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Chord Req: Danny Deever (Kipling/Bellamy)

DigiTrad:
A PRESENT FROM THE GENTLEMEN
ENGLAND HAS TAKEN ME
ENGLAND SWINGS
GENTLEMEN-RANKERS
OAK, ASH, AND THORN
THE BASTARD KING OF ENGLAND
THE FRENCH WARS
THE LADIES
THE SONG OF THE BANJO
THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER
WHEN 'OMER SMOTE 'IS BLOOMIN' LYRE


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Keith A of Hertford 23 Mar 03 - 02:17 PM
Wotcha 23 Mar 03 - 02:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 02:30 PM
Leadfingers 23 Mar 03 - 02:37 PM
Keith A of Hertford 23 Mar 03 - 02:59 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM
Jeri 23 Mar 03 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,skippy 23 Mar 03 - 04:39 PM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 23 Mar 03 - 04:40 PM
GUEST 23 Mar 03 - 05:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 05:55 PM
GUEST,Skippy 23 Mar 03 - 06:28 PM
Snuffy 23 Mar 03 - 06:40 PM
Jeri 23 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM
Snuffy 23 Mar 03 - 06:48 PM
GUEST,Lyle 23 Mar 03 - 07:04 PM
BuckMulligan 23 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM
Jeri 23 Mar 03 - 07:29 PM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 03 - 07:57 PM
The Walrus 23 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM
ooh-aah 24 Mar 03 - 01:53 AM
Steve Parkes 24 Mar 03 - 04:06 AM
Micca 24 Mar 03 - 04:20 AM
Dave Bryant 24 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM
GUEST,Santa 24 Mar 03 - 05:28 AM
GUEST,Guest 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 AM
Steve Parkes 24 Mar 03 - 08:40 AM
Troll 24 Mar 03 - 09:07 AM
GUEST,KeithA working 24 Mar 03 - 10:22 AM
Rapparee 24 Mar 03 - 10:46 AM
GUEST,Murray on Saltspring 24 Mar 03 - 05:51 PM
Gareth 24 Mar 03 - 06:58 PM
BuckMulligan 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 PM
Uncle_DaveO 24 Mar 03 - 08:56 PM
ooh-aah 25 Mar 03 - 12:04 AM
GUEST,Keith A 25 Mar 03 - 03:15 AM
Teribus 25 Mar 03 - 06:09 AM
Steve Parkes 25 Mar 03 - 10:02 AM
The Walrus 25 Mar 03 - 02:55 PM
GUEST,Q 25 Mar 03 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Q 25 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM
mg 25 Mar 03 - 03:26 PM
toadfrog 25 Mar 03 - 03:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 03:50 PM
GUEST,Q 25 Mar 03 - 04:05 PM
Uncle_DaveO 25 Mar 03 - 05:20 PM
lamarca 25 Mar 03 - 06:08 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM
Joe_F 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 25 Mar 03 - 07:54 PM
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Subject: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:17 PM

Danny Deaver.
Reminded of this song by the incident in the 101st camp yesterday.
It is a powerful story, with strong hints of an untold story also.
It is a dialogue between a Colour Sergeant and 'Files-on-Parade'.
Is Files a device to mean any soldier, as in rank and file, or ranker? In another song the name Tommy Atkins was used for him.

We are not told why Deaver 'shot his comrade sleeping' but Files remembers Deaver as a good friend. Also , Deaver's soul passes 'overhead' so presumably heavennward.

We are told that the distress in the ranks is caused by both bitter cold and a touch of sun, so presumably was neither?

The grisled old Colourman says he is white at dread of what he has to watch, but he would have seen plenty of death, and in Victorian England public hangings were a common place

So what was going on here. Any suggestions?

Drinking bitter beer alone,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Wotcha
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:25 PM

Probably a reference to drill movements and the way units are organized to move in a military fashion from one point to another.
Check out an old drill and ceremonies manual to get the obscura ...
Cheers,

Brian


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:30 PM

I take it that "Files" means just that, the soldiers in ranks muttering to each other, one saying one thing and another responding. The kind of thing that drives drill sergeants mad.

