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Origins: Banks of the Nile

DigiTrad:
BANKS OF THE CONDAMINE
BANKS OF THE NILE
FAREWELL MY DEAR NANCY
LISBON
THE BANKS OF THE NILE


Related threads:
'The Banks Of The Nile' (19)
Lyr Add: The Banks of Denial (15)
Lyr Add: Banks of the Nile, Ewan MacColl's verses (13)
Lyr Req: century of songs's Banks of the Nile (8)
Lyr Req: Banks of the Nile (from Young Tradition) (3)
Chords Req: Banks of the Nile (9)
Lyr/Tune Add: Banks of the Waikato (1)


Martin _Ryan 01 Feb 00 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,bigJ 01 Feb 00 - 12:55 PM
John Moulden 01 Feb 00 - 01:42 PM
Martin _Ryan 01 Feb 00 - 03:00 PM
John Moulden 01 Feb 00 - 06:52 PM
GUEST,Martin Ryan 02 Feb 00 - 04:39 AM
Kilshannig 02 Feb 00 - 04:36 PM
GUEST,bigJ 02 Feb 00 - 05:48 PM
Stewie 02 Feb 00 - 06:09 PM
Stewie 02 Feb 00 - 06:15 PM
Martin _Ryan 02 Feb 00 - 08:08 PM
GUEST,bigJ 03 Feb 00 - 01:35 PM
Martin _Ryan 03 Feb 00 - 03:20 PM
Marcus Campus Bellorum 23 Aug 00 - 10:16 PM
John Moulden 24 Aug 00 - 07:54 PM
Marcus Campus Bellorum 25 Aug 00 - 12:25 AM
Joe Offer 28 Jan 11 - 04:23 PM
Steve Gardham 28 Jan 11 - 06:24 PM
Howard Jones 28 Jan 11 - 07:03 PM
RTim 28 Jan 11 - 07:37 PM
Ross Campbell 28 Jan 11 - 09:40 PM
MGM∑Lion 28 Jan 11 - 11:10 PM
Howard Jones 29 Jan 11 - 06:12 AM
MGM∑Lion 29 Jan 11 - 06:59 AM
GUEST,Alan Whittle 29 Jan 11 - 07:51 AM
MGM∑Lion 29 Jan 11 - 09:09 AM
Reinhard 29 Jan 11 - 12:37 PM
GUEST,Heather Wood 29 Jan 11 - 01:07 PM
Jim Dixon 18 Mar 13 - 07:22 PM
Mick Pearce (MCP) 18 Mar 13 - 08:05 PM
MGM∑Lion 19 Mar 13 - 04:29 AM
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Subject: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 08:31 AM

I've been asked for the words/tune of a particular version
of "The Banks of the Nile". It was recorded by a guest artist on a
De Dannann album years ago ("The Mist Covered Mountains"?). Any chance
someone might have it? If you could post the words here and/or compare
it with the variouis versions in the DT, I would appreciate it.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 12:55 PM

Martin, Yes, it was the 'Mist Covered Mountain' Gael-Linn CEF 087 (1980) where it was sung by Tom Phaidin Tom. The first line goes "Hark the drums are beating, I can no longer stay.' I haven't done a comparison yet, with the versions in the DT, but when I have I'll get back.


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: John Moulden
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 01:42 PM

An unaccompanied performance by Tom PhŠidŪn Tom is on the eponymous LP recorded and produced by Comhaltas. Some of these LPs are still available. I'll be going to Dublin this weekend and plan to get a few more for Ulstersongs' stock. Martin, that LP is the sort of thing you have.


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 03:00 PM

"Have", John? - or "should have"! Given that my CD player has started to act up just when I need it - I might be driven back to LP's alright! I look forward to hearing the album - but could do with the words/tune more immediately to answer the query.
Thanks for your help, bigJ.

Regards

p.s. John: your last catalogue mentioned a secondhand book on Irish music/song in Australia. Still got it?


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: John Moulden
Date: 01 Feb 00 - 06:52 PM

Sorry, I've sold it twice - that is Niamh Parsons asked me to look for one when she learned I had sold the one I had - I found another and Niamh bought it when I was in Dublin in December. It still turns up - do you want me to look specifically?


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: GUEST,Martin Ryan
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 04:39 AM

John

Yes , please.

