Soldier songs

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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Peter H
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Soldier songs

Post by Peter H » 18 Apr 2007 10:21

https://www.openaccess.leidenuniv.nl/bi ... 50_012.pdf
One authentic expression of feeling on the part of the soldiers we do have, is contained in the songs which were populär in the trenches.Many of these were older than the war itself. Sometimes the melodies were older and new lyrics were added, reflecting experiences of Ί4-Ί8.

This is the case with, for instance, the Qanakkale Iwkusu (Dardanelles Song), one of the best known of them all Even when the songs were new, they reflected the expenence ot the past hundred yeais rather than of the war itself.

The great wars against the Russians of the nineteenth Century (1828-1829, the Cnmean War, the disaster of 1876 1878) and the attntion caused by contmuous small-scale warfare against rebel bands and tribes in places as far apart as Albania and Arabia, meant that those who were unfortunate enough to be conscnpted mto the Ottoman Army and who did not have the means to buy off conscription, had very httle chance of returning alive.The prevailmg sentiment in the lyncs of the songs is therefore nearly always that those who went on campaign had no chance of returning and that they would die in some far off desert, the symbol for this feehng and for the idea that young hves were being wasted to keep some unknown faraway area withm the empire, is the Yemen

After the Ottoman reoccupation of the Yemen and lts capital,Sana'a, in 1872 the country remamed unruly, with majoi insurrections in 1882, 1898 and 1904 The cost of the constant harassment by Arab bands to the Ottoman army vaned from a few hundred to a few thousand casualties a year all through this penod, while the major rebellions really caused large scale slaughter.The 1904-1905 rebellion caused the death of 30,000 out of 55,000 Ottoman troops.1910-1911 saw another rebelhon, with the mortality rate again going up to between 30 and 50 a day It is clear, therefore, that the Yemen had earned lts bloody reputation.

'Yemen songs' form a category in themselves and one which became very populär, especially with the troops serving in Syria, Palestme and Mesopotamia There is at least a dozen with names like 'Does grass grow in Yemen?', 'The Band is Playing', 'The Mobilisation Song', 'The Exercise Song', 'No Water Flows in Yemen', 'No Cloud in the Sky','On the Road to Yemen','In the desert of Yemen',and,of course 'The Yemen Song'. The feelings expressed in these songs are not startlingly original, but they are telling: There is no heroism here, and no patriotism. Nor do the songs express the kind of dogged determination of contemporary of Western front hits such as 'Pack up your troubles' or 'Keep right on to the end of the road'. More than anything they express a feeling of homesickness, hopelessness and doom, of being sacrificed. In the eyes of the people who sang these songs, being called to the colours was a death sentence. At the same time the songs breathe an atmosphere of resignation.So perhaps that is what the reiatively high morale of the Ottoman troops was about: a feeling that they had nothing to loose as they feit they were as good as dead anyway. Perhaps it was this what gave them their ability to fight so well, especially when on the defensive, in the face of overwhelming odds.

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emir pasha
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Post by emir pasha » 18 Apr 2007 18:21

Hello Peter,

One can argue that the Turkish and Turkish speaking population of the Ottoman Empire bled for a hundred years, from 1827, to 1927. You have already posted the superb argument from Erik Jan Zürcher's book, which stated that right from the introduction of the conscription it was the Turkish element (especially poor) who shouldered the burden of war for the Empire. I doubt there are few similar examples of such an attrition for so long. Turkish soldiers were swung from balkan mountains to arabian deserts, perished in countless numbers while defending the imperial borders or suppressing incessant internal rebellions. I wonder who would express feelings of determination or bloodlust in that atmosphere. My late grandmother was one of those Yemen orphans; her father joined the list of martyrs when she was 4; my great grandfather barely survived the great war; avoiding the encirclement of Sarikamish at the last moment and thirst in the mesopotamian desert. Yet he was discharged with a ruined health and died relatively young. My granpa still weeps when hearing those Yemen songs or Sarı Gelin (another very famous east anatolian song).

