Music 1

Soldiers of the Queen

It's the soldiers of the Queen, my lads
Who've been, my lads, who've seen, my lads
In the fight for England's glory lads
When we've had to show them what we mean:
And when we say we've always won
And when they ask us how it's done
We'll proudly point to every one
Of England's soldiers of the Queen.

Words and music by Leslie Stuart, 1894.
Soldiers of the Queen

The Devil is Dead

Some say the Devil is dead,
The Devil is dead,
The Devil is dead,
Some say the Devil is dead
And some say 'tis blarney;
More say he rose again,
He rose again,
He rose again,
More say he rose again
And joined the British Army.

Irish traditional.

Dear Old Pal of Mine

All my life is empty, since I went away
Skies don't seem to be so clear
May some angel sentry, guard you while I stray
And fate be kind to join us some sweet day.

Oh, how I want you, dear old pal of mine
Each night and day I pray you're always mine
Sweetheart, may God bless you, angel hands caress you
While sweet dreams rest you, dear old pal of mine.
Lieut. Gitz Rice & Harold Robé, Dear Old Pal of Mine, 1918

Oft, in the Stilly Night

Oft, in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chain has bound me,
Fond Memory brings the light
Of other days around me;
The smiles, the tears,
Of boyhood's years,
The words of love then spoken;
The eyes that shone,
Now dimm'd and gone,
The cheerful hearts now broken!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chain hath bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.
Thomas Moore (1779-1852), published in National Airs, 1815
Second Verse
When I remember all
The friends, so link'd together,
I've seen around me fall
Like leaves in wintry weather;
I feel like one,
Who treads alone
Some banquet-hall deserted,
Whose lights are fled,
Whose garlands dead,
And all but he departed!
Thus, in the stilly night,
Ere Slumber's chain hath bound me,
Sad Memory brings the light
Of other days around me.

The Sea Around Us

The sea, oh the sea
is the gradh geal mo croide
Long may it stay between England and me
It's a sure guarantee
that some hour we'll be free
Oh thank God we're surrounded by water.

Dominic Behan, 1960s

gradh geal mo croide – Irish, "fair love of my heart".

Sister Susie's Sewing Shirts

Sister Susie's sewing shirts for soldiers
Such skill at sewing shirts
Our shy young sister Susie shows!

Some soldiers send epistles,
Say they'd sooner sleep in thistles
Than the saucy, soft, short shirts for soldiers
sister Susie sews.

Weston and Darewski, 1914.
Lyrics at First World

Keep the Home Fires Burning

Keep the Home Fires Burning,
While your hearts are yearning,
Though your lads are far away
They dream of home.
There's a silver lining
Through the dark clouds shining,
Turn the dark cloud inside out
'Til the boys come home.

Ivor Novello, Lena Ford, 1914.
Lyrics at First World

She is far from the land

She is far from the land, where her young hero sleeps,
And lovers are round her, sighing;
But coldly she turns from their gaze, and weeps,
For her heart in his grave is lying!
Thomas Moore (1779-1852), National Airs.
Lyrics at

The song tells the sadness of Sarah Curran, fiancée of the Irish patriot, Robert Emmet, who was executed in 1803 after an abortive rebellion. Her story can be read at Chest of

The Praties they grow small

Oh the praties they grow small, over here
Oh the praties they grow small
And way up in Donegal
We eat them skins and all,
over here, over here.
Oh, they'll grind us into dust, over here
Oh, they'll grind us into dust,
But the Lord in whom we trust
Will return us crumb for crust,
over here, over here

Irish traditional

Phil the Fluther's Ball

With the toot of the flute,
and the twiddle of the fiddle-O!
Hopping in the middle,
like a herrin' on the griddle-O!
Up! down, hands around,
crossing to the wall-O!
Hadn't we the gaiety
at Phil the Fluther's Ball.

Words and music by Percy French (1854-1920).
Lyrics at

Burlington Bertie from Bow

I'm Burlington Bertie, I rise at ten thirty
And saunter along like a toff
I walk down the Strand with my gloves on my hand
Then I walk down again with them off
I'm all airs and graces, correct easy paces
Without food so long I've forgot where my face is
I'm Bert, Bert, I haven't a shirt
But my people are well off you know.
Nearly everyone knows me
from Smith to Lord Rosebr'y,
I'm Burlington Bertie from Bow.

Words and music by William Hargreaves; first performed 1914 by his wife, Ella Shields. The song is a burlesque parody of an earlier "straight" song also called "Burlington Bertie" (Harry B. Norris, 1900), but which concerned the life of leisure of a moneyed young man. This parody portrays the unmoneyed leisure of a down-at-heels pretender to style.
Lyrics at Lyrics Playground

Dublin Fusiliers

With your left foot and right about face
this is the way we go
Charging with fixed bayonets
the terror of every foe.
A glory to old Ireland
as proud as buccaneers
A terror to creation are —
the Dublin Fusiliers.


Lyrics (updated somewhat by the Dubliners in the 1960s.)

Come Back to Erin

Come back to Erin, Mavourneen, Mavourneen;
Come back, Aroon, to the land of thy birth;
Come with the shamrocks and spring-time, Mavourneen,
And its Killarney shall ring with our mirth.

Over the green sea, Mavourneen, Mavourneen,
Long shone the white sail that bore thee away;
Riding the white waves that fair Summer mornin',
Just like a Mayflow'r afloat on the bay.

Words and music by Claribel (Charlotte Alington), 1866.