Alexander Averin

Sunday, 8 August 2010

Song for a Sunday

 Mrs McGrath.

Just a song for a Sunday from the excellent Bob Springsteen Seeger Sessions, an uplifting CD if ever there was one. Play it if ever that black dog creeps in and he will soon be banished.  Not this one though, it is an anti-war song and they never disappear, I wish wars would though.

Mrs. McGrath," the sergeant said,
"Would you like a soldier
of your son, Ted?
With a scarlet cloak and a fine cocked hat,
Mrs. McGrath wouldn't you like that?"

Mrs. McGrath lived on the shore
And after seven years or more
she spied a ship come into the bay
with her son from far away

"Oh, Captain dear, where have you been.
Have you been out sailin' on the Mediteren'.
Have you any news of my son Ted.
Is he livin' or is he dead?"

Now came Ted without any legs
And in their place two wooden pegs
She kissed him a dozen times or two
Saying "My God Ted is it you?"

"Now were you drunk or were you blind
When you left your two fine legs behind?
Or was it walking upon the sea
That wore your two fine legs away?"

"No I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind.
a cannon ball on the fifth of May
Tore my two fine legs away."

"Now Teddy boy," the widow cried
"Your two fine legs was your mother's pride
Them stumps of a tree won't do at all
Why didn't you run from the cannon ball?"

All foreign wars, I do proclaim
Live on blood and a mother's pain
I'd rather have my son as he used to be
than the king of America and his whole navy


Toni aka irishlas said...

Great song. I love the singing of Sean Doyle and he does a great sean nos version of this.

Nora said...

That's such a sad song in that he has to explain to his mother how he could not outrun a cannon ball and that's why his lovely legs are gone. We do have to accept those crippled by war as if they are heroes and not incomplete people.

Frances said...

Cait, seeing this on Sunday evening, and again finding this site a place that very big thoughts are posted.

War. Fighting. Turmoil. Tension.

How long has all this been going on?

How long will it continue to go on.

Can any mother of a newborn change the world, or is this tendency to conflict too ingrained in the human animal?

The arts, and history books give us so many other ways to think about settling differences.

Growing up in the years of the cold war, and becoming an adult during the VietNam war era really gave my young mind a toss and turn.

Decades pass by and I truly do wonder why we don't give peace a chance.


Pondside said...

What a sad song and sad thought. Do you know the son Barratt's Privateers? It made me think of that.

Nan said...

Cait, do you know the Kinks' song - Some Mother's Son?