Regards


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Subject: Lyr Add: BANKS OF THE NILE (from Fotheringay)
From: Kilshannig
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 04:36 PM

My Martin,

I know the song from the band "Fotheringay" (Sandy Denny) and I wanted to compare it with the Mudcat DB. Something else keeps popping up --strange, cause I know for sure it was in the DB as a Scottish song! -- so I'll give you my version (that is, the version I always do. It is a mix: Fotheringay and De Dannann. (Forgive me for the mistakes: I learned the song by ear - pretty hard for a Dutch guy whose native tongue is not English.)
among others recorded by Ewan MacColl and Sidney Richards
(Folksongs of Britain, vol. 8)

BANKS OF THE NILE
(from Fotheringay)

Oh, hard the drums do beat, my love; no longer can we stay.
The bugle horns are sounding clear, and we must march away.
We are ordered down to Portsmouth, and it's many a weary mile
To join the British army, on the banks of the Nile.

Oh Willie, dearest Willie, don't leave me here to mourn.
Don't make me curse and ruin the day, that ever I was born;
For the parting of a love would be like parting with my life,
So stay at home, my dearest love, and I will be your wife.

Oh Nancy, dearest Nancy, sure that will never do.
The government has ordered, and we are bound to go.
The government has ordered, and the queen she gives the men,
And I am bound o'north, my love, to serve in a foreign land.

Oh, but I'll cut of my long hair, and I'll go along with you.
I'll dress myself in uniform, and I'll see Egypt, too.
I'll march beneath the banner. With fortune it will smile,
And we'll comfort one another on the banks of the Nile.

What a waste it is, that you're slender, and you figure it's too small,
And the salty suns of Egypt, your rosy cheeks would spoil.
With the canons they do rattle, and the bullets they do fly,
And the silver trumpets sound to loud, to hide the dismal cries.

Oh, curse upon those cruel wars, and the hour that it began,
For they've robbed the poor old Ireland from many a handsome man.
They have robbed us from our sweethearts, protectors of the soil,
And the dry and sandy desserts, which are the banks of the Nile.
(And the blood does steep the grass that's deep, on the banks of the Nile.)

Greetings

Rob


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Subject: Lyr Add: THE BANKS OF THE NILE (from Dolores Keane
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 05:48 PM

Martin, here goes with the words:-

THE BANKS OF THE NILE (Key G#)

Hark the drums are beating and no longer I can stay.
I hear the bugle sounding and that call I must obey.
We're ordered down to Portsmouth for the many a long mile,
To join the British Army on the banks of the Nile.

Oh Johnnie, dearest Johnnie, don't leave me here to mourn,
For I will curse and rue the day that ever I was born.
For the parting of you, my love, is the parting of my life,
I'll go with you, dear Johnnie, and I will be your wife.

Oh Nancy, lovely Nancy, that's a thing that can't be so,
Our colonel he gave orders that no woman there should go.
We must forasake our own sweethearts, likewise our native soil
To fight the German soldiers on the banks of the Nile.

Then I'll cut off my yellow locks and go along with you,
I'll dress myself in man's attire and see the captain too.
I'll fight and strike the banner high and (pass under?) and will smile, (while fortune does on me smile)
And we'll comfort one another on the banks of the Nile.

Ah, your waist it is too slender love, and your figure is too small,
I'm afraid you would not answer me when on you I would call.
Your delicate constitution could not bear that unwholesome clime,
And the hot and sandy deserts on the banks of the Nile.

My curse attend the war, and the hour it first began,
It has robbed the poor old Ireland of many a gallant man.
They took from me my own sweetheart, the protection of our soil,
And the ................. on the banks of the Nile. (blood spilled through the grass it seeps on)

And when the war is over it's home we will return,
To our wives and sweethearts we left behind to mourn,
We will embrace into their arms until the end of time,
And we'll go no more to battle on the banks of the Nile.

This is how I hear, or mis-hear it. The additions are from Dolores Keane's version of the song as sung on the CD Night Owl (1997 Grapevine GRACD 238) where she credits her version to Tom Phaidin Tom. Other recorded versions can be heard from: The Young Tradition - Martin Carthy - Cyril Tawney - Roy Harris - Ewan MacColl and Niamh Parsons. A good traditional version is sung by Dan McGonigle on the Inishowen Traditional Singing Circle cassette produced several years ago by Jimmy McBride. Regards.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BANKS OF THE NILE (from De Danann)
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 06:09 PM

The words as given in the De Danann insert in 'Mist Covered Mountain' are:

THE BANKS OF THE NILE

Hark the drums are beating
No longer I can stay
I hear the bugle sounding
And that call I must obey
We're ordered down to Portsmouth
For many a long mile
To join the British army
On the banks of the Nile

