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Arthur McBride

anonimo


Lingua: Inglese



[XIX secolo]
Scottish and Irish Folkballad
Ballata popolare scozzese e irlandese
La versione qui riportata, assunta come standard, è quella interpretata da Martin Carthy.

score


Fa una certa impressione trovare ancora, in una canzone antimilitarista, il cognome "McBride"; così pure si chiama, lo ricordiamo, William McBride, il soldato diciannovenne la cui storia è narrata in The Green Fields Of France (No Man's Land), una delle CCG fondamentali. Ma il McBride di questa famosa ballata tradizionale non ha ovviamente nulla a che fare con lo sfortunato soldato semplice della canzone di Eric Bogle (che pure è scozzese di nascita; ma il cognome "McBride" è comunissimo da quelle parti).

Per la storia, assai complessa, di questa canzone, riportiamo quanto scritto da Suzanne in (Folksong-Notizen):


[1909:] Learned in boyhood - air & words - from hearing the people all round me sing it. The words have never been published: but I have a dim recollection of seeing them in early days printed on a ballad-sheet. There is a setting of the air (different from mine) in Stanford-Petrie, and marked there (by Petrie) as from Donegal. Coupling this record with the phraseology, I am disposed to think that the whole song belongs to Donegal. But how it made its way to Limerick [Joyce's hometown] is more than I can tell. (P. W. Joyce, 'Old Irish Folk Music and Song')

[1967:] By no means all country workers were credulous bumpkins, as Arthur McBride shows, that most good-natured, mettlesome, and un-pacifistic of anti-militarist songs. It has been a remarkably widespread and well-favoured piece. Patrick Joyce learnt it in Limerick during his boyhood in the early 1840s, and around the same time George Petrie received a version from a Donegal correspondent. Sam Fone [...] remembered it as his father's favourite in Devon in the 1830s, and he sang a good set of it to Baring-Gould in 1893. The song had made its way to the Scottish north-east during the latter half of the century, and Gavin Greig recorded a version, 'Scotticized to some extent', from Alexander Robb, his school caretaker at New Deer, Aberdeenshire. More recently, a singer from Walberswick, Suffolk, recorded it for the BBC early in 1939. [...]

Throughout the whole period from the Restoration to the accession of Victoria - that is, during the liveliest time of folk song creation - the discipline of army and navy was brutal and callous, ruled by the lash. [...]

Desperate recruitment, barbarous treatment, low pay (fixed after the Restoration at eightpence a day for foot soldiers, and so it remained for 123 years regardless of the raised cost of living). [...] (Lloyd, England 239ff)

[1969:] I have always assumed that this highly subversive song was from East Anglia, but in fact I don't know. It is probably 18th century in origin and I learned it from Redd Sullivan. (Notes Martin Carthy, 'Prince Heathen')

[1976:] After the landlord's agent, probably one of the most hated persons in Ireland was the recruiting sergeant. The Irish peasant, destitute of worldly possessions and ground down by poverty, was forced of necessity to fight for a power which he despised. The balladmaker, being aware of this, was not slow to express his feelings in some of his most vicious ballads, always with a sarcastic edge. The earlier ballads such as this one, Mrs McGrath, The Kerry Recruit and Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye, set the tone for the later anti-recruiting songs such as Sergeant William Bailey and The Tipperary Recruiting Sergeant, written during the 1914-18 war, when England was attempting to enforce conscription in Ireland. The sarcasm of the song cannot hide the terrible conditions under which soldiers were forced to serve after they had accepted the shilling, and Arthur's words "I would not be proud of your clothes ...", are only too true, when one considers that twenty-five lashes with the cat-o'-nine-tails was the minimum punishment and a staggering 1500, the legal maximum. All this for eightpence a day. The song was collected in Limerick by P.W. Joyce about 1840. On account of its phraseology, he was disposed to think that it came from Donegal. The version sung here by Paul is one which he heard in America. (Frank Harte, notes 'Andy Irvine & Paul Brady')

