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Bruce Springsteen — Mrs. McGrath
Album: We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions
Avg rating:
6.4

Your rating:
Total ratings: 273









Released: 2006
Length: 4:14
Plays (last 30 days): 0
"Oh, Mrs McGrath," the sergeant said
"Would you like to make a soldier out of your son Ted
With a scarlett coat and a big cocked hat
Oh, Mrs McGrath, wouldn't you like that?"

With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a

Now, Mrs McGrath lived on the shore
And after seven years or more
She spied a ship coming into the bay
With her son from far away

"Oh captain dear, where have you been
You've been sailing the Mediterranean
Have you news of my son Ted
Is he living or is he dead?"

With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a

Up came Ted without any legs
And in their place, two wooden pegs,
She kissed him a dozen times or two
And said "My god, Ted is it you"

"Now were you drunk or were you blind
When you left your two fine legs behind
Or was it walking upon the sea
That wore your two fine legs away?"

With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a

"No, I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind
A cannon ball on the fifth of May
Tore my two fine legs away"

"Oh, Teddyboy," the widow cried
"Your two fine legs were your mothers pride
Stumps of a tree won't do at all
Why didn't you run from the cannon ball?"

With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a

"All foreign wars I do proclaim
live on the blood and the mothers pain
I'd rather have my son as he used to be
Than the King of America and his whole navy"

With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
With your too-ri-a, fol-diddle-di-a, too-ri, oor-ri, oor-ri-a
Comments (34)add comment
 westslope wrote:
Nice stuff.  Great concept, the CD that is.  Seeger lives as the west and Mid-East allies could be buckling down for a multi-decade war with Daesh.  

 
The concert in Dublin is equally fabulous.
I so much appreciate Radio Paradise and don't like to complain about the music presented.  But I have often thought that Bruce is played very sparingly.  Wondered if there was some kind of rights restriction around his music.  My grandmother was a "Mrs. McGrath."
I had not heard this, definitely getting this album.  I love all Bruce's work, but especially his acoustic and side project stuff, going back to Nebraska.
Nice stuff.  Great concept, the CD that is.  Seeger lives as the west and Mid-East allies could be buckling down for a multi-decade war with Daesh.  
Not my favorite rendition of this tune... But if that's the worst I can say then it's a pretty damn good tune. I find I prefer versions which put the emphasis of the blame on the mother forcing her son to war, rather than the nebulous concept of the war itself. The kids always the victim though, suffering because of the actions of someone else... I do love this song.
 maxjboxer wrote:

Blah Blah Blah
Haven't heard much from these guys lately. 
What about the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan?
Libya?
Syria?
BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES
Stop, please.  You're embarrassing yourself. 


 Nerubo wrote:
 Not sure if it works for me but at least it's interesting. 

 
That's kind of how I feel about it. Also, "pirate jig"... Hilarious... : )


 maxjboxer wrote:

Blah Blah Blah
Haven't heard much from these guys lately. 
What about the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan?
Libya?
Syria?
BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES




 
"these guys"? Do you mean Springsteen or the "guys" who came up with a 140+ year-old anti-war song? 

If this is deadpan humor, it's not very funny. If you're serious, you're being a full-on jerk. 
  
I said when I heard this "What the hell am I listening to?" because the singer sounded familiar but the song sounded like a pirate jig.  Not sure if it works for me but at least it's interesting. 
 Jomeo wrote:
Now if he could just pull his head out his a$$ and stop with the political ranting.

 
Agreed.  This is downright embarrassingly silly.
 shakitten wrote:
{#Daisy}

Lazarus, you rock. Totally. Thanks for this. 
 
Thank you very much, shakitten...  hugs to you...  I hope you are having a marvelous Thursday right now....

love this cover song...  love this album...
 
 Lazarus wrote:

"All foreign wars I do proclaim
live on the blood and the mother's pain.
I'd rather have my son as he used to be
Than the King of America and his whole navy."
 


Here's an article by Greg Mitchell from March 14, 2008 called Bruce Springsteen, Iraq and Me with these quotes of Springsteen—

He writes of living "in a time when it's never been more difficult to tell the truth from lies and lies from the truth" and denounces "the obstructions that have kept the media from fully doing their job." So all of us must "be more questioning, skeptical, and savvy than ever in assessing information that's presented to us," he writes. "And we need to teach our children to do the same."...

As for the Iraq war, he commented, "You don't take your country into a major war on circumstantial evidence — you lose your job for that. That's my opinion, and I don't have a problem voicing that. Some people have a problem with that, others don't."

 

And here's an article from just a few months ago called 10 YEARS AGO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST IRAQ WAR



 
Blah Blah Blah
Haven't heard much from these guys lately. 
What about the ongoing debacle in Afghanistan?
Libya?
Syria?
BUNCH OF HYPOCRITES



{#Daisy}

Lazarus, you rock. Totally. Thanks for this. 
 midreaming wrote:
a voice that's got the blood of the earth in it singing irish folk, makes parefect sense ta me

 
Good call!  