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Post by Tosun Saral » 19 Apr 2007 10:11

Not only Canakkale Türküsü or Yemen Türküsü but many other songs(Türkü= A typical song sung by Turks. For that reason the Araps call the song "Turki" which means alla turca.) are well known in Turkey. I like to present a Battle Türkü song after the Fall of Budapest into Austrian hands after the great defeat at Vieenna in 1683. The Türkü is song and written by a army poet a Turkish Jeniceri soldier called Tamesvarli Gazi Aschik Hasan lived i durng XVII th Century. The Türkü is called "Budin Destani" (Legend of Budin) We call the poets aschik=lover, Tamesvar is a city at Hungary., Budin is Budapest.
I translated the "Legend of Budapest" of Tamesvarli Gazi Asik Hasan, a poet of XVII th Century into English.
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/7d696/6aa67/

Legend of Budin

Don’t sing Nightingale, don’t sing, the summer returned to Spring
The laments of Nightingale pierced my breast
It is now the time buying and selling roses
Austrians captured our spoiled girl called Budapest.

Now muslims don’t washing for prayers by her fountains
Nobody is praying in her mosques
The inhabited all ruined
Austrians captured our spoiled girl called Budapest

The long market of Budapest
And The mosque of Sultan Ahmet at the centre.
Looks like the Kaba of Mecca
Austrians captured our spoiled girl called Budapest.

I am the daughter of Pasha of Budapest
I am the dearest two eyes of my parents
I am a lamp in a cage
Austrians captured our spoiled girl called Budapest

Suddenly the arsenal exploded we all surprised
All the mosques with six minarets burned and fired
All the young innocent children fell into fire.
Austrians captured our spoiled girl called Budapest.

Budapest is the capital of all Turkish Frontiers
All her stones and earth kreated with blood
The Banner- bearer the Circassian leads the Mythts
Austrians captured our spoiled girl called Budapest

From the South three guns shotted
It was thustday and solar eclipsed
On Friday Budapest falled
Austrians captured our spoiled girl called Budapest.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 19 Apr 2007 10:41

What is the Dardanelles Song?

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 19 Apr 2007 22:23

A song written and translated into English by late premier Mr. Bulent Ecevit

GALLIPOLI

"What land werw you torn away from
what makes you so sad having come here"
asked Mehmet the soldier from Anatolia
addressing the Anzak lying near

"From the uttermost ends of the world I come
so it writes on my tombstone"
answered the youthful Anzak "and here I am
buried in land that I had not even known"

"do not be disheartened mate"
Mehmet told him tenderly
"you share with us the same fate
in the bosom of or country

you are not a stranger anymore
you have become a Mehmet just like me"

a paradise on earth Gallipoli
is a burial under the ground
those who lost their lives in fighting
lie there mingled in friendly compound
Mehmet then asked an English soldier
who seemed to be at the playing age
"how old are you little brother
what brought you here at such an early stage"
"I am fifteen forever" the English soldier said
"in the village from where I come
I used to play war with the children
Arousing them with my drum

then I found myself in the front
was it real or a game before I could tell
my drum fell silent
as I was struck with a shell

a place was dug for me in Gallipoli
on my stone was inscribed “drummer age fifteen”
thus ended my playful task and this is the record
of what I have done and what I have been"

a distant drum bereaved of its master
was weeping somewhere around
as drops of tear fell on it
with the soft rainfall on the ground
what winds had hurled
all those youthful brains
from four continents of the world
to the Gallipoli graves
Mehmet asked in wonder

they were English or Scotch
they were French or Senegalese
they were Indians or Nepalese
they were Anzacs
from Australia and New Zealand
shipsful of soldiers who had landed
on the lacy bays of Gallipoli not knowing why
climbed the hills and slopes rising high
digging trenches cutting the earth like wounds
to shelter as graves those were to die

some where believed to be buried
in one cemetery or another
some where in graves unknown
all had entered into rest
in the language of the tombs
at the age of sixteen or seventeen or eighteen
under the soil of Gallipoli

thus their short lived stories were told
as inscriptions on tablets of old
buried there Mehmet of Anatolia
without a stone to tell
consoled them saying "brothers"
I understand you so well

for centuries I also had to die
in distant lands not knowing why

for the first time I gave my life not feeling sore
for I gave it here for my own in a war

thus the sultans fief tilled for ages with my hand
has now become for me a motherland

you who died in this land you did not know
are no more foreigner or foe
for the land which you could not take
has taken you to her bosom too
you therefore belong here
as much as I do

in Gallipoli a strange war was fought
cooling off the feelings
as fighting became hot
it was a ruthless war
yet breeding respect
in heart to heart exchange
as confronting trenches
fell into closer range