[1977:] The reference to 'a shilling a day' [not in the above versions] must date the song to the nineteenth century, but it has all the economy and directness of the older traditional ballads. [...] The song presumably originated in Ireland, but it was also known in England and Scotland. Our version [close to all the above, but with Arthur McBride the name of the recruiting sergeant] is from the north-east of Scotland, where it was taken by migrant harvesters from Ireland, and became a favourite in the farm bothies. (Palmer, Soldier 56f)

[1988:] This famous song would appear to me to have originated in Donegal or in Scotland. Its popularity was such that it travelled to England and America [...]. The recruiting sergeant and his party must have been a curse to the common people of Ireland at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, especially as most of them would have had more sympathy with Napoleon than with the British. (Andy Irvine, Aiming for the Heart 13)
I once knew a fellow called Arthur McBride
And his pleasure was walking down by the seaside
A-walking, a-talking, a-viewing the tide
If the weather was pleasant and charming
So gay and so gallant we went on a tramp
We met Sergeant Harper and Corporal Cramp
And the bonnie little drummer who roused up the camp
With his rowdedowdow in the morning

What ho, my good fellows, the sergeant did cry
The same to you, sergeant, we made to reply
There was nothing more said and we made to pass by
All on that bright summer's morning
What ho, my good fellows, if you would enlist
Ten guineas in gold I would slap in your fist
And a crown in the bargain to kick up the dust
And to drink the King's health in the morning

Oh no my good sergeant, we are not for sale
Though we're fond of our country your bribes won't avail
Though we're fond of our country we care not to sail
For we are the boys of the morning
If you would insult me without any word
I swear by my king I would draw my broad sword
And I'd run through your body as strength me afford
Ere you could breathe out the morning

We laid the little drummer as flat as a shoe
We made a football of his rowdedowdoo
The sergeant, the corporal, we knocked out the two
For we were the boys of the morning
And as for the weapons that hung by their side
We flung them as far as we could in the tide
And the devil go with you, says Arthur McBride
For spoiling our walk in the morning.

inviata da Riccardo Venturi - 12/11/2005 - 23:38




Lingua: Italiano

Versione italiana di Riccardo Venturi
13 novembre 2005
ARTHUR McBRIDE

Conoscevo una volta un tipo di nome Arthur McBride
che gli piaceva passeggiare sulla riva del mare
camminando, chiacchierando e guardando la marea.
Se il tempo era bello e piacevole, allegri e fieri
ce ne andavamo giù a fare una camminata,
e incontrammo il sergente Harper e il caporal Cramp
e il bel tamburino che dava la sveglia al campo
con il suo ratatatataplàn, al mattino

« Ehilà, salve, brava gente ! », urlò il sergente,
« Salve a voi, sergente ! », noi gli rispondemmo.
Nessuno più disse nulla e facemmo per passar oltre
in quella splendida mattina d’estate.
« Ehilà, brava gente, se vi arruolaste
vi schiafferei dritte in mano dieci ghinee d’oro,
nell’affare ci metto pure una corona (*) per incentivo
e per bere alla salute del Re stamattina . »

« Oh, no, mio buon sergente, noi non siamo in vendita,
anche se amiamo il nostro paese, le vostre esche non funzionano,
anche se amiamo il nostro paese, non ce ne importa di partire
perché siamo i ragazzi del mattino.
Se voi mi insultaste con una qualche parola
giuro sul mio re che sguainerei la mia grossa spada
e ve la infilerei tutta nel corpo con tutta la mia forza
prima che poteste espirare l’aria del mattino. »

Il tamburino, lo spedimmo diritto a terra come un sacco di patate
e col suo ratatatataplàn ci facemmo una partita di calcio,
il sergente e il caporale li spedimmo pure a gambe all’aria
perché eravamo i ragazzi del mattino.
E quanto alle armi che pendevano ai loro fianchi,
le buttammo in mare, il più lontano che potemmo,
« E che il diavolo vi prenda, », dice Arthur McBride,
« per averci guastato la passeggiata del mattino. »

