The Men They Stand And Stay reel

Also known as High Germany.

There are 8 recordings of this tune.

The Men They Stand And Stay has been added to 18 tunebooks.

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Two settings

1
X: 1
T: The Men They Stand And Stay
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Dmin
A2|A2>D D2 C2 F2 G2>A A2|G2>F D2 D2 D6 C C|F2>F F G A2 c2 c<d2 c c |
c2 A2 G A B2|A6 A G|F2>F F G A2 c2 c<d2 c c|c2 A2 G2 F2|
G6 A G|F2 D D D2 C2 F2>G A2 A A|G2 F2 D2>D|D6 A A||
A2 D2 D2 A A-|A2 c2 (c =B) B B|=B2 A2 A2 G A|A6 A A|
A2 =B (c2 B c B)|d2 D<D2 D E|F2 F G E2 C D|D6 z|
2
X: 2
T: The Men They Stand And Stay
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Emin
B2 | B2 E2 |E2 D2 | EG B4 B2 | A2 G2 E3 D E6 BA |
G6 BA | G2 G2 GABc | d4 e2 dd | d2 B2 AB c2 |
B6 BA | G2 G2 GABc | d2 d2 e3 d | d2 B2 A2 G2 |
A6 GA | B2 E2 E3 D | EG B4 B2 | A2 G2 E3 D | E6 |]

Six comments

Lyrics - The Men They Stand and Stay

“I’m off to fight in Spain, my dear
So mind you stay at home
Poor timid girl, you’ve nought to fear
For maidens should not roam
‘Tis men who always bravely fight
Their courage wins the day
While the women shake and squeal with fright
And they always run away.”

CHORUS:
Yes the women run away, my lads
While the men they stand and stay
To be a soldier is to be a man
For it’s always been that way.


As off to Spain her dear one set
She bound up tight her hair
And she donned the boots and jacket
And soldier’s clothes did wear
And upon her head her hat she wore
With a rifle in her hand
She left as her love had done before
To fight in Spanish lands.

CHORUS:
Yes the women run away, my lads
While the men they stand and stay
To be a soldier is to be a man
For it’s always been that way.


Oh, many battles she did see
And man-to-man did fight
While countless men around her
They would turn and run in fright
In a soldier’s laugh you hear his fear
And you’ll see his shaking hands
For the men are not all they appear
When they fight in the Spanish lands.

CHORUS:
Do the women run away, my lads
While the men they stand and stay?
Is to be a soldier to be a man
Has it always been that way?


‘Twas there in Spain she caught a Frog
And had him by the throat
Then she saw he was her true love
Who’d fled, and turned his coat
She left him there and has not seen
Her true love since that day -
For all his pride and bravery
He could not stand and stay.


CHORUS:
Do the women run away, my lads
While the men they stand and stay?
Is to be a soldier to be a man
Has it always been that way?


Now all you men of glory
Afore you talk of pride
Just think upon her story
And the rifle by her side.
For every man who’ll stand and fight,
In the lands so far away
There’s a man who’ll run back home in fright
And a maid who’ll stand and stay.

CHORUS:
For some men they run away, my lads
And it’s always been that way
To be a soldier’s not to be a man
It’s to fight and stand and stay.

Lyrics - High Germany (as sung by Martin Carthy)

CHORUS IS OMMITTED

Oh Polly love, oh Polly,
The rout has now begun,
And we must go a-marchin’
To the beating of the drum;
Go dress yourself all in your best
And come along with me,
I’ll take you to the war, my love
In High Germany.

Oh Willie love, oh Willie,
Come list’ what I do say,
My feet they are so tender
I cannot march away;
And besides, my dearest Willie,
I am with a child by thee
Not fittin’ for the war, my love
In High Germany.

Oh I’ll buy for you a horse, my love
And on it you shall ride,
And all my delight shall be
In a-ridin’ by your side;
We’ll stop at every ale-house
And drink when we are dry
We’ll be true to one another,
Get married by and by.

Oh curséd be these cruel wars
That ever they did rise,
And out of the merry England
Press many a man likewise;
They pressed my true love from me,
Likewise my brothers three,
And sent them to the war, my love
In High Germany.

My friends I do not value,
Nor my foes I do not fear,
Now my love has left me
I wander far and near;
And when my baby it is born
And a-smilin’ on my knee,
I’ll think of lovely Willie,
In High Germany.

Oh Polly love, oh Polly,
The rout has now begun,
And we must go a-marchin’
To the beating of the drum;
Go dress yourself all in your best
And come along with me,
I’ll take you to the war, my love
In High Germany.

The men they stand…

There must be many many lyrics to this tune (the main one that I know is "High Germany". Does anyone have a name for the tune itself?

Chris

RE. Chris’ comment

"High Germany" is the name of the tune - it’s been found in records from around 1780, but the actual wars it refers to took place at the beginning of the 18th century.
I presume that "The Men They Stand and Stay" refers to the (Napoleonic) Peninsular War: 1807-1814 - hence the "Frog" reference. Rifles only came into more widespread use in the British Army by the end of the 18th century. I reckon the tune was hijacked and a chorus was added for "The Men They Stand and Stay" - I don’t know of any other sets of lyrics for the tune.

I put "The Men They Stand and Stay" first because of the chorus being there…And because I particularly like it :D

Does anyone know where it comes from? A friend of mine who does historical re-enactments sang it to me, but she doesn’t know where it came from…

Sorry!

Apologies: I got the ABC wrong, so it’s come out twice as fast… Hopefully it’s sorted now…

The Men They Stand And Stay, X:2

I knew this by its other name "High Germany". It has no connection with another songtune - My Love’s in Germany" which seems to have Scottish roots,