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Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores

DigiTrad:
QUARTERMASTER CORPS


In Mudcat MIDIs:
The Quarter Master's Stores (from Songs from the Front and Rear, Hopkins)


Fiolar 13 May 00 - 04:56 AM
Patrish(inactive) 13 May 00 - 05:08 AM
MudGuard 13 May 00 - 06:02 AM
Pixie 13 May 00 - 08:20 AM
Uncle Tom Soberly 13 May 00 - 09:20 AM
Fiolar 13 May 00 - 02:16 PM
Joe Offer 13 May 00 - 07:25 PM
Billy the Bus 13 May 00 - 11:03 PM
Chicky 13 May 00 - 11:20 PM
DADGBE 13 May 00 - 11:39 PM
MudGuard 14 May 00 - 07:43 AM
Billy the Bus 14 May 00 - 08:13 AM
Jacob B 15 May 00 - 10:47 AM
Scabby Douglas 15 May 00 - 10:59 AM
GUEST,Penny S (elsewhere) 15 May 00 - 01:26 PM
JudeL 15 Jul 01 - 11:17 AM
Mr Red 15 Jul 01 - 02:08 PM
GUEST,Willa 15 Jul 01 - 03:37 PM
toadfrog 15 Jul 01 - 04:09 PM
artbrooks 15 Jul 01 - 04:13 PM
toadfrog 15 Jul 01 - 04:54 PM
Liz the Squeak 16 Jul 01 - 02:04 AM
JudeL 16 Jul 01 - 03:01 AM
The Walrus at work 16 Jul 01 - 01:49 PM
GUEST 17 Jan 05 - 04:48 AM
Flash Company 17 Jan 05 - 05:52 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 17 Jan 05 - 05:59 AM
masato sakurai 17 Jan 05 - 06:42 AM
Nigel Parsons 17 Jan 05 - 12:10 PM
Megan L 17 Jan 05 - 02:36 PM
GUEST,Lighter at work 17 Jan 05 - 02:47 PM
Teresa 17 Jan 05 - 10:21 PM
GUEST,Gerry 17 Jan 05 - 11:57 PM
Teresa 18 Jan 05 - 12:39 AM
GUEST,George 06 Mar 05 - 10:31 PM
Joe Offer 07 Mar 05 - 02:18 AM
NH Dave 07 Mar 05 - 02:26 AM
Teresa 07 Mar 05 - 02:59 AM
Joe Offer 07 Mar 05 - 03:03 AM
sian, west wales 07 Mar 05 - 06:07 AM
GUEST,stuart@lakemalawi.com 16 May 05 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,Michy0137 03 Aug 05 - 02:22 PM
Le Scaramouche 03 Aug 05 - 03:47 PM
greg stephens 03 Aug 05 - 05:45 PM
Q 04 Aug 05 - 12:23 AM
GUEST,CB 27 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM
GUEST,Lucky 07 Aug 06 - 06:34 PM
GUEST,Ellie aged 10 08 Nov 06 - 01:38 PM
Joe_F 08 Nov 06 - 08:57 PM
Gurney 08 Nov 06 - 09:09 PM
Muttley 08 Nov 06 - 10:49 PM
Lighter 09 Nov 06 - 10:50 AM
Muttley 09 Nov 06 - 10:19 PM
Muttley 09 Nov 06 - 11:32 PM
Liz the Squeak 10 Nov 06 - 04:28 AM
Muttley 10 Nov 06 - 05:53 AM
Lighter 10 Nov 06 - 08:19 AM
Liz the Squeak 10 Nov 06 - 09:14 PM
Muttley 11 Nov 06 - 11:32 AM
Liz the Squeak 11 Nov 06 - 12:42 PM
Azizi 11 Nov 06 - 10:13 PM
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Muttley 12 Nov 06 - 12:41 AM
The Walrus 12 Nov 06 - 04:00 AM
GUEST,geribuni 05 Mar 08 - 11:57 AM
Rog Peek 05 Mar 08 - 06:00 PM
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GUEST,Suffolk Miracle 06 Mar 08 - 08:53 AM
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Jack Campin 17 Nov 10 - 06:58 AM
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Subject: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Fiolar
Date: 13 May 00 - 04:56 AM

Has anyone out there got the words of that hoary old favourite "The Quartermaster's Stores." The Qaurtermaster Corps is listed but is not quite the same. Some of the words I remember go something like this: "There were eggs, eggs that walked about on legs in the stores; In the Quartermaster's Stores. There were rats, rats big as bloody cats in the stores etc." Thanks in advance. Mike.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Patrish(inactive)
Date: 13 May 00 - 05:08 AM

Gravy enough to sink the navy
beans as big as submarines
chips as big as battleships
Patrish
I will keep thinking ........


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: MudGuard
Date: 13 May 00 - 06:02 AM

That is what I have on a recording by the Irish Weavers.
Some parts (marked in red) I could not understand.
MudGuard

Well there was cheese, cheese,
Oh (ofting ???) in the breeze
In the store, in the store
In the store, in the store
There was ham, ham,
Mixed up in the jam
In the quartermaster's store

Well there was bread, bread
Just (a clumps of lead ???)
In the store, in the store
In the store, in the store
There were buns, buns
Full of (hardeguns ???)
In the quartermaster's store

Well there were mice, mice
Eating up the rice
In the store, in the store
In the store, in the store
There were rats, rats
Big as bloody cats
In the quartermaster's store

Well there was meat, meat,
Meat you couldn't eat
In the store, in the store
In the store, in the store
There were eggs, eggs
Nearly growing legs
In the quartermaster's store

Well there was beer, beer
Beer you can't (ganeer ???)
In the store, in the store
In the store, in the store
There was rum, rum
For the (general's tum ???)
In the quartermaster's store

Well there was cake, cake,
Cake you couldn't break
In the store, in the store
In the store, in the store
There were flies, flies,
Feeding on the pies
In the quartermaster's store

Well there was fish, fish
Stinking in the dish
In the store, in the store
In the store, in the store
There were chickens, chickens
Since the times a-digging
In the quartermaster's store


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Pixie
Date: 13 May 00 - 08:20 AM

There were ants, ants, Crawling up my pants....