Hanging a comrade is a bit different from a public hanging of a stranger - and in any case public executions had been abolished in England a generation or more before Kipling wrote Danny Deever/


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Leadfingers
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:37 PM

Keith it is plain to see that you are not ex service.Any thing that
happens to a comrade in arms has far more effect than the same thing happening to a stranger.I can still recall how I felt on hearing that
a casual acqaintance had been killed by terrorists in Aden.Hence the
Colour Sergeant and the 'Files on Parade'are definately affected by
the event in front of them.And drinking beer with a comrade does not make them good friends mate.Kipling was definately into the way the
Victorian Soldier thought and acted.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Keith A of Hertford
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 02:59 PM

Leadfingers, check my photo on the members page.
I do know what you mean, but they did not just drink together, Files drank his (Deever's) beer a score of times. I guess Deever was a corporal or Lancejack, so not too close to the coloursergeant.
Kevin, I think you are right re Files.(BTW The Great Eastern are posting next Saturday as a Kareoke?)
Out and far tonight,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM

Maybe having people drink his beer was what pushed Danny over the edge...

Derek said the landlady at the Great Eastern told him she'd ditch the Karaoke and have a few of us instead. I only hope the bar isn't heaving with people who've come for the Karaoke and don't want diddly music.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 03:36 PM

I think blaming the bitter cold or the sun is a way to avoid admitting people are having a strong emotional reaction.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,skippy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:39 PM

Kieth:-
With referance to closeness of the ranks:-
'Is cot was right-'and cot to mine", said Files-on-Parade.
They slept next to each other


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 04:40 PM

Spot on Jeri. The lyrics always seemed plain enough to me, you just have to take them at face value.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:46 PM

I know this as a poem -

is it a song also?



What tune?


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 05:55 PM

Peter Bellamy put a tune to it and sang it, so it's a song now. (Well, other people had put tunes to it before, but he was the one who knew what he was doing when it came to that kind of thing.)

The point is, "Files" - assuming I'm right - isn't one person, it's a whole bunch of people on parade talking out of the side of their mouths. "Silence in the ranks!"


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Skippy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:28 PM

The "file" is the "length" of a marching body of men/women(PC).A "blank file" is the way of forming a group that is not devisible by three to allow the last but one rank to have one or two in it, hence any quantity may march together.
Fronm this comes "rank & file"


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:40 PM

You normally march in file and parade in rank. The British Army typically would have three ranks (front middle and rear) and as many files of 3 as were necessary


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:43 PM

Odd (or even) - the default number of files in the US is 4.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Snuffy
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 06:48 PM

12-man squad? A full platoon of 30 would be 3 ranks x 10 files


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Lyle
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:04 PM

Kipling is one of my favorite poets, and the thing that makes him so great to me is that there can be multiple explanations for everything he has written. The more I learn of his childhood, the more explanations I see as possibilities of his "meaning." I offer a couple easy-to-get-at quotes here. (I have an intense dislike for blue clickies - give me the source!!)

From http://www.tnellen.com/cybereng/dramatic.html
"If we were to tell the story of "Danny Deever" in prose, we would present two soldiers talking over a crime that has just happened. A fellow-soldier, Danny Deever, quarreled with his comrade and shot him while he slept. One of the speakers, nicknamed "Files-on-Parade" (a term which shows he is an ordinary private) is timid and sympathetic; the other, the Color-Sergeant," who has charge of the flags, is older, more experienced and "hard-boiled." The two soldiers watch the regiment form ceremonially ("in 'ollow square") while the disgraced Danny Deever is stripped of his insignia - "they've taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away." Then, after the slow roll of
the drums, the band strikes up a lively air the quickstep ") and the hanging is over."