O Johnny, dearest Johnny
Don't leave me here to mourn
For I will curse and rue the day
That ever I was born
The parting of you my love
Is the parting of my life
I'll go with you, dear Johnny
And I will be your wife

O Nancy, lovely Nancy
That's a thing that can't be so
Our colonel gave the orders that
No woman dare should go
We must forsake our own sweetheart
Likewise our native soil
To fight the German soldiers
On the banks of the Nile

Then I'll cut off my yellow locks
And go along with you
I'll dress myself in men's attire
And see the captain too
I'll fight and strike the banner
While fortune does on me smile
And we'll comfort one another
On the banks of the Nile

Your waist it is too slender, love
And your figure is too small
I'm afraid you'll not answer me
When on you I must call
Your delicate constitution
Would not bear that unwholesome clime
And the hot and sandy deserts
On the banks of the Nile

My curse attend the war
And the hour it first began
It has robbed poor old Ireland
Of many a gallant man
It took from me my own sweetheart
The protection of our soil
And their blood steeps the grasses deep
On the banks of the Nile

And when the war is over
It's home we will return
To our wives and sweethearts
We left behind to mourn
We will embrace them to our arms
Until the end of time
And we'll go no more to battle
On the banks of the Nile

Source: De Dannan 'The Mist Covered Mountain' gael-linn CEF 087 (1980).

Cheers, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: Stewie
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 06:15 PM

BigJ, I was typing out my posting while you posted yours - better two than none!

Regards, Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 02 Feb 00 - 08:08 PM

Many thanks, BigJ and Stewie! Is the tune the standard one (i.e. as near "The Flower of Sweet Strabane" as makes no difference!

BigJ: I know Dan McGonigle and have heard him sing the song indeed. I'll be in Inishowen at the end of March for the annual festival.

Rob
Your English is a lot better than my Dutch!
Tot siens!
Regards


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: GUEST,bigJ
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 01:35 PM

Martin,

Yes, the Flower of Sweet Strabane would do it. It looks as though Jimmy will have a good weekend in Innishowen this year. The theme is 'Songs of Work' and among the guests are Martin Carthy and Norma Waterson. Regards.


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: Martin _Ryan
Date: 03 Feb 00 - 03:20 PM

... and a certain Dan Milner a.k.a. Liam's Brother.

Regards


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: Marcus Campus Bellorum
Date: 23 Aug 00 - 10:16 PM

How similar is "Banks of the Nile" to the Australian version "Banks of the Condamine"?


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: John Moulden
Date: 24 Aug 00 - 07:54 PM

Thematically identical, parodies many of the verses and is to much the same tune.


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Subject: RE: Banks of the Nile/De Danann
From: Marcus Campus Bellorum
Date: 25 Aug 00 - 12:25 AM

Thanks John.


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Subject: RE: Lyr/Tune Req: Banks of the Nile (from De Danann)
From: Joe Offer
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 04:23 PM

"Banks of the Nile" is the song for January 28 on Jon Boden's A Folk Song a Day project. We don't really have a comprehensive thread on this song, but this thread seems the best of the lot of them. Perhaps we could use this thread for a little more research on the song?
-Joe-
Here's the Traditional Ballad Index entry on this song:

    Banks of the Nile, The (Men's Clothing I'll Put On II) [Laws N9]