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Uncle Tom Soberly
Date: 13 May 00 - 09:20 AM

But I remember from my school days something like a chrous going:-

My eyes are dim I cannot see I have not brought my specs with me I have not brought my specs with me

A cracking song!!!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Fiolar
Date: 13 May 00 - 02:16 PM

Thanks to all who replied. Mike


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Joe Offer
Date: 13 May 00 - 07:25 PM

Hi - take a look at a related song, Quartermaster Corps. As my kids would say, it's the same song, only different.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 13 May 00 - 11:03 PM

Hi MudGuard

cheese, wafting in the breeze (strong smelling)
Bread, just like lumps of lead
Beer you can't get near
Rum for the General's tum (=stomach)

We also used to make up verses based on people's names. eg..

There was Joe, Joe,
Getting quite a glow

There was MudGuard, MudGuard
Lookin' very RugGuard

etc.. etc.. ad nauseum.

Yep, Unca' Tom, we sang the same refrain - or ended it with "I left my specs in the WC".

Cheers - Sam


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Chicky
Date: 13 May 00 - 11:20 PM

I've never heard it sung the same way twice! Whenever I've encountered it's been ad-lib-the-verses singalong around the campfire (or around the bar).

cheers - Chicky


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: DADGBE
Date: 13 May 00 - 11:39 PM

The earliest recorded version I've heard is by Pete Seeger and friends. It was probably recorded prior to W.W.II and was released on 78 rpm records (remember them?) by Stinson as "Songs of The Lincoln Brigade." Those lyrics are:

There is cheese cheese that brings you to your knees, in the store, in the store,
There is cheese cheese that brings you to your knees, in the quartermaster's store.

There is tea tea but not for you and me...

There are rats rats in bowler hats and spats...

There are beans beans that make fill your jeans...

There's a chief chief who never brings us beef...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: MudGuard
Date: 14 May 00 - 07:43 AM

Any idea on the buns? I listened to the song again, and it could be something like harleguns/horneguns as well as the hardeguns I wrote down.
MudGuard


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Billy the Bus
Date: 14 May 00 - 08:13 AM

G'day MudGuard,

For the life of me, I can't remember what we sang for "buns" apart from they were "hard as ????" - maybe "guns"... it was longer tho'...

Hold on.....

"hard as bleedin' stones" (pronounced "stuns") think that was it - it would work, anyway.

If all else fails, make it up as yer go along in the true QM store tradition.

BTW - I did an AltaVista search on "in the quartermasters store" earlier today, and only got 3 hits, none relating to the song - "quartermasters store" returned 26. I was panicing that the armies world-wide were running out of supplies. However, "quartermaster store" gave me 2,000 odd hits. Funny - I've always known the song (and the store) as Quartermaster's..

Cheers - Sgt Sam Reg# 678894 - reporting for words at the QM Store


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Jacob B
Date: 15 May 00 - 10:47 AM

This is great - I never realized before that there are two distinctly different songs, with two distinctly different ideas. The Quartermaster's Stores is about how all the food supplies are rotten, while The Quartermaster Corps is based on the idea that the Quartermasters get good stuff into the stores, but keep all the good stuff for themselves.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Scabby Douglas
Date: 15 May 00 - 10:59 AM

IN Glasgow, as kids, we sang the "Co-operative Store" pronounced "Co- per- aytive" ( don't ask me why)

The Co-op movement started in the Victorian era to provide local value stores and dividends to working people...

anyway

Does everyone sing the "My eyes are dim, I cannot see..." bit?

A fun song... may sing at the next session...

Byeee


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Penny S (elsewhere)
Date: 15 May 00 - 01:26 PM

There was sherry, making the staff feel merry
There was whisky, making the staff feel frisky

school version

Penny


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: JudeL
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 11:17 AM

There were rats, rats, as big as bloomin' cats


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Mr Red
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 02:08 PM

My first encounter with this song was in the scouts
each verse referred to a person and something about them (or their car etc) was generally a bit of light hearted fun.
It was only later I realised it's vintage.
I guess this was the tradition with this song - to sing about local personalities or conditions.
from the "Songs R Us" stable.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Willa
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 03:37 PM

I think every family had their own version of this. We always sang the chorus a couple of other 'catters have metioned
My eyes are dim, I cannot see
I have not brought my specs with me
I have not brought my specs with me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: toadfrog
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 04:09 PM

The song may be found on DT as QUARTERMASTER CORPSOut here, we sing

O it's whiskey whiskey whiskey,
That makes you feel so frisky,
On the farm, on the farm.
O it's whiskey whiskey whiskey,
That makes you feel so frisky,
On the Leland Stanford Junior Farm.

O it's beer, beer,
that makes you feel so queer.

O It's wine, wine, wine,
That makes you feel so fine.

O it's cold roast duck, [forgot the rest].


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: artbrooks
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 04:13 PM

If I remember correctly, this was on an Oscar Brand album, which might have been called "Bawdy Barracks Ballads". This version focused on various potables, and the verses listed the type of booze and effect:

"Oh, it's rye, rye, rye that makes you want to cry, In the Corps, in the Corps, in the Quartermaster Corps."

Other sets were gin/want to sin, brandy/feel so handy, and scotch/gets you in the crotch. I'm not sure if my daughter invented "coke/makes you want to choke" or if we picked it up someplace.


