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Lyr Add: White Boots Marching in a Yellow Land

Greg F. 18 Feb 00 - 07:47 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Feb 00 - 02:18 AM
raredance 19 Feb 00 - 08:52 AM
Greg F. 19 Feb 00 - 06:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Feb 00 - 06:38 PM
McGrath of Harlow 19 Feb 00 - 06:41 PM
Greg F. 20 Feb 00 - 09:24 AM
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Subject: Lyr Add: WHITE BOOTS MARCHING IN A YELLOW LAND
From: Greg F.
Date: 18 Feb 00 - 07:47 PM

WHITE BOOTS MARCHING IN A YELLOW LAND
(Phil Ochs)

The pilot's playing poker in the cockpit of the plane;
The casualties are rising like the dropping of the rain.
And a mountain of machinery will fall before a man
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land.

Chorus:
Red blow the bugles of the dawn.
The morning has arrived you must be gone.
And the lost patrol chase their chartered souls
Like old whores following tired armies.

It's written in the ashes of the village towns we've burned.
It's written in the empty beds of fathers unreturned.
And the chocolate in the children's eyes will never understand
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land.

Chorus

Train them well the men who will be fighting by your side,
And never turn your back if the battle turns the tide,
For the colors of a civil war are louder than commands
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land.

Chorus

Blow them from the forest and burn them from your sight
Tie their hands behind their backs and question through the night
But when the firing squad is ready, they'll be spitting where they stand
At the white boots marching in a yellow land.

Chorus

The comic and the beauty queen are dancing on the stage.
The raw recruits are lining up like coffins in a cage.
Oh! We're fighting in a war we lost before the war began.
We're the white boots marching in a yellow land.

Chorus


© Phil Pchs



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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: White Boots Marching in a Yellow Lan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 02:18 AM

I've never come across that one - very much reminiscent of Kipling's Barrack Room Ballads, intentionally so, I'd say. And I like the way he avoided using any place names.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: White Boots Marching in a Yellow Lan
From: raredance
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 08:52 AM

The song is on Phil's "Tape From California" (1968, A&M SP4138).

rich r


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: White Boots Marching in a Yellow Lan
From: Greg F.
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 06:24 PM

McGrath-

I'd not thought of the Kipling connection until you mentioned it:

"Oh, I went into a Public 'ouse
To get a pint o' beer
The Publican 'e up and says'
We serve no Redcoats 'ere'"...

Wonder has anyone put any of the _Barrack Room Ballads_ to music?

Best, Greg


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: White Boots Marching in a Yellow Lan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 06:38 PM

Yes - the late and much misswed Peter Bellamy

And his settings have been done as astage production, The Widows Uniform which is well worth seeing if you can, or getting a record of it.

But that verse in Phil Ochs song:
"Train them well the men who will be fighting by your side,
And never turn your back if the battle turns the tide,
For the colors of a civil war are louder than commands
When you're white boots marching in a yellow land."

That could be Kipling, writing about India, or Roman Britain. (Except that the implied rejection of the war by Phil Ochs wouldn't have been there with Kipling. What would have been there is a cynicism about the whole affair - his soldiers just see it as a job to be done.)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: White Boots Marching in a Yellow Lan
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 19 Feb 00 - 06:41 PM

That last link was wrong. This should work - The Widow's Uniform


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Subject: RE: Lyr Add: White Boots Marching in a Yellow Lan
From: Greg F.
Date: 20 Feb 00 - 09:24 AM

McGrath-

Thanks for the suggestion- will look into "The Widow's Uniform". I find also that Bellamy recorded an entire 'Barrack Room Ballads' album on Green Linnet back in '75 or so- will try to chase down a copy.I still treasure my "Young Tradition" albums, but am not as familiar with Bellamy's solo work.

Best, Greg


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