13/11/2005 - 01:23




Lingua: Inglese (Irish)

La versione di Andy Irvine eseguita dai Planxty
Andy Irvine's Version as performed by Planxty

da/from The Mudcat Café




This song was sung by Paul Brady and recorded by him and Andy Irvine on a terrific LP called "Paul Brady & Andy Irvine." It was originally on the Mulligan label and, later, on Green Linnet, I believe. Paul used to live here in New York. Anytime he used to sing "Arthur McBride" at a session, people would come running up and downstairs and from all over to hear it. There was never any question that it was a great song and that he did it masterfully. It is an Irish anti-recruiting song, of course, and, I could be wrong about this, but I believe the actual source was a book of New England (possibly Maine or Vermont) folk songs. It just turned up there.

I looked at the DigiTrad database under "Arthur McBride" and found 3 versions. The second one, ARTHUR McBRIDE & THE SARGEANT, is very close to what you want. I have Paul's recording in storage so I can't give you the very words he uses. Perhaps someone will type them out for you if you really need them.

All the best, Dan
ARTHUR McBRIDE AND THE SEARGEANT

I had a first cousin called Arthur McBride
he and I took a stroll down by the seaside
a seeking good fortune and what might the tide
it was just as the day was a dawning
And after we rested we went on a tramp
we met Seargeant Napper and Corporal Cramp
and a little wee drummer who beat up our camp
with his rowdy dou dou in the morning

He said my young fellows if you will enlist
a guinea you quickly shall have in your fist
and besides a crown for to kick up the dust
and drink the King's health in the morning
but had we been such fools as to take the advance
the wee bit of money we'd have to run chance
do you think it no scuples for to send us to France
where we would be killed in the morning

He says my young fellows if I hear but one word
instantly now will out with my sword
and into your bodies as strength might afford
so now me gay devils take warning
but Arthur and I we soon took the odds
and we gave them no chance for to draw out their swords
our wacking shillelaghs came over their heads
and paid them right smart in the morning

As for the wee drummer we rifled his pouch
and we made a football of his rowdy dou dou
and into the ocean for to rock and to roll and
barring the day its returning
as for the ould rapier that hung by his side
we flung as far as we could in the tide
To the divil I pitch you says Arthur McBride
to temper your edge in the morning.

inviata da Riccardo Venturi - 13/11/2005 - 01:31




Lingua: Scozzese

La versione contenuta nelle "Songs of Northeast" di Gavin Greig, incisa da David Jones in "Easy and Slow", e da Carthy e Swarbrick in "Prince Heathen"

From Gavin Greig's "Songs of Northeast"
Recorded on David Jones' "Easy and Slow"
and Carthy and Swarbrick, "Prince Heathen"

da/from The Mudcat Café
ARTHUR McBRIDE

I once had a comrade named Arthur McBride
as we were a-walking along the seaside
As we were a-walking to bathe in the tide
It was on a fine summer's morning

As we were awalking along the sea sand
We met Sergeant Napier and Corporal O'Hand
And a little wee drummer called Patrick McDan
They were going to the fair in the morning

O Arthur, my lad, if you would but list
Five guineas in gold I would clap in your fist
Besides five shilling to kick up the dust
And drink the king's health in the morning

Na faith, says Arthur, I ken it mysel'
I winna gae wi you to rin at your tail
I winna gae wi you to rin at your tail
And be at your command in the morning

O, if you go with us, I'm sure you'll go clean
We're not like poor fellows goes dirty and mean
We're not like poor fellows goes dirty and mean
Gets nothing but gruel in the morning

Ye needna be chattin' aboot your fine pay
As you go a-marchin' and trampin' away
For all that ye hae is a shilling a day
To get you some chat in the morning

Ye needna be chattin' aboot your fine clothes
Ye've only the len o them as I suppose
Ye daurna sell them in spite o your nose
Or you will get flogged in the morning