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Subject: Lyr Add: POWER IN THE BLOOD
From: toadfrog
Date: 15 Jul 01 - 04:54 PM

The original song is:

POWER IN THE BLOOD

(Lewis E. Jones)

Would you be fee from the burden of sin?
There is Power in the blood, power in the blood!
Would you be free from your passion and pride?
There is Power in the blood, power in the blood!

There is power, power,
Wonder working power,
In the blood,
Of the Lamb!
There is power, power,
Wonder working power,
In the precious blood of the Lamb.


Would you be whiter, much whiter than snow?
Would you do service to Jesus, your King?

Would you o'er evil a victory win?
Come for a cleansing to Calvary's tide.

This appears to be a hymn, but I can't find it on Cyber-Hymnal, or with the Pentecostals. Maybe a bit off the beaten track. Or maybe it was once more common than today. For the Joe Hill version, klik here.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 02:04 AM

Buns buns, used as ammo for the guns - was the version my dad came up with, from his army days.... one of only 3 songs he ever taught me.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: JudeL
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 03:01 AM

alternative chorus we used to sing as kids:
my eyes are dim I cannot see;
I left them in the lavatry;
I left them in the lavatry.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: The Walrus at work
Date: 16 Jul 01 - 01:49 PM

toadfrog,

Re: "Power in the blood" Something makes me think that this could be a Salvation Army song (I don't know why, I just "hear" it, in my head, played by a "Sally Ann" band.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 04:48 AM

there are rats, rats, big as bloomin cats


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Flash Company
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:52 AM

There were buns, buns
For firing at the huns.

My dad was a Quartermaster Sergeant in the Royal Norfolks, he and his crew were known as 'Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves'

FC


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 05:59 AM

I an ideal world, the words chosen should have some relevance to a quartermaster's stores, even if some semantic confusion is tolerable. Thus "frogs" in the first example below could refer to bayonet frogs, the canvas strap with which a scabbard is hung from the belt.

"Frogs, frogs, wearing swimming togs."


Another verse popular in my time was:

"Horses, horses, wearing women's corsets"


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: masato sakurai
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 06:42 AM

THERE IS POWER IN THE BLOOD is at the Cyber Hymnal.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 12:10 PM

I remember this from Cub camp & Scout camp.
As BillyTheBus says above, many verses were based on the names of the people at the campfire. The obvious example from many Cub camps was:

There was Akela, Akela,
Kissing a yankee sailor
In the stores....

This verse probably dates from WWII, when, not only were US forces over here, but with so many men being on active service, it became (and remains) common for women to take over the leadership of Cub packs

Nigel


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Megan L
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 02:36 PM

cant do links to threads yet but a scottish version was discussed at "Lyr Req: The world must be coming to an end" quite an old thread


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Lighter at work
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 02:47 PM

On the Prairie Home Companion many years ago Jean Redpathy led the singing of another revival hymn called, I think, "In My Father's House." Its tune and structure was identical to that of "The Quartermasters' Corps/Store."

Does anyone have the lyrics or further info?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Teresa
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 10:21 PM

I first heard this song on Songs of the Lincoln & Int'l. Brigade/Southern Mtn. Hoedown (note track 11) with Woody Guthrie, Pete seeger, et al. I'm delighted to find out it still has a living presence. I always
thought it lent itself to improvisation. :) bTW, it's really International Brigade/Lincoln Battalion.

When I was a kid in the '70s, we sang "There is Power in the blood" in my Southern Baptist church.

I have to say I'm glad Joe Hill came up with some different lyrics for some of these hymns. ;)

Teresa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Gerry
Date: 17 Jan 05 - 11:57 PM

I see that several people mentioned the "My eyes are dim..." refrain.
On the bus that took us to camp on summer days 40 or 45 years ago, we used to sing the
refrain in two parts:

A: My eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me
B: My eyes............. are dim.......   I can..................... not see-ee-eeeee

A: I have - hey! - not - ho! - brought my specs with me.
B: I have............. not........... brought my specs with me.

About half of us would sing the A line, half the B. The dots in the B line
mean that you hold the note.

The word "Quartermaster" was not in our vocabulary, so we sang some nonsense
word like "Cornermaster" instead.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Teresa
Date: 18 Jan 05 - 12:39 AM

I can't help wondering where the "I can't see" refrain came from??

Teresa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,George
Date: 06 Mar 05 - 10:31 PM

I used to sing this every Friday at the Dakota Inn in Detroit.
My favorite part was "There was cold roast duck, that made you want a sandwich"


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Subject: ADD Version: Quartermaster Stores
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 02:18 AM

Here's a substantial list - from Roy Palmer's What a Lovely War: British Soldier Songs from the Boer War to the Present Day (1990)(no tunes in this book)

The Quartermaster Stores

There was ham, ham, mixed up with the jam,
in the stores, in the stores.
There was ham, ham, mixed up with the jam,
In the quartermaster stores.
(Chorus)
My eyes are dim, I cannot see,
I have not brought my specs with me,
I have not brought my specs with me.

Eggs ... running round on legs.
Cheese . . . green as garden peas.
Bread . . . heavy as lumps of lead.
Meat . . . soled your boots a treat.
Beer . . . makes you feel so queer.
Port... turns a prude into a sport.
Whisky. .. makes you feel so frisky.
Gin . . . that brings a girl to sin.
Brandy . . . makes you feel so randy.
Rats . . . big as bloody cats.
Bugs . .. big as deep-sea tugs.
Mice . . . trying to catch the lice.
Fleas . . . all with housemaid's knees.
Slugs . .. drinking from army mugs.
Phil .. . fiddling the till.
Bob .. . playing with his knob.
Frank ... having a Midland Bank.
Hall ... he's only got one ball.
Brown .. . with his knackers hanging down.

(Spoken) My name's Hunt, and I'm going home.

