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Ta-Ra to Tooting

The Young 'uns
Language: English


Related Songs

David Guest
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2019
The ballad of Johnny Longstaff
Johnny-Longstaff
Lyrics taken from mudcat.org


The Ballad of Johnny Longstaff è un concept album preso da uno spettacolo di teatro folk che narra la storia di Johnny Longstaff, eroe della "working Class", l'avventura di un ragazzo che inizia mendicando per le strade arriva in Spagna nelle Brigate internazionali, passando per la partecipazione alle Hunger Marches e alla battaglia di Cable Street

Any Bread? - Carrying the Coffin - Hostel Strike - Cable Street - Robson’s Song - Ta-Ra to Tooting - Noddy - The Great Tomorrow - Ay Carmela - Paella - No Hay Pan - Trench Tales - Lewis Clive - David Guest - Over the Ebro - The Valley of Jarama



I got the idea for this song whilst on a ferry to Prince Edward Island in Canada in July 2017. I scribbled some verses down but only went back to them in November 2017 when we were back in Canada staying at a friend’s house in Calgary. There’s a little bit of Billy Connolly’s I Wish I Was in Glasgow somewhere in the tune. 
Johnny’s five mates were Jim Perry, Jack Brown, Les Hawesby Norman Horwood, and Ernest Harrison. The picture was taken on the day that Johnny left for Spain in September 1937. He didn’t have time to get it developed of course so he wouldn’t have carried it with him across the Channel as the song suggests but it was sent out to him in Spain and he did cherish it. 
We gather for the picture my five mates and me
Like dapper little devils, we are young and free
And I sit in the centre - the captain of the crew 
My coat is an old’un but my shirt is almost new 
And I sing ta-ra to Tooting and the lads I leave behind
For the train waits in the station and it’s time for me to ride
But I’ll take this tiny picture so wherever I may be 
There’ll be Jim and Jack and Ernie, Norman, Les and me. 

And as we left the city and the grey land turned to green
I thought about those young lads and the things we’d done and seen 
When we fought for the right to ramble the countryside all through 
When the fences were all old’uns but the land was almost new
And I’ll sing ta-ra to Tooting and the lads I left behind 
When we came to Newhaven there was one thing on my mind 
But I’ll take this tiny picture so wherever I may be
There’ll be Jim and Jack and Ernie, Norman, Les and me

As night fell on the Channel and the wind sang on the sea
I thought about those young lads and the times they sang with me
When our tongues told of freedom and every note rang true
And though our tunes were all old’uns our words were almost new
So I’ll sing ta-ra to Tooting and the lads I left behind
As morning broke on Dieppe and the sun began to shine
I’ll take this tiny picture so wherever I may be
There’ll be Jim and Jack and Ernie, Norman, Les and me. 

When the picture’s almost faded, when the memory’s almost gone
Will I sit then and wonder how we ever were so young? 
Will there be young lads somewhere whose hearts are just as true? 
When our old world has faded will theirs be almost new? 
Then I’ll cry ta-ra to Tooting and the lads I left behind
80 years before me or 80 years behind
And when all that’s left’s a picture whenever that may be
There’ll be Jim and Jack and Ernie, Norman, Les and me. 

Jim, Jack, Ernie, Norman, Les, me

Contributed by Dq82 - 2019/5/19 - 19:12



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