Thursday, May 12, 2011

Marching Song of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade

Words: Unknown
Tune: Trad (Marching Through Georgia)

We’re horsemen from Australia of the good old British breed,
We rallied to the colours when we heard the Empire’s need,
You bet we’re out to play the game, and if we don’t succeed,
We’ll join our mates who took the count before us.

We are, we are, the Third Light Horse Brigade.
We face the odds with ne’er a man afraid,
We lost our gallant comrades and there’s many a score unpaid,
Undaunted still we’re out for what’s before us.

Eighth, Ninth, Tenth, and Signallers, Field Ambulance and Train
We did our bit at Anzac, where we’d like to go again,
For though we got it in the NEK, we’ll fight with might and main,
To square our mates who took the count before us.

Send the news to Kitchener, tell Birdwood with a snap,
Say that we Australian boys are busting for a scrap.
We want to tackle Germany and wipe her off the Map,
Then toast our mates who took the count before us.

Lyrics and notes from the Desert Column site (Australian Military History of the Early 20th Century):

In an effort to rebuild the 3rd Light Horse Brigade after the withdrawal from Gallipoli in December 1915, the GOC, Brigadier General Antill turned to music to assist in the bonding process. Selecting the music to the popular American Civil War tune, "Marching through Georgia", was the easy part. To play the tune, the 8th Light Horse Regiment band was reconstituted and began rehearsing on 12 January 1916. Within in two days, the band gave their first performance. To generate additional enthusiasm, on 16 January 1916, Antill announced a competition for an aspiring poet within the Brigade to put words to the tune which were distinctly Australian. As an added incentive, a prize of one guinea [£1/1/- or in 2008 AUD, about $420] was offered for the best entry. The prize was claimed a week later.

More detail on the history of the 3rd Light Horse (South Australian Mounted Rifles) can be found here.

For further reading, detail and to order uniforms (!) check out the Light Horse Association website.

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