I don't think I hear a relationship between this and the tunes I know for "Power in the Blood" and "In My Father's House." There's a tune in the Digital Tradition (click), but there may be other tunes for this song.
-Joe Offer-
The Traditional Ballad Index lists versions of this song only in the Digital Tradition and in the Silbers' Folksinger's Word Book. Here's the Ballad Index entry:

Quartermaster Corps, The (The Quartermaster Store)

DESCRIPTION: "Oh, it's beer , beer, beer that makes you feel so queer, In the corps, in the corps." "My eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me." Similarly, "...cheese... brings you to your knees," and so forth with other army items
AUTHOR: unknown

EARLIEST DATE: 1973
KEYWORDS: army soldier food disease nonballad
FOUND IN:
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 272, "The Quartermaster Store" (1 text)

DT, QMCORP*
Roud #10508
File: FSWB272A


Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions

The Ballad Index Copyright 2004 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.


Songs from the Front and Rear has a tune that's much closer to the chorus of "Power in the Blood."

Click to play


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: NH Dave
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 02:26 AM

I did a Google search of Scouting Songs and got this version.

   Dave

The Quartermaster's Song



There are snakes, snakes, snakes
Big as garden rakes,
At the store! At the store!
There are snakes, snakes, snakes,
Big as garden rakes, at the Quartermaster's store.

Chorus
My eyes are dim I can-not see.
I have not got my specs with me.
I have HEY! Not HO! got my specs with me.

There are mice, mice, mice
Running though the rice,
At the store! At the store!
There are mice, mice, mice,
Running through the rice, at the Quartermaster's store.

Chorus

Continue with each of the following:
3. lice - living on the mice.
4. rats - big as alley cats.
5. roaches - big as football coaches
6. watches - big as sasquaches
7. snakes - big as garden rakes
8. bears - but no one really cares
9. beavers - with little meat cleavers
10. foxes - stuffed in little boxes


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Teresa
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 02:59 AM

Joe, the tune you linked to is the one I always sang for "Power in the Blood". actually, it's the tune used for the verses of Quartermaster's Stores. The refrain I have never heard before, neither the tune nor the lyrics.

Teresa


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Subject: ADD Version: Quarter Master's Stores
From: Joe Offer
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 03:03 AM

Here's a version from a Canadian book, Songs from the Front and Rear: Canadian Servicemen's Songs from the Second World War, by Anthony Hopkins 1979). Note the alternate chorus, and this quote from Hopkins:
    The alternate chorus is the closest I was able to come to a rumoured "sophisticated" version of "The Quarter Master's Stores." The always present rumour or belief among troops, particularly among recruits in large camps, is that "they" are putting saltpetre or some other chemical such as nitrate in the food secretly in order to diminish a man's sexual drive.
...the same rumor was endemic in the Catholic seminary I attended.
-Joe Offer-


The Quarter Master's Stores

There were rats, rats, big as alley cats,
In the stores, in the stores,
There were rats, rats, big as alley cats,
In the Quarter Master's stores.
CHORUS
My eyes are dim, I cannot see,
I have not brought my specs with me,
I have not brought my specs with me.

ALTERNATE CHORUS
My cock is limp, I cannot fuck
The nitrate it has changed my luck.
The nitrate it has changed my luck.

There was beer, beer, to bring us all good cheer,
In the stores, in the stores,
There was beer, beer, to bring us all good cheer,
In the Quarter Master's stores.
CHORUS

There was cheese, cheese, rotting, stinking cheese,
In the stores, in the stores.
There was cheese, cheese, rotten stinking cheese,
In the Quarter Master's stores.
CHORUS

There was bread, bread, heavy as lumps of lead,
There was whiskey, whiskey, the stuff that makes you frisky,
There were socks, socks, filthy, smelly socks,
There were tents, tents, full of holes and rents,
There was rice, rice, full of bugs and lice,
There were flies, flies, eating all the pies,


Teresa, I'd agree that Songs from the Front and Rear has a tune that's much closer to the chorus of "Power in the Blood."

Click to play

I guess it is the "Power in the Blood" tune that I know. I don't know where the Digital Tradition tune comes from.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: sian, west wales
Date: 07 Mar 05 - 06:07 AM

Joe

Earliest date 1973????? Well, we were singing it at summer camp (the Power in the Blood version - although I never clicked to the connection before now!) in the late '60s and it was a golden oldie of the camp even then. I'm pretty sure my mum knew it, and if she learned it at camp it would have been pre WW II. Alternatively, she would have learned it from her brothers who were in the armed forces during the war.

Actually, I'll have to ask her. It's the type of song that Grampa would have known, which would put it WW I.

Anyone have any other chronology on this?

siân


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,stuart@lakemalawi.com
Date: 16 May 05 - 06:58 AM

Another line that we used to sing at the Scouts in Stafford, English Midlands in the early 50's...

There was butter, butter - the scrapings of the gutter...
In the stores ...in the stores

Stuart Grant - Malawi - Central Africa


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Michy0137
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 02:22 PM

Continue with each of the following for quartermaster store:
3. lice - living on the mice.
4. rats - big as alley cats.
5. roaches - big as football coaches
6. watches - big as sasquaches
7. snakes - big as garden rakes
8. bears - but no one really cares
9. beavers - with little meat cleavers
10. foxes - stuffed in little boxes
11. Apes - eating chocolate cakes
12. celery – enough to fill a gallery
13. Eggs-that walked about on legs
14. Ham-Mixed up in the jam
15. Meat- Meat you couldn't eat
16. Bread- as hard as clumps of lead
17. Eggs-Nearly growing legs
18. Cake-Cake you couldn't break
19. Flies-Feeding on the pies
20. Ants-Crawling up my pants
21. Cheese- rotting, stinking cheese


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Le Scaramouche
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 03:47 PM

Being in the army, I can state categorically that both songs are true!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 Aug 05 - 05:45 PM

Well, I am working on a community arts project at the Hollybush Community Centre, Stoke-on-trent, and today we were singing this very song with the kids making their own verses. We are working towards a street party to celebrate 60 years since the end of WWII, and the preparation involves teaching the little ones the songs of the old timers. So the Quartermaster's Stores lives on.
   The predictability of rhymes makes the kids efforts much the same as those of 60 years ago.
Peas peas
Smudging on your knees

Beans beans
Dropping on your jeans

Chips chips
Sticking to your lips.

