There are two versions of this song, the first is the traditional English folk song from circa 1720, and the second is the version rewritten by John Tams for "Sharpe", the series of television movies set during the "Peninsula War" based on the books by Bernard Cornwell. John Tams played Rifleman Hagman, one of Sharpe's "chosen men".

Traditional c.1720

Hark now the drums beat up again
For all true soldier gentlemen
So let us list and march I say
And go over the hills and far away

Chorus:
Over the hills, and o'er the main
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain
Queen Anne commands and we'll obey
And go over the hills and far away.


There's twenty shillings on the drum
For him that with us freely comes
'Tis volunteers shall win the day
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus

Come gentlemen that have a mind
To serve a queen that's good and kind
Come list and enter in to pay
And go over the hills and far away.

Chorus

And we shall live more happy lives
Free of squalling brats and wives
Who nag and vex us every day
So its over the hills and far away.

Chorus

Prentice Tom may well refuse
To wipe his angry master's shoes
For now he's free to run and play
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus

No more from sound of drum retreat
When Marlborough and Galway beat
The French and Spaniards every day
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus

The "Sharpe" version by John Tams

Here's fourteen shillings on the drum
For those who'll volunteer to come
To list and fight the foe today
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus:
O'er the hills and o'er the main
To (through) Flanders, Portugal and Spain
King George commands and we obey
Over the hills and far away.


Chorus

Through smoke and fire and shot and shell
Unto the very walls of hell
We shall stand and we shall stay
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus

Now though I travel far from Spain
A part of me shall still remain
For you are with me night and day
And over the hills and far away.

Chorus

So fall in lads behind the drum
With Colours blazing like the sun
Along the road to come-what-may
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus

When evil stalks upon the land
I'll nyther hold nor stay me' hand
But fight to win a better day
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus

If I should fall to rise no more
As many comrades did before
Ask the pipes and drums to play
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus

Let Kings and tyrants come and go
I'll stand ajudged by what I know
A soldier's life I'll ne'er gainsay
Over the hills and far away.

Chorus


http://www.acronet.net/~robokopp/english.html
http://www.johntams.info/


a lullaby from Love-Songs of Childhood
by Eugene Field, 1894

OVER THE HILLS AND FAR AWAY

Over the hills and far away,
A little boy steals from his morning play
And under the blossoming apple tree
He lies and he dreams of the things to be:
Of battles fought and of victories won,
Of wrongs o'erthrown and of great deeds done -
Of the valor that he shall prove some day,
Over the hills and far away -
Over the hills, and far away!

Over the hills and far away
It's, oh, for the toil the livelong day!
But it mattereth not to the soul aflame
With a love for riches and power and fame!
On, 0 man! while the sun is high -
On to the certain joys that lie
Yonder where blazeth the noon of day,
Over the hills and far away -
Over the hills, and far away!

Over the hills and far away,
An old man lingers at close of day;
Now that his journey is almost done,
His battles fought and his victories won -
The old-time honesty and truth,
The trustfulness and the friends of youth,
Home and mother-where are they?
Over the hills and far away -
Over the years, and far away!

from Project Gutenberg (public domain)

Love-Songs of Childhood index
⇐ last song


A noder suggests:

You might mention the old joke
"What shall I sing?"
"Can you sing 'Over the Hills and Far Away'?"
"Yes"
"Well go and sing there, then."

(It doesn't surprise me that there would be jokes in relation to this lullaby title, judging from the number of various songs, poems with the title)

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