    DESCRIPTION: (William) has been ordered to the banks of the Nile. Molly offers to cut her hair, dress like a man, and go with him. He will not permit her to; (the climate is too harsh or women are simply not permitted). (He promises to return and they are parted)
    AUTHOR: unknown
    EARLIEST DATE: before 1859 (broadside, Bodleian Harding B 11(158))
    KEYWORDS: soldier cross-dressing separation request
    FOUND IN: US(MW,So) Britain(Scotland) Australia Ireland Canada(Mar,Newf)
    REFERENCES (26 citations):
    Laws N9, "The Banks of the Nile (Men's Clothing I'll Put On II)"
    Greig #25, pp. 1-2, "The Banks of the Nile" (1 text)
    GreigDuncan1 99, "The Banks of the Nile" (13 texts, 12 tunes)
    Belden, p. 340, "Plains of Mexico" (1 text)
    Randolph 42, "Men's Clothing I'll Put On" (Of Randolph's 6 texts, Laws assigns only the "A" version, with tune, to this group (and even this is hidden by a typographical error), but "B" and "E" might belong with this or "William and Nancy I")
    Randolph/Cohen, pp. 92-93, "Men's Clothes I Will Put On" (1 text, 1 tune -- Randolph's 42A)
    Chappell-FSRA 66, "The Dolphin" (1 text, probably a confused version of "The Dolphin," a song of a sea battle, and "The Banks of the Nile" [Laws N9] or similar)
    Dean, pp. 105-106, "Banks of the Nile" (1 text)
    Harlow, pp. 206-207, "Dixie's Isle" (1 text, 1 tune -- a version with American Civil War references)
    Meredith/Anderson, pp. 122-123, "The Banks of the Condamine" (1 text, 1 tune); probably also pp. 215-216, "The Banks of the Riverine" (the latter might go with "William and Nancy I")
    Fahey-Eureka, pp. 154-155, "The Banks of the Condamine" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Paterson/Fahey/Seal, pp. 273-275, "The Banks of the Condamine" (1 text)
    Ord, p. 298, "The Banks o' the Nile" (1 text)
    Hodgart, p. 231, "The Banks of the Condamine" (1 text)
    SHenry H238a, pp. 296-297, "The Banks of the Nile" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Munnelly/Deasy-Lenihan 50, "The Banks of the Nile" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Moylan 170, "The Banks of the Nile" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Morton-Maguire 47, pp. 139-140,174, "Texas Isle" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Manifold-PASB, pp. 130-132, "The Banks of the Condamine" (2 texts, 2 tunes)
    Fowke/MacMillan 72, "Banks of the Nile" (1 text, 1 tune, considered by Fowke states to be an abbreviated, localized version of "William and Nancy (I)" [Laws N8], but it could just as easily be a version of "The Banks of the Nile" [Laws N9])
    Peacock, pp. 996-997, "Dixie's Isle" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Creighton-Maritime, p. 147, "The Banks of the Nile" (1 text, 1 tune)
    Mackenzie 35B, "The Banks of the Nile" (1 text); Mackenzie 36, "Dixie's Isle" (1 text)
    Huntington-Whalemen, pp. 266-268, "Farewell My Dear Nancy" (1 text, 1 tune, a fragment lacking the beginning. The final three stanzas appear to belong here but might be something else)
    PBB 98, "The Banks of the Condamine" (1 text)
    DT, BANKNILE* (BANKNIL2*?)

    Roud #950
    RECORDINGS:
    Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger, "The Banks of the Nile" (on SCMacCollSeeger01)
    Pat MacNamara, "Banks of the Nile" (on IRClare01)

    BROADSIDES:
    Bodleian, Harding B 11(158), "Banks of the Nile", J.O. Bebbington (Manchester), 1855-1858; also 2806 b.9(227), 2806 b.9(53), 2806 c.14(179), Firth b.25(245), Harding B 11(276), Firth b.26(269), Firth c.14(148), Firth c.14(149), Harding B 11(158), Harding B 11(2900), Harding B 11(2900A), Harding B 26(47)[some blurring], [The] Banks of the Nile"
    LOCSinging, as100630, "The Banks of the Nile," P. Brereton (Dublin), 19C
    Murray, Mu23-y1:078, "The Banks of the Nile", James Lindsay (Glasgow), 19C; also Mu23-y3:024, "The Banks of the Nile," unknown, 19C

