King of France" one about his victory at Agincourt in 1415 where he captured the King of France and routed the whole French army with a small army, against all odds.

But this is speculation - somebody should check in Opies or another good source on nursery rhymes.


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