My Man Joe – dVerse Meeting the Bar

Here’s my long-overdue return to dVerse Meeting the Bar. This week, Gay is asking us to write a song! Now that’s a poetry form that brings back strong memories for me – I immediately thought of my mum singing along to Steeleye Span’s ‘All Around My Hat’ as she did the housework, and being taken to a Chieftans’ concert (and falling asleep – aaah, I was only very young!). Folk music is something that my family really enjoys – there is even morris dancing going on too (my mum again, with my step-dad playing an important musical role too).

Suffice to say, I’m a fan of the old folksy ballad, singing of love, loss, pride and passion. So, here’s my attempt… It’s inspired by the centenary year of the Great War – the War to End All Wars (if only). It’s simple, yet I hope it works.

Do visit the other poets who take part in this wonderful community… you’re in for a treat! And do let me know what you think of my song.


– My Man Joe –

My sweetheart Joe is big and strong
With a twinkling eye and a ready smile
He works on the railways all week long
Just to buy me a posy on a Friday

I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My fiancé Joe cuts a fine dash
Driving his engine through the valleys
He collects his wages and gives me cash
Just to buy me a dress for our wedding

I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My husband Joe is a fine, proud dad
He plays with his boys on a Sunday
He sings in church, gives thanks and is glad
For his family, luck and fortune

I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My soldier Joe walks proud and tall
Marching away to the trenches
God bless my man! God bless them all!
Please let him come back safely

I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

My man Joe gave his life and soul
On the far away fields of Flanders
For my boys and me he’ll not grow old
Nor ever be forgotten.

I’ll always be with you, I’ll always be true
I’ll stand by your side, forever be true

39 thoughts on “My Man Joe – dVerse Meeting the Bar

  1. What a song.. really. The progression to the sadness of the final stanza is really moving. To me the rhythm works really well, and the refrain are as they should be in a song like that… easy to remember… easy to sing along.

  2. ah what a beautiful love song…i would love to have those things said of me in song….and def there is reason for the sticking with and persevering….even after death…them never growing old…bittersweat in his loss of life on the battlefield….i feel for that fam…

  3. This is very moving. I found myself happily ‘singing’ along until the last verse, the tragic end. The chorus then has a new meaning.

  4. Seems like most ballads have a tinge of tragedy, a pinch of chaos, in them; maybe they are just the ones I remember; happy joyful silly ballads just sieve out of my consciousness. You def rocked the prompt with great song lyrics; kind of envision Bonnie Raitt singing it.

  5. I love the refrain and the last stanza on his dying, made it even more meaningful ~

    He’ll never grow old & always be remembered ~ Lovely work here ~

  6. In ’92 I made my first journey to the UK. Outside of South Wales I saw it all (they ran me out of Cardiff (well sort of)). Every village and town seemed to have a marker, a church stone, a memorial or a tribute to the lost of The Great War. That may have been when women started ballroom dancing with one another. I met some women along the way – I traveled by train. The loss was great, and still is felt by those boys lost in that devastating war.

    I came of age, also, when the old broadsides were found. They’d been kept alive in Appalachia. The words and music with a mountain (hillbilly) twang lived in those hollers of the Blue Ridge mountains and their discovery and re-invention by Pete Seeger, and his proteges – Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter Paul & Mary, Judy Collins, Tom Paxton, The Weavers.

    So here you pull these two threads, these timelines together and give us a song that is universal (as universal as Where Have All The Flowers Gone) that tells of love, joy, marriage, and that sad violence of being human, of being alive, of being in this world – war – it will always be with us, full of the flint of life, and a source of great art such as yours.

    1. Thank you so much, Gay.

      There are 53 villages in the UK that lost nobody in the Great War, known as Thankful Villages

      My closest friend has just moved to a village in Wales which is tiny and remote, and her house is opposite the War Memorial, which lists those lost in the Great War, and World War Two. I can only imagine that it must have been devastating, since the village is a true community, because of its remote situation in the mountains. It isn’t far from Llanfihangel y Creuddyn, one of the Thankful Villages…

  7. What a journey, I sang along with my own tune, funny how we can make them up as soon as we read other’s words and then got to the last stanza and faltered, nicely penned Freya – thank you.

  8. OK…I’m a bit late in reading this, but I’m certainly glad I finally got around to it. Such a good set of lyrics. Yes, you’ll have to ask your brother to write music for this and then post a video on youtube. Love to hear this!!

    1. Comments are always welcome, no matter when they are received – so thank for reading! Thank you – I’ll have to pin my bro down, although he is still on the high seas, homeward bound from several months working on a cruise ship…

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