Mash mash
Giving you a rash

(continuity of culture!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Q
Date: 04 Aug 05 - 12:23 AM

sian, west wales, I am well along in years, but my memory is pretty good for some things, not completely Alzhammered! I would guess WW1 as well. As kids I am sure that we sang verses in the 1930s.
The hymn itself was often heard in the Depression days of the 30s. There was a soup kitchen variant which I vaguely remember. Our parents would not let us go to the parts of town where the Okies could be found on the move, detoured around the town center by police. We were warned away with stories about these people, but that only encouraged some of the bravest, so we saw a little of them.

There were worms, worms, worms in the bread,
In the bread, in the bread,
There were worms, worms, worms in the bread
Where they fed us (on the street ?).
I can't remember any more.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,CB
Date: 27 Apr 06 - 02:11 PM

There were rats, rats,
As big as pussy cats,
In the store, in the store,
There were rats, rats,
As big as pussy cats,
in the Quartermaster's Store.

My eyes are dim,
I cannot see,
I have not brought my specs with me,
I have not brought my specs with me.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Lucky
Date: 07 Aug 06 - 06:34 PM

my eyes are dim i cannot see i've been in the pub since half past 3
Ive been in the pub since half past 3


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Ellie aged 10
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 01:38 PM

We are learning about The Second World War at school and we learnt this song:

There were rats rats,
Big as pussy cats,
In the store,
In the store,
There were rats rats,
Big as pussy cats,
In the store,
In the Quarter Master's store.

My eyes are dim I can not see,
I have not bought my specs with me,
I have not bought my specs with me.

There were eggs eggs,
That taste like plastic pegs,
In the store,
In the store,
There were eggs eggs,
That taste like plastic pegs,
In the store,
In the Quarter Master's store.


My eyes are dim I can not see,
I have not bought my specs with me,
I have not bought my specs with me.

There was fish fish,
lying in a dish,
in the store,
In the store.
There was fish fish,
lying in a dish,
in the store,
In the Quarter Master's store.

My eyes are dim I can not see,
I have not bought my specs with me,
I have not bought my specs with me.

There was tea tea,
but not for you and me,
in the store,
in the store.
There was tea tea,
but not for you and me,
in the store,
in the Quarter Master's store.


My eyes are dim I can not see,
I have not bought my specs with me,
I have not bought my specs with me.

There was flour flour,
but only for an hour,
in the store,
in the store.
There was flour flour,
but only for an hour,
in the store,
in the Quarter Master's store.

My eyes are dim I can not see,
I have not bought my specs with me,
I have not bought my specs with me.

From Ellie aged 10. From England.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Joe_F
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 08:57 PM

The version that goes thru the various drinks (Oh, it's tea, tea, tea, That makes you want to pee, etc.) was sung in my highschool (early 1950s) & college. George Orwell remembered "rats as big as cats" from the Spanish Civil War; I dare say it goes back to W.W. I or earlier.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Gurney
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 09:09 PM

Beans.... to make you FILL your jeans.
Gravy.... REJECTED by the Navy.

and many of the above.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Muttley
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 10:49 PM

My grandmother used to teach me songs handed down to her from her dad and uncles who were in World War One and cousins and brothers and husbands from World war 2 and my Mum picked up songs from my dad and grandad on his side who were in WW2 and WW1 respectively and they all sang this song and added to and subtracted from it as circumstance, which service you were in, and the war concerned; dictated.

I recall many of the verses and have gonbe through and collated all the ones I recall from all those offered.

Generally, the song referred to food, drink, equipment and people and frequently ranks as the four main topics to spoof as part of the versing and most frequently, the songs were improvised at each singing and thus any 'canonical' list of verses is simply a collection of some of the more popular ones. The song altered from singing to singing, from camp to camp from front to front from base tp ship to airfield and from war to war and so on.

So here's the 'popular' list I compiled from above and recall:

The Quartermaster Stores

There was ham, ham, mixed up with the jam,
in the stores, in the stores.
There was ham, ham, mixed up with the jam,
In the quartermaster stores.

(Chorus)
My eyes are dim, I cannot see,
I have not brought my specs with me,
I have not brought my specs with me.

Eggs ... running round on legs.
Flour . . . but only for an hour,
Cheese . . . green as garden peas.
Bread . . . heavy as lumps of lead.
Cheese . . . rotting, stinking cheese
Buns . . . for firing at the huns
Meat . . . soled your boots a treat.
Cake . . . you couldn't break
Gravy . . . enough to sink the navy
Beans . . . as big as submarines
   Beans . . . that make fill your jeans...
Fish . . . lying in a dish,
Chips . . . as big as battleships
Tea . . . but not for you and me
Beer . . . makes you feel so queer.
Port... turns a prude into a sport.
Whisky. .. makes you feel so frisky.
Gin . . . that brings a girl to sin.
Brandy . . . makes you feel so randy.
Lice . . . living on the mice.
Rats . . . big as bloody cats.
Rats . . . in bowler hats and spats
Bugs . .. big as deep-sea tugs.
Flies . . . feeding on the pies
Mice . . . trying to catch the lice.
Fleas . . . all with housemaid's knees.
Slugs . .. drinking from army mugs.
Chief . . . who never brings us beef
Lance* . . . cannae find his pants
Corp . . . never been to war
Sarge . . . big as bloody barge
Captain** . . . He never saw no action
Phil .. . fiddling the till.
Bob .. . playing with his knob.
Frank ... having a Midland Bank.
Hall ... he's only got one ball.
Brown .. . with his knackers hanging down.