I'm blessed said the sergeant, if I'll take more of that
From you or from any young cow-feeding brat
And if you tip me any more of your chat
I will run you thru in the morning

But before they time to draw out their blades
Our whacking shillelaghs came over their heads
We soon let them see that we were their blades
That could temper their pows in the morning

As for the wee drummer we tempered his pow
And made a football o his row-didi-dow
And kicket it in to the ocean to row
And take a bit bathe in the morning

And as for the weapons that hung by their sides
We took them and pitched them far out in the tide
May the deil gae wi them, said Arthur McBride
If ever we see them returning.

inviata da Riccardo Venturi - 13/11/2005 - 01:39




Lingua: Inglese

La versione interpretata da Paul Brady

ARTHUR MCBRIDE AND THE SERGEANT

Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride
As we went a-walking down by the seaside
Now, mark what followed and what did betide
For it being on Christmas morning...
Out for recreation, we went on a tramp
And we met Sergeant Napper and Corporal Vamp
And a little wee drummer, intending to camp
For the day being pleasant and charming.

"Good morning ! Good morning!" the sergeant did cry
"And the same to you gentlemen!" we did reply ,
Intending no harm but meant to pass by
For it being on Christmas morning.
But says he, "My fine fellows if you will enlist,
It's ten guineas in gold I will slip in your fist
And a crown in the bargain for to kick up the dust
And drink the King's health in the morning.

For a soldier he leads a very fine life
And he always is blessed with a charming young wife
And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife
And always lives pleasant and charming...
And a soldier he always is decent and clean
In the finest of clothing he's constantly seen
While other poor fellows go dirty and mean
And sup on thin gruel in the morning."

"But", says Arthur, "I wouldn't be proud of your clothes
For you've only the lend of them as I suppose
And you dare not change them one night, for you know
If you do you'll be flogged in the morning.
And although that we are single and free
we take great delight in our own company
And we have no desire strange faces to see
Although that your offers are charming
And we have no desire to take your advance
All hazards and dangers we barter on chance
For you would have no scruples for to send us to France
Where we would get shot without warning"

"Oh now!", says the sergeant "I'll have no such chat
And I neither will take it from spalpeen or brat
For if you insult me with one other word
I'll cut off your heads in the morning"
And then Arthur and I we soon drew our hods
And we scarce gave them time for to draw their own blades
When a trusty shillelagh came over their heads
And bade them take that as fair warning

And their old rusty rapiers that hung by their side
We flung them as far as we could in the tide
"Now take them out, Divils!", cried Arthur McBride
"And temper their edge in the morning".
And the little wee drummer we flattened his pow
And we made a football of his rowdeydowdow
Threw it in the tide for to rock and to row
And bade it a tedious returning

And we having no money, paid them off in cracks
And we paid no respect to their two bloody backs
For we lathered them there like a pair of wet sacks
And left them for dead in the morning.
And so to conclude and to finish disputes
We obligingly asked if they wanted recruits
For we were the lads who would give them hard clouts
And bid them look sharp in the morning.

Oh me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride
As we went a walkin' down by the seaside,
Now mark what followed and what did betide
For it being on Christmas morning.

21/4/2010 - 22:02




Lingua: Inglese

Versione con parole differenti ma basata sulla stessa storia, da A.L.LLoyd, "Singing Englishmen".

Same story; different words. From Singing Englishmen, A.L.
Lloyd.

da/from The Mudcat Café
ARTHUR McBRIDE

I once had a brother called Arthur McBride
And he and I wandered adown the seaside;
Our pleasure and pastime a-watchin' the tide,
And the weather was pleasant & charmin'.
So gaily and gallant we went on a tramp,
We met Sergeant Napier & Corp'ral Demant,
'And the neat little drummer that roused all the camp
And beat row-de-dow-dow in the mornin'.