From http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/English/staff/jl/ar_rk_cg.html
"Yet again, Kipling reveals his fascination with failed relationships. More specifically, this parent/child conflict highlights the recurrent theme of how adulthood and childhood are frequently confused or completely inverted by Kipling. Adults who
behave childishly, indulging in vindictive, punitive games, are portrayed with macabre humour, as in 'The Village that Voted the Earth was Flat', or more vilely, as in 'Sea Constables'. Reversals can be seen generally in The Jungle Books, which present adult ideals in the format of children's literature; Mowgli and Kim are wise beyond their years, while in 'Tod's Amendment', a precocious child teaches politicians how to legislate. The poetry is less literal; authority figures may be likened to adults, such as the Colour-Sergeant of 'Danny Deever', who assumes a pastoral role over 'Files-on-Parade', but ultimately subsides under the childlike questions of a raw recruit."


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:13 PM

All of the above cogent commentary notwithstanding, has anyone thought about the possibility that Kipling's famous verses about the army and barracks life were, in fact, pretty much propaganda rather than anything to do with the reality of life in the Edwardian era regiments? The British press of the late Victorian/Edwardian era were pretty blatantly enlisted in the effort to glorify Empire and the soldiery, most of whom were (as usual) drawn from the populace that Kipling's readers would have crossed the street to avoid in real life. Just a thought....


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:29 PM

I'm not an expert in Army matters or marching. The U.S. Air Force are wimps when it comes to marching. Perhaps the number in a US platoon is different than it is in the UK, or perhaps the AF just likes 4 better than 3.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 07:57 PM

My impression is the RAF isn't really that much into marching either.

Any information about the number of files in other armies? And other times? What about the Romans, who were pretty big on marching. I imagine that is the kind of stuff the re-enactment bods would be into knowing about.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: The Walrus
Date: 23 Mar 03 - 08:01 PM

Just a couple of points.
Before the 1930s, the British Army formed in Four Ranks, and before 1908 (under the 'old' eight Company system) the Colour-Serjeant (or Colour-Sergeant, if you prefer) was a platoon (half-company) commander - The battalion was reformed into four companies of four platoons each commanded by an officer durting the period of the 'Haldane' reforms.
Deever was a private (hence " I've drunk his beer..." from Files - it just means that Deever 'stood his round' in the wet canteen<1>) the 'stripes' are good conduct stripes (so Deever was an 'old sweat').
And as to why he was hanged? I look to "The Young British Soldier"

" If your wife should go wrong with a comrade, be lothe,
"Don't shoot when you catch them or you'll swing, by my oath.
"Make him take 'er and keep 'er,
"That's Hell for them both,
"And you're shot of the curse of a soldier."

At least, that's how I interpret the poem.

Walrus

<1> In the pre-Great War Army it was forbidden for even a lance-jack to drink with privates, it would cost him his stripe.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: ooh-aah
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 01:53 AM

Any suggestion that Kipling was a mere propagandist for the British Empire is simplistic. Kipling is notorious for his Imperialist convictions, but if he were a mere tub-thumper he would neither have won the Nobel Prize nor enjoyed continuing wide readership (something quite amazing if one contemplates the overwhelming left-wing bias of most University English Lit. departments these days). If one has ever been to India the excellence of his writing becomes even more clear. Kipling was scarcely ever free from ambivalence in his writing about the Empire -'Recessional' is a fine example, a profoundly realistic and pessimistic poem penned at the peak of Empire fever around Queen Victoria's Golden jubilee. As for realism - Kipling was quite profoundly realistic in his depiction of Victorian soldiers, especially in India. If one travels to India and visits old British barrack blocks, one can almost feel his ghost, he described the conditions so well. He was not trying to glorify British soldiers, but gain understanding for them - he was irritated by the way the middle-class public of the day would sing (quite repulsively gung-ho)songs like 'Soldiers of the Queen' when there was a fight on and then, as Buck says, cross the street to avoid them in peacetime. I don't have the original with me, but one of his most famous poems goes something like:
         
       We ain't no thin red 'eroes, we ain't no blackguards too,
       But single men in barracks, most remakable like you
       And if sometimes our conduck isn't what you fancy paints
       Why, single men in barracks don't grow into plaster saints.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 04:06 AM

My "Complete Works" of Kipling is the version with the sickeningly sycophantic commentary. I don't intend to subject myself to the torture of reading that again, but I recall it describes "Files-on-parade" as a Greek chorus, always asking the right questions to enable the protagonist (the Colour-sergeant) to say what needs to be said.