(Chorus - final)
My eyes are dim, I cannot see,
I have not brought my specs with me,
I left them in the la – va - try


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Lighter
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 10:50 AM

Thanks for that, Muttley. The use of pleople's names in the song is not common.

Did you learn any WW I or II verses of "Inky-dinky parlez-vous?" I'm trying to collect as many as possible from oral (not printed)tradition.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Muttley
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 10:19 PM

I have a version of it in my files - i'll look it up and get back to you. There was a more 'rolicking verion' I cannot for the life of me recall; though it may have been a "chorus" - - - I'll think on't.

As for names, they were a fairly common base for verses - but usually only after all other material had been used up. They were also the 'meat and potatoes' for verses at camps - scouts etc (provided they weren't offensive: Hmmmm the beginnings of 'political correctness?')

Mutt


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Muttley
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 11:32 PM

G'day 'Lighter'

Following is the version I learned om those drives in the country with my Nana. She loved the old wartime songs. "Madamoiselle", "Over There", "Kiss Me Goodnight, Sergeant-Major", "The Quaretermaster's Store", "One of Our Planes is Missing", and so on Hell, I'm feeling very teary and nostalgic right now.
I remember sitting up in the back of Nan & Pop's 1965 Holden HD going to Healesville to see Pop's family on their farm and singing all these old songs. I ended up inheriting the old HD (Dad bought it for me) and she sadly got traded in after several years of service - more than once I've wished I'd kept her.

As for Nana & Pop, they're now 'Gone to God' as well

I was mistaken about the 'rollicking version', it was the song I was singing and it was a SLOWER rendition that was plucking at my memories.
I have included the "slow' verse at the very end as I'm uncertain as to where it goes or whether it was a song in its own right: However, my recollections are hinting that it may have been a slow "opening" verse to the rest of the song. Sort of like the opening to "One of our Planes is Missing": It starts slow and then bounces into the rest of the song as "the word" comes through from the missing plane.

Anyway - here's the song as I have it:


MADEMOISELLE FROM ARMENTIERES

Mademoiselle from Armentieres, parlez-vous

Sang the Diggers between their beers, parlez-vous

And the ballad roared by the soldiers gay,

    Rang through the old Estaminet

                "Inky-pinky, parlez-vous!"

Mademoiselle enjoyed the din, parlez-vous!


As she tripped around with the bock and vin, parlez-vous!

And Mademoiselle, in a manner gay,

    Trolled a stave of the ribald lay

                "Inky-pinky, parlez-vousl"

There were men from Wagga and Gundagai, parlez-vous!

From Perth, and The Towers, and Boggabri, parlez-vous

From Sydney City and Dandenong,

    Sinking their troubles in wine and song

                Inky-pinky, parlez-vous!

There was one   young Digger, tanned and lean, parlez-vous!

From the Darling Downs, or the Riverine, parlez-vous!

Who set her heart in a rapturous whirl

    When he vowed that she was his Dinkum Girl

                Inky-pinky, parlez-vous!

They laughed and loved in the old French town; parlez-vous!

And her heart spake out of her eyes of brown; parlez-vous!

But the time fled by, and there came a day

    When he and his cobbers all marched away

                Inky-pinky, parlez -vous

Maybe on a field of France he fell; parlez-vous!

No word came back to Mademoiselle; parlez-vous!

But a pretty French girl, with eyes of brown,

    Prays for him still in a war-swept town,

                Inky-pinky, parlez-vous!


Quiet it is in the old estaminet; parlez-vous!

No more Diggers will come that way, parlez-vous!

May your heart grow light with passing years,

    Oh, Mademoiselle from Armentieres!

                Inky-pinky, parlez-vous!


This is the "slow" verse which is most likely a slow 'opening' verse for the song - sort of a reminiscence: I am unsure, but I suspect, as "Madamoiselle" was a WW1 song, the "If you see a grey-haired lady etc" may have been added during WW2 when many of the older sons of the men who fought in France in WW1 were going off to war again.

The Slow Verse:


If you should see a grey-haired lady, who says: "How's your father?"

   That's Madamoiselle

If she says: "Parlez-vous? Won't you tell me, do;

   How is he after all these years?"

If she says no other than: "Don't tell your mother!"

   That's Madamoiselle from Armientieres!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 04:28 AM

My dad taught me the Quartermasters Stores using the refrain:

My eyes are dim I cannot see, I left my specs in the W C...

WC (water closet) was a more suitable term for toilet than lavatory - one that lower ranks were more likely to know. Besides (pedant alert) a lavatory is a sink for washing in from lavare - to wash. To lose ones specs in the toilet would be far more amusing as it suggests that they may have been 'flushed'...

To shoot buns at the Huns suggests a WWI origin, the usage being common after a speech given by Kaiser Wilhelm I (Queen Victoria's grandson) in July 1901 during the Boxer rebellion. He likened his campaign to those of Attila the Hun (4th Century ->) where Germans would once again rule the land...

Don't worry, I'll be back on the medication soon!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Muttley
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 05:53 AM

Quite right Liz -

the Huns were indeed the Germans and the term does indeed stem from the British (and Aussie) trenches of World War 1.

The French referred to them as 'Le Bosche',: The term the Brits later turned into "The Bosch" in WW2.

However, the MOST common term for the Germans among the British troops (which included the Indians, Sth Africans, New Zealanders and Australians - the Canadians, surprisingly, fought as Canadians. under their own flag)was simply "Jerry" (or Gerry) which later became 'The Jerries'.

