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This is a MIDI playback of an SATB with piano setting of the The Cavalrymen’s Poem “Fiddlers’ Green” by Paul Gilliland. The poem was first published in the U.S. Army’s Cavalry Journal in 1923 and is associated with the 1st Cavalry Division and the 2d Cavalry Regiment (of later of which the composer was a member). This work is part of his Patriotic Choral Collection.
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Halfway down the trail to Hell,
In a shady meadow green,
Are the souls of all dead trooper camped
Near a good oldtime canteen.
And this eternal resting place
Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.
Marching past, straight through to Hell
The Infantry are seen,
Accompanied by the Engineers,
Artillery, and Marines
For none but the shades of Cavalrymen
Dismount at Fiddlers’ Green.
Though some go curving down the trail
To seek a warmer scene,
No Trooper ever gets to Hell
E’re he’s emptied his canteen,
And so rides back to drink again
With friends at Fiddlers’ Green.
And so when man and horse go down
Beneath a saber keen,
Or in a roaring charge of fierce melee
You stop a bullet clean
And hostiles come to get your scalp
Just empty your canteen
And find an eternal resting place
In the shade of Fiddlers’ Green.
Note: The final two lines of one of the original versiosn of the poem reads:
And put a pistol to your head,
And go to Fiddlers’ Green
These lines were changed by the composer for the sake of musical performances.
(C) 2020 by Paul Gilliland Music (ASCAP)