"File" as in "rank and file", "single file", etc.

Killing anonymous enemies in the heat of battle is a world away from being made to watch the cold-blooded execution of a comrade, far removed from the violent passion of his crime. The front-rank/rear-rank are moved by the powerful emotion of the situation; the colour-sergeant excuses their reactions by inventing reasons, in that "I'm your mother now!" way that they sometimes have.

Steve


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Subject: Lyr Add: TOMMY (Rudyard Kipling)
From: Micca
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 04:20 AM

Ooh-aah, as you say , to see kipling for an apologist for Empire is avery simplistic view and as the poem you mentioned seems appropriate for the times I have copied to here, Tommy (Thomas) Atkins is the archytypical "common Soldier" of the British Army

TOMMY
(Rudyard Kipling)

I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, "We serve no red-coats here."
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I:
    O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, go away";
    But it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play,
    The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
    O it's "Thank you, Mister Atkins", when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, wait outside";
    But it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide,
    The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
    O it's "Special train for Atkins" when the trooper's on the tide.

Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
    Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?"
    But it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll,
    The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
    O it's "Thin red line of 'eroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
    While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Tommy, fall be'ind",
    But it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind,
    There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
    O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
    For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' "Chuck him out, the brute!"
    But it's "Saviour of 'is country" when the guns begin to shoot;
    An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
    An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool -- you bet that Tommy sees!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:17 AM

I expect the derivation of "Tommy Atkins" has probably been mentioned before on the cat, but it seems to fit in here.

At one time when soldiers signed up, they were presented with a form to fill in. Form filling and of course literacy were fairly rare at that time, so one part of the form was an example and filled out in the name of an imaginary Thomas Atkins. It is said that many recruits (especially if they were illiterate) merely copied the letters from the example and therefore signed on in that name.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Santa
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:28 AM

It should be remembered that the Indian Army poems come from the young Kipling, before his main public success, and the more jingoistic works from his later days as something of an Establishment figure.

Not the first nor last individual to become more conservative in his views with increasing age.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Guest
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 AM

Whilst there's a Kipling thread going (which I did'nt spot when writing a separate thread a minute ago)- does anyone have the words to 'back to the army again'. Another Kipling poem set to a tune by Bellamy I think.

I've got the 'widow's uniform' recording- but can't make out all the words- I know the song well- but don't want to mumble those bits, or make something up! can anyone help?
Thanks alot
Guest


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 08:40 AM

Here are more Kipling poems that you can shake a stick at, including "Back to the army again".

Youre not Beau Guest, by any chance? Oh no, that was the Frencg Foreign Legion, wasn't it?

Steve


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Troll
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 09:07 AM

Files-on-Parade is a single man. He was the first man in the first squad of the company and the rest of the company "guided" on him. He man even have been in front of the First of the first. It was he who set the line on which the other men "dressed their ranks".
He ahs also been called the "right guide" in other armies. I am not familiar with the disposition of troops on parade in the British Army during the last 19th century to know the position of the Colour Sergeant but he must have been close enough to "Files" to talk without being observed by the officers or -infinitely worse- the Sergeant Major.
I'll dig out my old drill manuals and see what I can find.

troll


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,KeithA working
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:22 AM

Troll, you mean what we now call Right Marker? That is interesting, and significant to the song. Thanks.
Wanting my beer today,
Keith.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Rapparee
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 10:46 AM

Or, in the US Army, the guidon bearer (pronounced "guide-on"). First position in the right file.

