Henry's Songbook

All original copyrights respected / For private use only

go to  de   Susannes Folksong-Notizen   English Notes  uk


  • (Trad)

    So right away, so right away
    So right away, Salonika
    Right away, my soldier boy

    My husband's in Salonika
    And I wonder if he's dead
    I wonder if he knows he has
    A kid with a foxy head

    Now when the war is over
    What will the slackers do
    They'll be all around the soldiers
    For the loan of a bob or two

    But when the war is over
    What will the soldiers do
    They'll be walking around with a leg-and-a-half
    And the slackers will have two

    And they tax their pound o' butter
    They tax their halfpenny bun
    But still with all their taxes
    They can't beat the bloody Hun

    And they tax th' old Coliseum
    They tax St Mary's Hall
    Why don't they tax the bobbies
    Wi' their backs ag'in' the wall

    But when the war is over
    What will the slackers do
    For every kid in Americay
    In Cork there will be two

    For they takes us out to Blarney
    They lays us on the grass
    They puts us in the family way
    And leaves us on our arse

    There's lino in the parlour
    And in the kitchen too
    A glass-backed chevonier
    That we got from Dicky Glue

    And before that I got married
    Sure I used to wear a shawl
    But now the war is over
    'Tis hanging in Jones' pawn

    And never marry a soldier
    A sailor or a Marine
    But keep your eye on the Sinn Fein boy
    With his yellow, white and green

    (as sung by Jimmy Crowley)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [19??:] Irishmen often served in the British Army during Napeolonic [sic!] times and for long after. There seemed an opportunity to get away from poverty and to grips with adventure by serving abroad. Not until the Boer war was a real effort made to resist recruiting, but many thousands of Irishmen fought in Europe during the war of 1914, despite agitation at home. The male population became to some extent divided between the man in uniform and those who felt that 'England's weakness is Ireland's opportunity.' One of the most attractive peculiarities of Irish balladmakers is to laugh at a situation when you can't do anything else about it; and so the following rather bawdy ballad became current in Cork during the first war. Eventually there were two versions - one by those involved in the war; and the other by those who sympathised with the volunteers. It is hard to say with whom some of the verses originated, because they could be a cynical reference either way [...]. There were many more verses as you can imagine: many unprintable. (James N. Healy, Ballads from the Pubs of Ireland)

  • [1977:] The name 'Salonika' in common with other World War I landmarks would have been well-known in the poorer parts of Cork City at the time, as many of the men were forced for economic reasons to enlist. This is an anti-recruiting song and the terms 'soldiers' and 'slackers' are used for those who enlisted and those who stayed at home. While the soldiers were away their wives received what was known as separation pay. These women were known as 'Separas' and were very much despised by the other women. Most of the verses of this song were collected from Mrs. Ronayne, grandmother of Mick Murphy of Stoker's Lodge. (Notes Jimmy Crowley, 'The Boys of Fair Hill')

  • [1990:] The Greek port of Salonika came to prominence in 1915 when it was used to mount and supply the Gallipoli expeditionary force. [The song] probably originated in Cork, but became known in the British Army (many of whose members were in any case Irish, especially during the First World War). The verse mentioning Sinn Fein was no doubt a later addition. (Palmer, Lovely War 102)

  • [1990:] The home fronts on both sides, too, had songs other than those produced for the halls or for recording, and one from Ireland (and perhaps therefore with an additional edge) exists in versions which indicate sympathy for the volunteers on the one hand and attack the notion of fighting for Britain on the other. Those verses of the song that are not, in fact, directed specifically against the war have an elegiac tone, a home-front response far from the rousing send-offs or the promises that the home fires will still be burning. [Three verses given, all included above, none indicating anti-British or elegiac moods.] (Murdoch, Fighting Songs 94f)

  • [1998:] From the female perspective, this political song from the First World War weighs the fortunes of the "Separa women" who received separation pay from the British government and the "Slacker women", a pejorative term for those who, for nationalist reasons, refused to join the war effort. I learned most of the verses from Mrs. Helena Ronayne, grandmother of Mick Murphy of [the band] Stokers Lodge.

    [News poster from WWI:] Increased separation allowances for soldiers' wives and children. From the 1st of March the Separation Allowances paid by the Government to the wives and children of soldiers have been increased, so that the total weekly payment to the family, if the soldier makes the usual allotment from his pay, is now as follows-

                           (a) Corporal or Private      (b) Sergeant
    Wife (a) 12/6 (b) 15/-
    Wife + 1 child (a) 17/6 (b) 20/-
    Wife + 2 children (a) 21/- (b) 23/6
    Wife + 3 children (a) 23/- (b) 25/6
    with an additional 2/- for each additional child.
    From the 1st February 1915, the Separation Allowance is payable for all children up to the age of 16 years. This includes adopted children. (Jimmy Crowley, notes 'Uncorked!')

  • [2000:] Tomas O Canainn included it in his 'Down Erin's Lovely Lee: Songs of Cork'. He notes that it is a Cork city song from the first world war, but gives no attribution. He suggests the reference to Sinn Fein in the last stanza reflects an additional verse to suit a new political situation. The only other information he gives is that the 'Dicky Glue' mentioned in the second last stanza was a pawnbroker and moneylender who had considerable difficulty in recovering his loans.

  • For Gallipoli see notes The Band Played Waltzin' Matilda, for general situation J. M. Winter, The Experience of World War I

Quelle: Ireland

go back de  S-Index uk

 Sammlung : Susanne Kalweit (Kiel)
Layout : Henry Kochlin  (Schwerin)

aktualisiert am 13.06.2002