Mudcat Café message #1432750 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #6969   Message #1432750
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
11-Mar-05 - 09:39 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier
Subject: Lyr Add: SHULE AGRA
Several versions of "Shule Agra" have been posted in thread 7985: Suil a Ruin
Not yet posted (?) are the versions containing the first mention in America of Buttermilk ("Butthermilk") Hill, a hill in Ireland which has several aliases; "Brandon Hill," "yonder Hill," etc.
The versions concern Johnny fighting for the Raj in India, and seemingly are 19th c. The false dialect suggests these versions may be from some music hall, sung in the 1850s-1860s. Who is S. F. D.?

Lyr. Add: SHULE AGRA No. 1 (Bombay)

Arrah, Johnny's gone across the say
To fight the nagurs in Bombay,
And my heart is sad and weary to-day,
Och, why did he go for a soldier?

Shule, shule, shule agra,
Time will never fade or change,
Bathershin Nabocklish Aoolahan marule,
Ah, Johnny's gone for a soger.

An' if my gorsoon in the wars gets slain,
And never comes back to me again,
I'll become a loonatic and die wid the pain,
Arrah, why did he go for a soger?

Och, I wish I was on Butthermilk hill,
Faix an' I was there I would cry my fill,
A,' its every tear would turn a mill,
Musha Slathereen ma colleen bouchal deelish.

Lyr. Add: SHULE AGRA No. 2 (Return)
(Or the Return of Johnny- by S. F. D.)

Oh! Johnny's come from across the say,
He's bate the nagurs from Bombay,
And me heart is joyous and light to-day -
Och! Isn't he the boy for a soger?

Shule, shule, shule agra,
Here he is, come from afar, -
Bathershin Nabocklish Aoolahan marule,
Johnny's the boy for a soger.

Sure, me own gorsoon's escaped being slain,
And now he's come back till me again;
He's got bags of goold which he did gain-
Arrah, Johnny's the boy for a soger.

Och! now I'm here on Butthermilk hill,
Faix, an' as I'm here I'll dhrink my fill,
An' it's ivery dhrop can turn a mill,
Since Johnny's returned a soger.

H. D. De Masran, Publisher, New York (no date, but 1850s-1860s)
America Singing, Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets.
American Memory