The US Army currently uses four squads of ten people each for a platoon: two fire teams (or sections), one of 5 and one of 4, plus the squad leader. Three "rifle" or work platoons, plus a headquarters platoon of varying size, make up a company. Four companies to a battalion.

Usually. Sections can be added or subtracted, special missions can do special things, etc.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Murray on Saltspring
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 05:51 PM

I can't look it up now, but Robert Graves has got an interesting little essay uncovering the real [original] Tommy Atkins. Anyone know this?


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Gareth
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 06:58 PM

Alledgedly - and this is Folklaw - I can not back this with research - during one of Wellington's Battles, a dying Redcoat was carried past the Duke. Despite being in pain he answered his name - "Thomas Aitkin".

Many years later when the Duke of Wellington was "Comander in Chief" he was asked to approve the name of the specimne soldier whose name would be the one used as an example in Army forms.

He reflected and said "Thomas Aitkin" - Hence Tommy as the colective noun for the British Squaddy.

True or not, it's good story.

Gareth

BTW How did "GI Joe" originate ????


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: BuckMulligan
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 07:41 PM

ooh-aah, and Micca - of course you're right about the "merely" part, so I re-read my post, and (whew) there's nothing in it to indicate that I wished to convey that Kipling was "merely" a propagandist. I would though like to know where he's widely read these days. I mean, other than amongst Mudcatters. And students of Edwardian imperialist propaganda (;>}...


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 24 Mar 03 - 08:56 PM

"GI" was short for (take your pick) "galvanized iron" or "government issue". Thus the big garbage cans that I had the excruciating pleasure of scrubbing out by hand when on KP duty were "GI cans". There are those who used to think "GI Joe" came from that.

But everything that a soldier had, ate, fired, or wore was government issue, of course, and standardized to a fare-thee-well. Just as the Army wanted to think of the individual soldier: A standardized manpower unit, so to speak. Thus, the generic soldier "in the rear ranks", as it were, was GI Joe.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: ooh-aah
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 12:04 AM

I take your point Buck, but 'pretty much propaganda' IS quite close to 'merely'!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Keith A
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:15 AM

Buck, Kippling's If was voted most popular poem here just a couple of years ago.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Teribus
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 06:09 AM

Gareth the story re Thomas Atkins is true according to Wellingtons various biographers - and if memory serves me correctly the original pay-book is on display at Stratfield-Saye, in Hampshire.

The poem of Kipling's appears to be set at a time when the British army marched in column of fours, not threes (each row of the column being four men, each line being the rank). The change from fours to threes was made to make them less susceptible to straffing by aircraft in the First World War.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 10:02 AM

Form fours! Right turn!
How can we keep the money we earn?
Oh! Oh! Oh! It's a lovely war!


That explains that, then.

Steve


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: The Walrus
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 02:55 PM

Terribus,

The shift from 4 ranks to three came about in the 1930s (about the same time that appalling "stamping" foot drill became popular with Drill-Pigs.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:18 PM

The complete Kipling poems may be found as well at Kipling Poems

Kipling (1865-1936) was born in Bombay but was sent to England for schooling at age five. Stalky and Co. was written about these days.

When he was sixteen he returned to Lahore (1882) where he worked on the Civil and Military Gazette and on the Pioneer. His military poems were written in his spare time. After seven years, he returned to England and published his Barrack-Room Ballads.
He knew whereof he wrote.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:21 PM

Try again: Kipling Poems


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: mg
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:26 PM

there is a website by someone in England where he collects all the kipling tunes put to music. I put Helen all alone to a tune. It is very war-related, at least to my mind..a man and a woman who have each seen the elephant and have to part because of it...let her go and find a mate and I will find a bride..knowing not of Limbo Gate and who is trapped inside??? There is knowledge under heaven only one should own??? So Helen went from me she did Helen all alone...