    CROSS-REFERENCES:
    cf. "Jack Monroe" [Laws N7]
    cf. "William and Nancy I" [Laws N8]
    cf. "High Germany"
    cf. "The Girl Volunteer (The Cruel War Is Raging)" [Laws O33]
    cf. "When First To This Country (II)" (theme)
    NOTES: What is the historical reference here? The earliest Bodleian broadside, Harding B 11(158), is printed between 1855 and 1858. One possibility (see Laws N9 notes relating that "Randolph observes that Ord" makes the connection) is the second Battle of Abukir in which "in March 1801, a British army of 5,000 under General Ralph Abercromby landed to dislodge a French army of 2,000 under General Louis Friant. They did so, but not before 1,100 British troops were lost." (Source: Wikipedia article Battle of Abukir ) - BS
    Possibly supporting this is the fact that there was also a battle at Abukir (Aboukir) Bay on August 1-2, 1798, in which Nelson annihilated a French force, allowing Britain to control entrance to Egypt. This was, of course, a sea battle -- but it's often called "The Battle of the Nile." What's more, there were women involved -- they were the wives of the sailors. According to David Cordingly, Women Sailors and Sailors' Women, Random House, 2001 (I use the undated, but later, paperback edition), pp. 102-103, no fewer than four (wives of sailors) took part in the battle of Aboukir aboard the Goliath. There were probably quite a few more on other ships; it's just that the women on the Goliath were fairly well documented (and were praised for their conduct).
    Britain again interfered in Egypt in 1807, and the nation (along with the Sudan) was formally freed from Ottoman rule in 1841, largely as a result of European meddling. There were enough British soldiers floating around that the song would be relevant at almost any time from 1798 until the first broadsides appeared. The song takes place *before* the battle; as a result, I never really thought to associate it with a particular event. Though I concede that Aboukir makes sense; it put Egypt "in the news." - RBW
    Laws quotes Dixie's Isle as "a Civil War adaptation" of N9. The "adaptation" is illustrated by the change from
    We are called up to Portsmouth, many a long mile,
    All for to be embarked for the Banks of the Nile
    to
    They call me down to New Orleans for many a long mile
    To fight the southern soldiers way down in Dixie's Isle. - BS
    In some of the Australian versions, rather than Willie being a soldier, he becomes a shearer. But the plot and pathos of the song remain clear.
    Belden's text appears to be an adaption of this song to the context of the Mexican War (1846-1848). In this version, the modification is so complete that the girl does not even ask to come along; Laws, in fact, does not list Belden's piece as an adaption of this song.
    Nonetheless, the kinship with "The Banks of the Nile" is still patently obvious. And neither Belden nor I knows of another version of the Mexican version of the song. So it seemed sufficient to list it here. - RBW
    Last updated in version 2.5
    File: LN09

    Go to the Ballad Search form
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    Go to the Bibiography
    Go to the Discography

    The Ballad Index Copyright 2010 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 06:24 PM

Joe, Can't add much to what you've got. According to my records the title appeared in Catnach's 1832 catalogue although I haven't seen a Catnach broadside of it. Some broadsides state the tune is 'The Wooden Walls of Old England.' It was widely printed as you show above but most of those I have are c1850. All broadside versions have 7 stanzas. The Glasgow Poets Box printing was dated 1852.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: Howard Jones
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 07:03 PM

I've known this song for many years - so long that I can't remember my source for it. The rather un-PC version I know has him going "to fight the blacks and heathens on the banks of the Nile"


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: RTim
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 07:37 PM

Two versions collected by George Gardiner in Hampshire, one is very complete.

Tim Radford


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Subject: LYR ADD:- Banks of the Nile (Tom Phaidin Tom)
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 09:40 PM

This is how I had it from the De Danaan LP many years ago, and how I used to sing it - a great song that I've been meaning to resurrect for a while - a few differences from the transcription listed above:-

The Banks of the Nile                        

(Tom Phaidin Tom's version)

Oh, hark -- the drums are beating, I can no longer stay
I hear the bugle sounding, love, and I must march away
We're ordered down to Portsmouth for many's the long mile
It's there to be embarked for the banks of the Nile

Oh, Johnnie, dearest Johnnie, would you leave me here to mourn?
For I will curse and rue the day that ever I was born
For parting with you, Johnnie, is like parting with my life
I'll go with you, dear Johnnie, and I will be your wife

I'll cut off my yellow hair, and I'll go along with you
I'll dress myself in a soldier's gear, and I'll see the captain too
I'll fight beneath your banner, love, good Fortune yet may smile
And we'll comfort one another on the banks of the Nile

Oh, Nancy, dearest Nancy, that's a thing that can't be so
Our Colonel he has ordered that no woman there should go
The government has ordered, and our King he does command
And I am bound by oath, my love, to serve in a foreign land

Your waist, it is too slender, and your complection is too fine
Your delicate constitution would not stand the long campaign
The sultry suns of Egypt your precious health would spoil
On the hot and sandy deserts on the banks of the Nile

Oh, cursed be these cruel wars, that ever they began
For they have robbed our country of many's the pretty man
They've ta'en from us our sweethearts, the protection of our soil
And their blood it steeps the grasses deep on the banks of the Nile

And when the war is over, it's homeward we'll return
Unto our wives and sweethearts, that we left behind to mourn
We will embrace them in our arms until the end of time
And we'll go no more to battle on the banks of the Nile


Ross


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 28 Jan 11 - 11:10 PM

The 'blacks & heathens' version mentioned by Howard above is The Young Tradition one, IIRC. They also sang "fingers are too small" rather than "figure".

