Songs for the First World War

by The Tubular Belles

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released October 27, 2014

Joining the Colours (poem) by Katharine Tynan (d. 1931)
Anthem for Doomed Youth (poem) by Wilfred Owen (d. 1918)

Music composed and recorded by Emily Rowan

The Tubular Belles are:
Martha Graham
Rachael Parkes
Fabia Preece
Emily Rowan
Ingrid Smith

Baritone Horn played by Katie Newton

Album art photo by Karen Roe (www.flickr.com/photos/karen_roe/)

With thanks to Van Wilson for inviting us to sing at the Guildhall in York for the launch of her book 'These Were Earth's Best: Voices of the First World War'.

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Emily Rowan York, UK

Emily Rowan is a singer, piano basher, uke toter and glitter addict. She plays theatrical, poppy, 'punk cabaret' songs, usually based on autobiographical scenes blown up to fairy tale-esque proportions. She also composes songs and sound tracks for theatre and other projects. ... more

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Track Name: Joining the Colours
Joining The Colours - by Katharine Tynan

There they go marching all in step so gay!
Smooth-cheeked and golden, food for shells and guns.
Blithely they go as to a wedding day,
The mothers' sons.

The drab street stares to see them row on row
On the high tram-tops, singing like the lark.
Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go
Into the dark.

With tin whistles, mouth-organs, any noise,
They pipe the way to glory and the grave;
Foolish and young, the gay and golden boys
Love cannot save.

High heart! High courage! The poor girls they kissed
Run with them : they shall kiss no more, alas!
Out of the mist they stepped-into the mist
Singing they pass.
Track Name: Anthem For Doomed Youth
Anthem For Doomed Youth - Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.
Track Name: Joining The Colours (live at York Guildhall 16 july 2014)
Joining The Colours - by Katharine Tynan

There they go marching all in step so gay!
Smooth-cheeked and golden, food for shells and guns.
Blithely they go as to a wedding day,
The mothers' sons.

The drab street stares to see them row on row
On the high tram-tops, singing like the lark.
Too careless-gay for courage, singing they go
Into the dark.

With tin whistles, mouth-organs, any noise,
They pipe the way to glory and the grave;
Foolish and young, the gay and golden boys
Love cannot save.

High heart! High courage! The poor girls they kissed
Run with them : they shall kiss no more, alas!
Out of the mist they stepped-into the mist
Singing they pass.
Track Name: Anthem For Doomed Youth (live at York Guildhall 16 July 2014)
Anthem For Doomed Youth - Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.

What candles may be held to speed them all?
Not in the hands of boys, but in their eyes
Shall shine the holy glimmers of goodbyes.
The pallor of girls' brows shall be their pall;
Their flowers the tenderness of patient minds,
And each slow dusk a drawing-down of blinds.