"Good morning, young fellows," the sergeant did cry
"The same to you, sergeant," we made a reply.
Was nothing more spoken, we made to pass by
It was all on a Christmas Day mornin'.
"Come, come, my fine fellows, I pray you enlist
Ten guineas in gold I will slap in your fist
And a crown in the bargain to kick up the dust
For to drink the king's health in the morning

"Oh no, Mister Sergeant, we are not for sale
We make no such bargain, your bribe won't avail.
We're fond of our country, & care not to sail
Tho' your offers look pleasant & charmin'."
"Ha, if you insult me without other words
I swear by the devil we'll draw out our swords
And thrust thro' your bodies as strength us affords
And leave you to die without warnin'."

We beat the bold drummer as flat as his shoe
We made a football of his row-de-dow-do;
And the sergeant and corporal we knocked down the two
O, we were the boys in that mornin'.
The two little weapons that hung at their side
As we trotted away, we threw into the tide,
"And the devil be with you," said Arthur McBride
"For delayin' our walk in the mornin."

inviata da Riccardo Venturi - 13/11/2005 - 01:44


...ballata meravigliosa...non esiste nesuno che faccia più queste cose...quindi bisogna custodirle come un tesoro prezioso...però vedo che manca la versione di Bob Dylan dall'album Good as I Been To You...davvero imperdibile...

Appena inserita qua sotto (Lorenzo)

francesco - 24/6/2006 - 00:49




Lingua: Inglese

Versione cantata da Bob Dylan
dall'album "Good as I Been To You" (1992)

ARTHUR MCBRIDE

Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride,
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside,
Mark now what followed and what did betide,
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'
Now, for recreation, we went on a tramp,
And we met Sergeant Napper and Corporal Vamp
And a little wee drummer intending to camp,
For the day bein' pleasant and charmin'.

"Good morning, good morning," the Sergeant he cried.
"And the same to you, gentlemen," we did reply,
Intending no harm but meant to pass by,
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'
"But," says he, "My fine fellows, if you will enlist,
Ten guineas in gold I'll stick to your fist,
And a crown in the bargain for to kick up the dust,
And drink the king's health in the morning.

"For a soldier, he leads a very fine life,
And he always is blessed with a charming young wife,
And he pays all his debts without sorrow or strife,
And he always lives pleasant and charmin',
And a soldier, he always is decent and clean,
In the finest of clothing he's constantly seen.
While other poor fellows go dirty and mean,
And sup on thin gruel in the morning."

"But," says Arthur, "I wouldn't be proud of your clothes,
For you've only the lend of them, as I suppose,
But you dare not change them one night, for you know
If you do, you'll be flogged in the morning,
And although that we're single and free,
We take great delight in our own company,
We have no desire strange places to see,
Although that your offers are charming.

"And we have no desire to take your advance,
All hazards and dangers we barter on chance,
For you'd have no scruples for to send us to France,
Where we would get shot without warning,"
"Oh no," says the Sergeant. "I'll have no such chat,
And neither will I take it from snappy young brats,
For if you insult me with one other word,
I'll cut off your heads in the morning."

And Arthur and I, we soon drew our hogs,
And we scarce gave them time to draw their own blades
When a trusty shillelagh came over their head
And bid them take that as fair warning.
And their old rusty rapiers that hung by their sides,
We flung them as far as we could in the tide,
"Now take them up, devils!" cried Arthur McBride,
"And temper their edge in the mornin'!"

And the little wee drummer, we flattened his bow,
And we made a football of his rowdy-dow-dow,
Threw it in the tide for to rock and to roll,
And bade it a tedious returning,
And we havin' no money, paid them off in cracks.
We paid no respect to their two bloody backs,
And we lathered them there like a pair of wet sacks,
And left them for dead in the morning.

And so, to conclude and to finish disputes,
We obligingly asked if they wanted recruits,
For we were the lads who would give them hard clouts
And bid them look sharp in the mornin'.