turning foe to friend
as the fighters reached their end


the war came to a close
those who survived
returned to their lands and homes
leaving the dead behind

wild flowers wave after wave
replaced the retiring soldiers
wild roses and mountain tulips and daisies
were spread as rugs on the ground
covering trench -by- trench
the wounds of fighting on the earth
the ship turned the bankers into sheds
the birds replaced the bullets in the sky
nature with hands holding the plough instead of guns
captured back the battlegrounds
with its flowers and fruits and greenery
and life returned to the soil
as traces of blood were effaced

turning the hell of the battlefield
into a paradise on earth

Gallipoli now abounds
with gardens full
with nations full
of burial grounds

a paradise on earth Gallipoli
is a burial under the ground
those who lost their lives in fighting
lie there mingled in friendly compound

"Iying side by side"
as "friends in each other's arms"
they may "sleep in comfort and peace"
in the land for which they died

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Post by Tosun Saral » 19 Apr 2007 22:40

Here is the Canakkale Türküsü of Song of Dardanelles.

Canakkale Türküsü

Imdi seferberlik ilan olanda

Bir od dustu, cumle cihan agladi

Canakkale icinde aynali carsi

Canakkale icinde aynali carsi

Anne ben gidiyorum dusmana karsi

Of, gencligim eyvah!

Anne ben gidiyorum dusmana karsi

Of, gencligim eyvah!

Canakkale icinde bir uzun selvi

Canakkale icinde bir uzun selvi

Kimimiz nisanli, kimimiz evli

Of, gencligim eyvah!

Kimimiz nisanli, kimimiz evli

Of, gencligim eyvah!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
As the mobilization was declared.

It came down on us like fire.

The whole country shed tears.

The Aynali Carsi, the market with mirrors
in Canakkale

I'm leaving for the enemy Mum

Goodby my boyhood, goodby.

I'm leaving for the enemy Mum

Goodby my boyhood, goodby.

The cypress tree grows tall in Canakale

Some of us were engaged,

Some married,

Goodby my boyhood goodby.

They've shot me in Canakake

They put me in a grave, before I was dead.

Goodby my boyhood goodby.

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 13:01

The song of Canakkale/Gallipoli: Please open your audio.
ÇANAKKALE TÜRKÜSÜ (http://www.turkgladio.vidiac.com)
http://images.google.com.tr/imgres?imgu ... %26hl%3Dtr


Canakkale Türküsü song by Ferhat Göçer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hm1xnCPMRNk

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 13:25

Yemen Türküsü the Yemen song played by most famous Giora Feidman in a program in Turkey.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5G0dGoqybg

Yemen Türküsü the Song of Yemen song by Ferhat Göçer
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6sbq3Vtz ... ed&search=

Another Yemen Song song by Miss Şebnem Ferah
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TX4bq0Bl ... ed&search=

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 22 Apr 2007 13:37

Thanks Tosun!

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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 13:40

Estergon is a Hungarian city situated at a very strategical point on Donau which controls Austria and Chekei. The city was conquered by Turks and stayed 150 years long Turkish garnizon at the outpost of Europa. The song which is played by historical miliary band of Bursa is from 16th Centuary. This kind of Turkish music inspired Mozart, Bethowen and many others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QFgSWIL6jAc

The Mayor of Kecioren in Ankara build a park in the city called Estergon. Baris Manco sings the famous Estergon song
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwIFO0TnJfs

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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 13:57

Song of Kiziroglu Mustafa Bey. An Unknown hero
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x1wWnWzbYH0

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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 14:03

Ibo & Zara sing " Cokertme"
A Bodrum Turku about a Gendarm NCO who got killed while following outlaws during Ottoman period. Bodrum. is a holiday paradise at Mediterrenean.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukGeOmlhvgQ

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 22 Apr 2007 14:19

Song of Bagdad or Song of Genc Osman. (Genc= Jr.or young) Osman was a 15 years old son of a famous Pasha who wanted to enlist to the Army. But he was refused. Sultan Murat the IV conquered Bagdad from Iran. Osman enlisted to the army telling that he was 18. He fall dead after erecting the Turkish flag on the wall of Bagdat. The song sung by Turkish Historical Mehter band since that time.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nr6Yp8t_PSU

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