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The Daily Telegraph Dictionary of Tommies' Songs and Slang 1914-18 Hardcover – 16 Feb 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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  • The Daily Telegraph Dictionary of Tommies' Songs and Slang 1914-18
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  • Trench Talk: Words of the First World War
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  • Soldiers' Songs and Slang of the Great War (General Military)
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Frontline Books; 1st Edition edition (16 Feb. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844157105
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844157105
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 2.5 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 626,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The first industrial war where masses of people fought and gave their lives for just causes still attracts much interest everywhere. On the 90th anniversary of the Armistice for the majority of nations in November 1918 Pen & Sword reissued John Brophy & the great Eric Partridge's Dictionary of Tommies' Songs & Slang, 1914-18 for the fourth time (last seen in 1964), on this occasion with an introduction by Malcolm Brown and with the added acknowledgement of The Daily Telegraph.

Brown contextualizes both the creators and their pioneering offering in terms of the butchery of the Great War, the choice of the songs selected (and thus excluded) for what they meant to Brophy and Partridge, and how the conflict was seen in the 1960s with the advent of the Richard Attenborough's film Oh What a Lovely War (1969), and in Alan Clark's The Donkeys The Donkeys. Brown neither comments on the strengths or weaknesses of the film, nor judges it in the light of later studies and biographies of the generals, and in particular on FM Douglas Haig Haig: A Re-appraisal 80 Years on, or to the many prevalent myths of the war The Myth Of The Great War: A New Military History of World War I, continually replayed in Richard Curtis and Ben Elton's Black Adder Goes Forth (1989).

The songs are voices of people from below, with the "inky-pinky parlez-vous" in Mademoiselle from Armentières having a direct cultural and linguistic link with Elizabethan "Hey Nonny Nonny noes".
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Format: Hardcover
This book is a jewel

I remember when I was at primary school in the mid fifties that I heard and knew Mademoiselle from Armentiers. It is interesting because it is a first world war song not even from the second world war which had only finished ten years before. I knew it was rude but did not know why.It was the Inky Pinky Parley Vous bit that fascinated me

This book according to the foreword was first published in 1930 and again in 1965.

It is broken down into soldiers' songs,soldiers' slang and music from the music hall,chants and sayings
I first went to the battlefields in1990 but I had wanted to go for a long time before that. Visited Ypres, Poperinge the Somme etc. I then understood the first world war as it was a very static war.

The literature and songs of the first world war is very varied and the book describes it as a literary war with all the poets and writers. I have followed the life of Edmund Blunden buried in Long Melford churchyard in Suffolk and a good friend of Siegfried Sassoon.

The more I study it the more I understand about the language my mother and father used as they were using snatches of music hall songs and sayings that went back to the first world war. My mother for instance would use expressions like He would be better of in a home which comes from the words of a song.

My father was in the RAF so lot of military expressions were used in our house and a lot are still in the English language.

If you are interested in language, British history or the first world war this book is must.

If there is a criticism and I keep repeating this one. There is no index. Every serious non fiction book should have an index so you can look things up quickly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Soldiers songs are puerile, sexist and cruel, but they are also the unexpurgated views of the common man in combat. They are folk history and a real insight into the perspective of those male teenagers we sent out to kill for us. This is especially true of the Great War and this book, heavily bowdlerised as it is (well it was the Daily Telegraph that spawned it), is a faithful and reasonable contemporaneous record. There are better, more accurate and less squeamish sources to this vital history of what was in the tummies’ minds as they slogged along the dusty roads of northern France a century ago, but this is at least an available reference and, as such, to be recommended to us few students of the vernacular life of the lost generation.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Delivered a day earlier than expected so very good. Book is informative and useful about the First World War, however what I really wish to buy is a book of songs and their music to do with the war and time surrounding it . Reason being that our community choir wish to take part in a celebration of brave people and to remember all those who lost their lives to appreciate how lucky we are and what war does to scar lives for ever.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Nothing much new here but a good all-round flavour of the war period. I knew the slang but it helped explain some lyrics to my wife! I was bought to supplement our study of the war and our family's deceased soldiers. It provided the lyrics to songs I heard my grandfather sing, some of which were not available in other similar publications.
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Format: Hardcover
Essential read for those trying to understand W W 1. Bought the book over two years ago, a visit to the Flanders area has prompted me to read the book. Amazing that John Brophy was a boy soldier of 15, who survived the whole war, in the widest sense. Introduction is invaluable, the private was the lowest of the low and totally controlled. Adds another layer, to the other books, l have on the subject. Also brings a greater perspective to the sites and landscapes, l have recently visited. Suprisingly, many of the slang words are in use today.
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