Oh, me and my cousin, one Arthur McBride,
As we went a-walkin' down by the seaside,
Mark now what followed and what did betide,
For it bein' on Christmas mornin'

24/6/2006 - 11:42




Lingua: Italiano

Versione italiana di Michele Murino della versione cantata da Bob Dylan

da "Maggie's Farm"
ARTHUR MC BRIDE

Oh, io e mio cugino, Arthur McBride,
ce ne andavamo passeggiando sulla riva del mare
Ora prestate attenzione al mio racconto ed a ciò che accadde,
Era la mattina di Natale
e per divertimento ce ne andavamo vagabondando
quando incontrammo il Sergente Napper ed il Caporale Vamp,
ed un minuto tamburino, pronti ad accamparsi
perchè la giornata era bella ed incantevole

"Buon giorno, buon giorno" gridò il Sergente
"Altrettanto a voi, signori" rispondemmo
"Non vogliamo importunarvi ma solo passare
perchè è la mattina di Natale"
"Ma" rispose "Miei cari amici, se vi arruolerete
vi darò dieci ghinee d'oro in contanti
ed un contratto di una corona per sollevare la polvere
ed un brindisi alla salute del re la mattina

"Perchè un soldato conduce una bella vita
ed è sempre felice accanto ad una giovane ed affascinante moglie
e paga tutti i suoi debiti senza dolore o tormento
e vive sempre in maniera piacevole ed affascinante
E un soldato è sempre vestito bene e ben pulito
e lo si vede sempre indossare gli abiti più belli
Mentre gli altri poveracci se ne vanno in giro sporchi e volgari
e bevono pessima brodaglia al mattino"

"Ma" disse Arthur, "Io non sarei orgoglioso dei vostri vestiti,
perchè li avete solo in prestito, suppongo,
ma non osate cambiarveli una notte perchè sapete
che se lo fate sarete frustati al mattino
E benchè noi siamo soli e liberi
traiamo grande gioia dalla nostra sola compagnia
e non abbiamo desiderio di vedere strani posti
sebbene le vostre offerte siano allettanti"

"E non abbiamo desiderio di incassare la vostra caparra,
in cambio dei rischi e pericoli della sorte
perchè voi non avreste scrupoli a mandarci in Francia
dove ci sparerebbero senza avviso"
"Oh no" disse il Sergente "Io non uso un simile linguaggio
E nemmeno lo accetterò da due stizzosi marmocchi
Perciò se mi insulterete con un'altra sola parola
Vi taglierò la testa"

Arthur ed io estraemmo subito le nostre spade
e quasi non gli lasciammo il tempo di estrarre le loro lame
quando un fedele shillelagh arrivò sopra le loro teste***
come un chiaro avvertimento
E le loro vecchie spade arruginite che pendevano dal loro fianco
le gettammo il più lontano possibile nella corrente
"Adesso andatevele a raccogliere, diavoli!" gridò Arthur McBride
"Ed affilatele nel mattino!"

Quanto al piccolo tamburino, gli spezzammo le bacchette
e facemmo un pallone del suo tamburo
e lo gettammo nella corrente ad ondeggiare ed oscillare
per impedire che tornasse a tediarci
E poichè non avevamo denaro li ripagammo bastonandoli
e non avemmo riguardo delle loro schiene sanguinanti
e glie ne demmo un sacco e una sporta
e li lasciammo per morti nella mattina

E così per concludere e porre fine alla disputa
chiedemmo loro cortesemente se cercavano reclute,
perchè noi eravamo i ragazzini che avrebbero dato loro sonori ceffoni
ordinandogli di far presto al mattino

Oh, io e mio cugino, Arthur McBride,
ce ne andavamo passeggiando sulla riva del mare
Ora prestate attenzione al mio racconto ed a ciò che accadde,
Era la mattina di Natale
NOTA

*** shillelagh: sorta di mazza corta usata come arma di difesa. Prende il nome da un villaggio Irlandese di cui la parola è originaria

24/6/2006 - 11:44


guardatevi la versione definitiva di paul brady. senza offesa per dylan ma è molto meglio.

Fede - 10/2/2010 - 21:42


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