Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Trad Tuesday - The King's Shilling by Karan Casey and James Taylor

The King's Shilling is not a traditional song in that it was written by Ian Sinclair in the 1970's, but it certainly sounds like one. The lyrics are about young men who are talked into joining the military (taking the King's shilling) by quick talking recruiters. The lyrics are from the point of view of those left behind.

Oh, my love has left me wi bairnies twa
An that's the last o him I ever saw
He joined the army and he mairched tae war
He took the shilling, he took the shilling,
An he mairched tae war
Come laddies, come
Hear the cannon roar,
Tak the King's Shilling,
An we're aff tae war

Karan Casey has sung with many people, notably the Irish band Solas and with her husband, concertina player Niall Vallely. I've seen her sing with Solas and I was lucky to catch her solo in Dublin the last time I was in Ireland. Here she joins with James Taylor and her husband for this weeks Trad Tuesday.