Author Topic: Poor Scouser Tommy - old fan input required  (Read 1744 times)

Offline Rushian

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Poor Scouser Tommy - old fan input required
« on: February 25, 2002, 10:59:38 pm »
PST - been there sung that. A modern day standard (though sung too fast in the ground). Now been interested in digging out the history of this song for a while to write "The evolution of PST" for raotl.
1, 2, 3, 4 ... The Rush scored 1 etc can be dated easily (though does anyone know who added it and exactly when?)

I am a Liverpudlian - written by Pete "Jig" Daly and dates from the late 60s. Pete descended upon the RAOTL one day last year like a Golden Angel providing the priginal unexpurgiated lyrics - does anyone have a copy (Red in Holland/mb?) - Braces and Boots then filled in a few details about the lad and his antics on the Kop.

Now the first few verses. Seem to have been added in the mid 70s onto the I am a Liverpudlian from what I remember Al Edge saying once - again any further confirmation would be nice.

The tune is Red River Valley. I've done quite a bit of digging on this and have sections on the dispute of whther it is Canadian or American song from the 1860s, I have the first published lyrics from 1890s and also an alternative disputed early version In the Bright Mohawk Valley (which came first the redriver or the mohawk?).

Now how did this American folk tune morph into PST? I have searched and searched on Army/WWII song sites for an original of this without success. I've found a Vietnam version sung by American GIs which is obviously too late.

Someone did suggest it may originate from the spanish civil war - dig a bit further and I hit pay dirt and find a song called Jarama Valley and unearthed a recording by Woodie Guthrie ....

There's a valley in Spain called Jarama / It's a place that we all know so well / It was there that we gave of our manhood / And there that our brave comrades fell

We are proud of the Lincoln Battalion / And the fight for Madrid that we made / Where we fought like true sons of the people / That Fascism never should reign

Now we're leaving this valley of sorrows / And its memories we'll never forget / So before we continue this reunion / Let us stand to our glorious dead

.... Again no striking similarities to PST but the feeling/emotion of this version ties in more with PST than any other clone. It's not hard to imagine Americans who had fought in Spain being billetted alongside British soldiers in WWII and PST evolving from Jarama Valley.

The only problem is I can find no evidence of this. There's a missing link somewhere.

So this is a call to arms. Has anyone any further info? Either on this link, the original Pete Daly post or anything else.

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Offline jambutty

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Re: Poor Scouser Tommy - old fan input required
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2008, 12:55:17 am »
A tad late, but................

In the 60s, every Brit, certainly every Scouser, knew the tune and words to Red River Valley.  It was a cowboy classic.  John Ford's 'Grapes of Wrath' movie, recordings by Woody Guthrie and Gene Autry (The Singing Cowboy) got the words known and in 1959 Johnny & the Hurricanes rockin' instrumental made the tune hip again.

The rest is Scouse history.
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