Music to Understand Revolutionary Times – “The Cruel War”

This beautiful melody was written a very long time ago.  It was played during the American Civil War in 1865, and was probably played during the American Revolutionary War in 1776.  Listen to the melody and read the lyrics.  What feelings do you think the author wished to convey?  Please share your thoughts below in the comment box.

Click here to listen

The cruel war is raging
Johnny has to fight
I want to be with him
From morning till night

I’m counting the minutes
The hours and the days,
Oh Lord, stop the cruel war,
For this, my heart prays.

I made my decision,
I will join up too,
Oh Johnny, dear Johnny,
I’ll soon be with you.

We women are fighters,
We can help you win,
Oh Johnny, I’m hoping,
That they’ll take me in.

Repeat first verse

Click here to view the YouTube video sang by Peter, Paul and Mary

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Music to Understand Revolutionary Times – “The World Turned Upside Down”

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It is believed that this song was played by the British troops when General Cornwallis surrendered to General George Washington on , effectively ending the American Revolutionary War.  Can you imagine the British troops in their bright scarlet uniforms marching to this song?  Why do you think it was appropriate for the British to play this song at this time?

Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.

 Click Here to Listen!

Version 1
If buttercups buzz’d after the bee,
If boats were on land, churches on sea,
If ponies rode men and if grass ate the cows,
And cats should be chased into holes by the mouse,
If the mamas sold their babies
To the gypsies for half a crown;
If summer were spring and the other way round,
Then all the world would be upside down.

Version 2
Goody Bull and her daughter together fell out,
Both squabbled and wrangled and made a great rout.
But the cause of the quarrel remains to be told,
Then lend both your ears and a tale I’ll unfold.
Derry down, down, hey derry down,
Then lend both your ears and a tale I’ll unfold.

The old lady, it seems, took a freak in her head,
That her daughter, grown woman, might earn her own bread,
Self-applauding her scheme, she was ready to dance,
But we’re often too sanguine in what we advance.
Derry down, down, hey derry down,
But we’re often too sanguine in what we advance.

For mark the event, thus for fortune we’re cross,
Nor should people reckon without their good host,
The daughter was sulky and wouldn’t come to,
And pray what in this case could the old woman do?
Derry down, down, hey derry down,
And pray what in this case could the old woman do?

Zounds, neighbor, quoth pitt, what the devil’s the matter?
A man cannot rest in his home for your clatter
Alas, cries the daughter, Here’s dainty fine work,
The old woman grows harder than Jew or than Turk
Derry down, down, hey derry down,
The old woman grows harder than Jew or than Turk.

She be damned, says the farmer, and do her he goes
First roars in her ears, then tweaks her old nose,
Hello Goody, what ails you? Wake woman, I say,
I am come to make peace in this desperate fray.
Derry down, down, hey derry down,
I am come to make peace in this desperate fray.

Alas, cries the old woman, And must I comply?
I’d rather submit than the hussy should die.
Pooh, prithee, be quiet, be friends and agree,
You must surely be right if you’re guided by me,
Derry down, down, hey derry down,
You must surely be right if you’re guided by me.