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The Shores of Old Blighty

[ Roud - ; Mudcat 40887 ; Graeme Miles]

The Tees-side Fettlers sang Shores of Old Blighty in 1975 on their Traditional Sound Recordings album Travelling the Tees. This track was also included in 2002 on the Fellside anthology of the soldier in song from the English Civil War to the Falklands, Enlist for a Soldier.

Bob Fox and Stu Luckley sang The Shores of Old Blighty in 1982 on their Black Crow LP Wish We Never Had Parted and in a new recording on their 1997 Fellside CD Box of Gold. Bob noted:

The Shores of Old Blighty was written by Graeme Miles about the feelings of young soldiers about to taste a dose of conscription, a compulsory sting in the armed forces.

The Wilson Family sang The Shores of Old Blighty in 1983 on their Greenwich Village album of songs of Teeside and the Clevelands by Graeme Miles, Horumarye.

Will Finn and Rosie Calvert sang The Shores of Old Blighty in 2018 on their Haystack album Beneath This Place. They noted:

Graeme Miles’ classic song about young men yearning for their homeland while bound for war is, sadly, still all too relevant. The chorus is particularly emotive, “the dock-lights fading away” signifying the pull of home. Will learned this from the singing of Bob Fox and Stu Luckley.


Bob Fox and Stu Luckley sing The Shores of Old Blighty

We’re two hundred soldiers on a troop carrying ship,
All dressed in our uniforms brown,
We’re all bound for Germany on a night trip,
serving our nation and crown.

Chorus (after each verse):
And the shores of old Blighty we’re leaving behind,
The dim lights of Harwich are fading away.
When we get to Germany how will we find
Life on a serviceman’s pay, sergeant,
Life on a serviceman’s pay.

We’re two hundred squaddies, all barely but men,
And all with numbers instead of our names.
Oh, how I wish I could come home again,
each one is thinking the same.

We’re two hundred conscripts all asleep down below,
’Til the sergeant he wakes us at dawn.
When the lowlands of Holland by the rising sun show,
Then it’s down on the quay we will form.