Just as the German term for British troops - and that included the Canadians as well (we all - Aussies, Canadians, Sth Africans, Poms etc - wore the same helmets - well after late 1915 we did anyway; up until then the Aussies ONLY wore the 'Slouch Hat'**)was "Tommy"

If you noticed the ** in the above brackets - this is a signpost. The fact that the Aussies only wore the brown felt hat into battle until late 1915 makes the classic Eric Bogle song "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" historically incorrect.

At the close of the first verse the old Digger sings "So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun / And they sent me away to the war."

AS Gallipoli began in April 1915, NO Digger heading to that battlefield was issued a helmet - or 'Tin Hat'. The only Tin Hats worn at Gallipoli were worn by the English troops and some Turks - even most of the Turks had cloth ones.

However, Liz, I must correct you on one point.

True 'Lavare' is, indeed the Latin for 'to wash' and thus gave rise to the term lavatory - as a means of "washing away the waste products / body waste".

The commoners used the term lavatory (as a polite, 'politically correct' or 'in company' term while WC was the term utilised by the upper classes as defined by correct etiquette. WC was the abbreviation for Water Closet: a facility VERY few common homes possessed until the Twentieth Century - most homes had a 'thunderbox' out in the back yard and close to the fence abutting an alley, preferably and the waste was actually collected by a 'Nightsoil Collector' on a cart once a week.

Here endeth the grammar and history lessons Guess what I teach?!!

Muttley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Lighter
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:19 AM

Thanks, Muttley. That uniquely nostalgic version of "inky-pinky" seems to be fairly well known in Australia. I wonder who wrote it.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 09:14 PM

Beg to differ on the ORs use of water closet... I used to work in a Military museum so read an awful lot of accounts of both WWs - lavatory was hardly used at all, it was either WC or latrine - the difference being one was an actual toilet and the other a hole in the ground with a grab bar and tent (if you were lucky).

LTS


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Muttley
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 11:32 AM

Latrine! Of Course! The hideous creature that lives in the North Tower and performs magic for me!

OOPS! Sorry: that was a paraphrase / quote from "Robin Hood: Men In Tights"

I knew there was a term escaping me. As you've workes in a military museum, I shall have to bow to your knowledge. However, my own dad tends to call "the smallest room" the "Lav" and he picked up the term from his dad who adopted the saying after 3 and a half years (almost full time) on the Western Front where he was stationed with the 'KIngs Own Scottish Borderers'; be fore that, apparently he and his brothers (who all served in WW1 in various Scottish Regiments) all used to refer to the toilet as "The Wee Hoose" (no puns intended). However, after the war, the six that survived all universally called it "The Lav" or "The Lavvie".

I'm not 100% on this next bit, but I have an itch in my 'memory gland' that latrine is actually also etymologically linked with lavatory as well. Not sure here though.

Oh, and BTW - my grandad wasn't the non-survivor of the Great War; Not sure which one of his brothers it was - he was, however gassed 3 times which left his lungs and heart a mess and ultimately killed him in 1960 at age 62. Not bad for a man whose wife was told "don't marry this man - he won't live beyond 30" by the doctors. The family always said it was Granny's nursing and care that kept him alive tose extra 32 years. He also had one brother who was badly gassed (once) and died younger than the others as well - the other four brothers all lived well into their nineties.

Muttley


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 12:42 PM

The Scots have always had strange names for things... look what they call handbags...

LTS
(Ducking and running for cover again!)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 10:13 PM

I regret that I didn't know this song as a child and only heard the Quartermaster's Stores song in a children's CD long after my children were in adults.

I apologize for this off topic question, but I'm wondering if the source of the phrase "tommy gun" is the referent used by the Germans for British troops as described in Muttley's post on 10 Nov 06 - 05:53 AM:

"Just as the German term for British troops - and that included the Canadians as well (we all - Aussies, Canadians, Sth Africans, Poms etc - wore the same helmets - well after late 1915 we did anyway; up until then the Aussies ONLY wore the 'Slouch Hat'**)was "Tommy".


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Azizi
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 10:30 PM

I meant to also say thanks, GUEST,Ellie aged 10 for posting the version of The Quartermaster's Stores that you learned in school.

I like the idea of using songs to help children and adults learn about history.

Also, Ellie, please give my compliments to your teacher!


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Muttley
Date: 12 Nov 06 - 12:41 AM

Well Done Azizi: I too meant to compliment the young lady in question and her teacher. Plaease accept my expressions of being impressed.

In relation to the term "Tommy Gun"; referring to the automatic weapon, or sub-machine gun (meaning of course that it could be fired from the waist or shoulder as opposed to being tripod-mounted as a "true' machine gun would be)with the 'drum magazine mounted beneath the barrel.

The "Tommy" in this case refers not to the British Servicemen, or "Tommies" but instead to the inventor of the weapon. The actual name for the weapon was the THOMPSON Automatic Rifle - usually referred to as the Thompson machine / sub-machine gun: or in the vernacular - - - the 'Tommy Gun'!

Tommy being derived from Thompson

Muttley

PS - Liz - - - - What DO the Scots refer to handbags as? Maybe it's a term I have forgotten over the years.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: The Walrus
Date: 12 Nov 06 - 04:00 AM

Muttley,

May I be a little pedantic and correct one or two minor points

"...The French referred to them [The Germans] as 'Le Bosche',: The term the Brits later turned into "The Bosch" in WW2..."
The British soldier adopted 'Bosche' in the Great War (along with 'Allyman' and 'Fritz')

"...However, the MOST common term for the Germans among the British troops (which included the Indians, Sth Africans, New Zealanders and Australians - the Canadians, surprisingly, fought as Canadians. under their own flag) was simply "Jerry" (or Gerry) which later became 'The Jerries'..."
'Jerry'/'Gerry' appears late in the War, there are two scolls of thought as to its origin, one, that it is a contraction of "German" , a second is that it comes from the German stahlhelm of 1916, which. from its depth and general shape was thought by some to resemble an upturned chamber pot or "Jerry".
As it happens, I have never come across an Indian account of the Great War which refers to 'Jerries'+. After the early stages of the War, the majority of the Indian Divisions seem to have been used in the fight against the Turks.