Read that poem for sure if you like Kipling.

mg


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: toadfrog
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:44 PM

References to close-order drill practices have no parallel in the U.S. Army. We dropped close-order drill about the beginning of World War II.
Rapaire: I believe you, but they sure must have changed the structure of the rifle company quite a lot since I was in. Then, everything was triangular (3 rifle squads of 12 men to a platoon, 3 rifle platoons and a machine gun section to a rifle company, etc.)


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Subject: Lyr Add: GETHSEMANE (Rudyard Kipling)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 03:50 PM

Vin Garbutt did a fine song version of "If" on his LP "Little Innocents. "As a way of life I can't fault it", he commented.

Here's a poem (and a song as well) by Kipling which is maybe particularly apt right now:

Gethsemane (pub. 1919)
1914-18


The Garden called Gethsemane
In Picardy it was,
And there the people came to see
The English soldiers pass.
We used to pass - we used to pass
Or halt, as it might be,
And ship our masks in case of gas
Beyond Gethsemane.

The Garden called Gethsemane,
It held a pretty lass,
But all the time she talked to me
I prayed my cup might pass.
The officer sat on the chair,
The men lay on the grass,
And all the time we halted there
I prayed my cup might pass.

It didn't pass - it didn't pass -
It didn't pass from me.
I drank it when we met the gas
Beyond Gethsemane!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: GUEST,Q
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 04:05 PM

Peter Bellamy recorded 12 of the Barrack-Room Ballads in 1976, Green Linnet or Free Reed records. These vinyls were deleted, but someone may have put them out on tape or cd. Barrack-Room Ballads

He was not the only one to sing these songs or to put music to them.
Some poems from Kipling's other works have also been put to music.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 05:20 PM

Toadfrog said: References to close-order drill practices have no parallel in the U.S. Army. We dropped close-order drill about the beginning of World War II.

Somebody should have told that to the torturers who trained me during the Korean time!

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: Lyr Add: RECESSIONAL (Rudyard Kipling)
From: lamarca
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 06:08 PM

The database of Kipling poems set to music is on the Kipling Society's pages - here's the link:

http://www.kipling.org.uk/settings1.htm

My husband and I have been singing "Recessional" as a concert closer recently. Unfortunately, its warnings against the hubris of Empire are just as appropriate today as they were when Kipling wrote it for Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - and after its publication, he was shunned by the Establishment for his heresy of suggesting that a solo World Power runs the risk of ignoring the limitations on Power and sinking into oblivion...


Recessional
A Victorian Ode
(1897)

GOD of our fathers, known of old,
Lord of our far-flung battle-line,
Beneath whose awful Hand we hold
Dominion over palm and pine
Lord God of Hosts be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

The tumult and the shouting dies;
The Captains and the Kings depart:
Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
An humble and a contrite heart.
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

Far-called, our navies melt away;
On dune and headland sinks the fire:
Lo, all our pomp of yesterday
Is one with Nineveh and Tyre!
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe,
Such boastings as the Gentiles use,
Or lesser breeds without the Law
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard,
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard,
For frantic boast and foolish word
Thy mercy on Thy People, Lord!


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM

I believe "Lesser breeds without the law" probably actually meant the Kaiser's Germany.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: Joe_F
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:24 PM

G. K. Chesterton, who was antiimperialist, wrote a scathing satire on "Recessional" ("Post-Recessional):

God of your fathers, known of old,
For patience with man's swaggering line,
He did not answer you when told
About you and your palm and pine,
Though you depoloyed your far-flung host
And boasted that you did not boast.

. . .

We fancied heaven preferring much,
Your rowdiest song, your slangiest sentence,
Your honest banjo banged, to such
Very recessional repentence;...

But it ends

Bless you, you shall be blameless yet,
For God forgives an men forget.

It's hard to hate Kipling.


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Subject: RE: Meanings, Kipling army song
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 25 Mar 03 - 07:54 PM

But quite impossible not to love Chesterton.


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