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: Howard Jones
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 06:12 AM

Michael, you're right about YT, but I've a feeling at the back of my mind that I was already aware of that version of the song before hearing them. Of course my memory may be at fault.

However non-PC it may be, I still think it's a great line.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 06:59 AM

I agree ~~ tho some confusion here, I suspect: is it Egypt (the Urabi Wars of 1882}, or referring to the far more prominent Mahdist wars in Sudan {Kipling's Fuzzy-Wuzzies}? Would do for either, I suppose. This line would make it impossible as a ref to the Battle Of The Nile, 80 years earlier, when it was of course the French who were the enemy, and was of course a naval, not army, battle. Many versions, tho not all, mention Egypt; but would there have been a popular distinction between the two? Khartoum, capital of Sudan, where Gordon fought his famous battle against the Mahdi's lot, is where the White & Blue Niles meet.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: GUEST,Alan Whittle
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 07:51 AM

There was a land campaign in Egypt in the Napoleonic wars. I was in the Dorset regiment military museum the other day, in Dorchester and saw the medals and battle honours from it. Of course I'd heard of nelson's famous battle, but I hadn't heard of the military action on land.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 09:09 AM

Ah, thanks, Al. But if it was the French they fought, then the 'blacks & heathens' line would not refer to that campaign.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: Reinhard
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 12:37 PM

Howard, Michael, The Young Tradition did sing "fight the blacks and heathens" but so did Sidney Richards too on A Soldier's Life for Me (The Folks Songs of Britain Vol 8) some years before the YT; see the lyrics in the Digital Tradition.

And the "fingers they are too small" are from Fotheringay, not the YT.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: GUEST,Heather Wood
Date: 29 Jan 11 - 01:07 PM

Our (Young Tradition) sleeve notes on Galleries say "a composite version, developed as we recorded it." This song was put together in the studio - we had not sung it in live performance.

No idea where tune or words camae from.

Sandy Denny learned it from us but put her own inimitablae stamp on it.


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Subject: Lyr Add: BANKS OF THE NILE (Bodleian, 1855-58)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 07:22 PM

From the Bodleian Library broadside collection, Harding B 11(158):


BANKS OF THE NILE
[Manchester, between 1855 and 1858]

Hark! I hear the drums beating; no longer can I stay.
I hear the trumpets sounding; my love, I must away.
We are ordered from Portsmouth many a long mile
For to join the British soldiers on the banks of the Nile.

Willie, dearest Willie, don't leave me here to mourn.
You'll make me curse and rue the day that ever I was born,
For the parting of my own true love is parting of my life,
So stay at home, dear Willie, and I will be your wife.

I will cut off my yellow locks and go along with you.
I will dress myself in velveteens and go to see Egypt too.
I will fight or bear your banner while kind fortune seems to smile,
And we'll comfort one another on the banks of the Nile.

Nancy, dearest Nancy, with me you cannot stay.
Our colonel he gives order no woman there shall go.
We must forget our own sweethearts, besides our native soil,
And go fight the blacks and heathens on the banks of the Nile.

Your waist it is too slender, love; your waist it is too small.
I'd be afraid you would not answer me when on you I would call.
Your delicate constitution would not bear the unwholesome clime,
Nor the cold sandy deserts on the banks of the Nile.

My curse attend the war and the day it first began.
It has robbed old Ireland of many a clever man.
It took from us our true loves, the protectors of our soil,
To fight the blacks and Negroes [sic] on the banks of the Nile.

So now the war is over and homewards we'll return
Unto our sweethearts and wives we left behind to mourn.
We'll embrace them in our arms until the end of time,
And we'll go no more to battle on the banks of the Nile.


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: Mick Pearce (MCP)
Date: 18 Mar 13 - 08:05 PM

A SOLO Search at Oxford shows A collection of favorite songs sung at Vauxhall Gardens with unbounded applause by James Hook, 1804, containing The Tough Wooden Walls Of Old England, (Songs of Vauxhall Gardens series). It says composed by Mr.Hook in 1804.

The Crystal Songster (London, ca1846 - 1859) also contains The Wooden Walls of Old England, though no indication of composer. google books has a copy, but no digital version.

Mick


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Subject: RE: Origins: Banks of the Nile
From: MGM∑Lion
Date: 19 Mar 13 - 04:29 AM

Only just seen, for some reason, Reinhard 2+ yrs back, 29 jan 11. The YT did sing 'fingers too small' also.

~M~


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