"...AS Gallipoli began in April 1915, NO Digger heading to that battlefield was issued a helmet - or 'Tin Hat'. The only Tin Hats worn at Gallipoli were worn by the English troops and some Turks - even most of the Turks had cloth ones...".
'Fraid not. There were no steel helmets worn during the Gallipoli campaign. The British steel helmet (or 'Brodie Helmet') wasn't introduced into service until well after the troopps were withdrawn from the Gallipoli campaign and then only as "Trench Stores"*, not becoming 'general issue' until early 1916 (the first major action involving the steel helmet was the Battle of the Somme).
The only helmets worn by the Allies** at Gallipoli were Pith helmets.

Walrus

+ That's not to say there aren't any, just that I've never seen one
* Passed from outgoing troops to incomers, handed over with the trenches and accounted for along with grenades, wire etc.
** British, ANZAC, Newfoundlander, Gurkha, Indian and French (I can't remember if the South Africans were involved or whether they went straight to France).


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,geribuni
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 11:57 AM

I knew a song with "my eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me"   and then "there are ants, ants, ants, ants, ants with purple pants at the store, at the store, there are ants, ants, ants, ants, with purple pants at the corner master, corner master store.

is this the same song with bees with dirty knees, girls with lots of curls, and boys with lots of toys?   the curiosity is killing me and I am looking for additional stanzas


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Rog Peek
Date: 05 Mar 08 - 06:00 PM

A verse we always sang which I've not seen here:

There was butter, butter,
Floating in the gutter

In the stores.............

Rog


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Mar 08 - 08:51 AM

Joe Offer's list from Palmer's book makes it sound as though this is a composite like Muttley's, but it is in fact entirely from a single version - that of Gordon Hall. There is a recording of it on Veteran Tapes VT121 if you can lay your hands on one.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Suffolk Miracle
Date: 06 Mar 08 - 08:53 AM

Sorry. Last one was mine. Why can't one of the tame nerds fix this so you can't sent anything without filling in the From box?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,cchilvers
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 04:28 AM

I remember this song from my childhood, it was in a book along with some other creepy songs!
I remember eggs running round with legs,
Jelly sliding on its belly,
Cheese crawling on its knees,
Rats wearing hats?
And me and my sister would make up a lot ourselves,
Lions holding great big irons!
I'm so pleased this has been refreshed in my mind!
X


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 05:21 AM

The first verse I ever heard for this song, from my father about 1935-6 (he would always sing while I watched him shaving & this was one of those songs, along with "When I am dead don't bury me at all, Just pickle my bones in alcohol", "She sat in a veranda & played her guitar", "Riding up from Bangor" &c &c), was "There was cheese, cheese, Hairy as your knees" ~~ so no more green as peas, mouldy rotten cheese, or any such, please. "Hairy as your knees" it has to be!

♥♫❤Michael❤♫♥


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: Jack Campin
Date: 17 Nov 10 - 06:58 AM

The tune for "The Quartermaster's Store" is the second part of the Pathan War March, "Zachmi Dil"("The Wounded Heart"), used by pipe bands in the British Army since they learned it from the Afghans in 1880 (the song was in pidgin Hindustani, not Pushtu).. The tune is printed in _Cabar Feidh_, the regimental tunebook of the Seaforths and Camerons.

But. That march is two unrelated tunes glued together (the first in 6/8, the second in 2/4), and maybe the gluing took place long after the first tune was adopted. I haven't yet looked at 19th century cources for it. It seems that "Power in the Blood" dates from 1899, well after that Afghan campaign song. The fragmentary words Lewis Winstock quotes in _Songs and Music of the Redcoats_ for "Zachmi dil" are for the 2/4 part, though:

There's a boy across the river with a bottom like a peach
Alas, I cannot swim.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: sisywisy
Date: 26 Apr 11 - 06:25 PM

sisywisy
There were snakes, snakes big as garden rakes
.
.
.
There were rats, rats big as alley cats


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,gecko
Date: 19 Aug 12 - 02:53 AM

I remember singing this song on school outings in southern England in the early 1950s, in the coach coming home. The first part was always about each girl in turn--improvised lyrics such as (I'm just making these up): "There was Mary, Mary, acting quite contrary, in the stores . . ." They were (I think) rather silly and sometimes a bit vulgar. Chorus was: "My eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me . . ." And half the girls sang descant on the repeat of the last line.

Thank you for all the amusing lyrics; made our versions seem rather tame now.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Hamish
Date: 21 Nov 12 - 08:26 AM

II remember singing this on bushwalking trips in Melbourne, Australia in the late 1960's. However we often used to sing "In the Paddy Pallin store" instead of "in the Quatermaster's store". Paddy Pallin was a bushwalker who established a well known business in Australia making and selling bushwalking gear including, rucksacks, tents etc.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Quartermaster's Stores
From: GUEST,Rebecca
Date: 15 Nov 13 - 12:05 PM

We were taught this song in school, along with many other popular WWII songs, to sing on Liberation Day. It was a favourite because it made us laugh. We also sang the chorus- my eyes are dim, I cannot see, I have not brought my specs with me, etc.

The lines I remember best were buns, buns, bullets for the guns and cats, cats, big as bloomin' (better alternative for youngsters than bloody) cats.


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Mudcat time: 1 September 7:17 AM EDT

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