This song originally is an Irish folk song...

this whole album of Springsteen's, from 2006, is Springsteen's interpretation of thirteen folk music songs made popular by activist folk musician Pete Seeger...

Pete Seeger was a member of The Weavers, who were blacklisted during the McCarthy Era. In the 1960s, he re-emerged on the public scene as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, and environmental causes...

the timing for this Springsteen album of covers is significant because the optional and unnecessary war in Iraq started three years before this album came out...  at the time, anybody who criticized the war was proclaimed unpatriotic by the attack dogs of war...  it was incredibly brave of Springsteen to tell the truth against power...

just look at the last lines of Springsteen's contemporary interpretation of this song—

"All foreign wars I do proclaim
live on the blood and the mother's pain.
I'd rather have my son as he used to be
Than the King of America and his whole navy."
 


Here's an article by Greg Mitchell from March 14, 2008 called Bruce Springsteen, Iraq and Me with these quotes of Springsteen—

He writes of living "in a time when it's never been more difficult to tell the truth from lies and lies from the truth" and denounces "the obstructions that have kept the media from fully doing their job." So all of us must "be more questioning, skeptical, and savvy than ever in assessing information that's presented to us," he writes. "And we need to teach our children to do the same."...

As for the Iraq war, he commented, "You don't take your country into a major war on circumstantial evidence — you lose your job for that. That's my opinion, and I don't have a problem voicing that. Some people have a problem with that, others don't."

 

And here's an article from just a few months ago called 10 YEARS AGO: BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN SPEAKS OUT AGAINST IRAQ WAR

And when the United States invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003, Bruce had plenty to say with his choice of songs.

In the run-up to the war, Springsteen had been vocal about his stance against it. When introducing ‘Born in the U.S.A.,’ he would say that he had written that song about the Vietnam War and hoped he wouldn’t have to write a similar song soon. He even revived his hit cover version of Edwin Starr’s ‘War,’ specifically for a March 2 show in Austin, Texas – then-President George W. Bush’s former hometown.

The day of the U.S. invasion of Iraq also happened to be the first date of Bruce and the E Street Band’s Australian leg of ‘The Rising’ Tour. So, it was from the Telstra Dome in Melbourne, Australia that Springsteen made his political stance clear. He opened with a somber, acoustic rendition of ‘Born in the U.S.A.,’ instead of the anthemic full-band version heard elsewhere on the tour. He then launched straight into a full-band attack for ‘War,’ with its impassioned line: ‘What is it good for? Absolutely nothin’.’ Springsteen would continue to open his shows this way for the subsequent Australian dates.

Later on in the show, before playing ‘Land of Hope and Dreams’ during the second encore, Bruce dedicated the song to “American and Australian sons and daughters… and innocent Iraqi civilians.”

The U.S./Iraq War would have a profound effect on Springsteen’s concerts and songs. In the 2004 U.S. presidential election, Bruce campaigned against George W. Bush and played a major role in the Vote for Change tour. His next two albums would feature songs about characters dealing with the Iraq War and its consequences, including ‘Devils & Dust,’ ‘Last to Die’ and ‘Gypsy Biker.’


I love this album, it is quite different to classical Boss stuff, but a perfect combination of nice folk with his unique feeling.
This song in particular, thanks Bill!!
Now if he could just pull his head out his a$$ and stop with the political ranting.
 casey1024 wrote:
Wow.  Had no idea Mr. Springsteen could produce this kind of work.  Liking it a lot. 
 
yeah, I can get into this.
Wow.  Had no idea Mr. Springsteen could produce this kind of work.  Liking it a lot. 

My appreciation for Bruce Springsteen keeps growing. I was not a fan back in the day. This beats the hell out of Dancing in the Dark in my opinion.


Bruce adds to his legacy, and surely we have had enough war.

a voice that's got the blood of the earth in it singing irish folk, makes parefect sense ta me
 iTuner wrote:
This is a joke, right?
 



Lets hope so!
This is a joke, right?
In the tradition of people who are much bigger fans than I, I would just like to say Br-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-u-ce!
Upon hearing this I came right to my computer to see who the new artist was that I hadn't heard before.
Bruce. Wow.
Good job. 
A welcome change from Springsteen's usual style, and in truth I was surprised to see that it was himself singing. He does Irish folk style pretty well. 7 from the diddly-eye-dye-ing Nottingham jury.

The subject of this song - Irish immigrants being pressed into the Union military - reminds me of the old Irish folk song Paddy's Lament, which Sinead O'Connor sang recently - see the lyrics.
 
haha!
kingart wrote:
Rosalita this ain't. 
 


 Easyrider wrote:
Many thanks for playing this Bill!
 

Woo hoo, I think this is my first upload to ever make it to the "main" channel.
Wow.
Rosalita this ain't. 
Many thanks for playing this Bill!
FYI  Good live version of this on the Springsteen "Live in Dublin" CD.