In addition to these Liverpool related tunes, others from the evening
will be found on the Maiden City Festival YouTube Channel.

A Tribute to Liverpool

The ships that came to relieve the siege of the city of Londonderry (1688-1689) departed from the quaysides of Liverpool. At the time of the Siege, Londonderry was a significant port to the North Atlantic - Belfast was a late developer. So when it was time to decide on a themed band evening Liverpool fitted the bill perfectly, and the headline performance from the Imperial Corps of Drums seemed perfect billing.

The selection of tunes on this site were performed as part the 2010 Maiden City Festival Liverpool themed evening, held in the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, 12 August 2010. Each tune has a connection to Liverpool and the combined selection brought a definite Mersey beat to the Foyle. Later than evening Them Beatles rounded off an excellent night of musical entertainment.

In addition to these Liverpool related tunes, others from the evening will be found on the Maiden City Festival YouTube Channel; some familiar to a Northern Ireland audience, while most reflect the Imperial's English home.

More info at the Imperial Corps of Drums Website.

About the Imperial Corps of Drums

The Imperial Corps of Drums, is made up of Brothers, Cousins, Grandads, Sons, Dads, Nephews, and Friends. It is a close knit family group. The Imperial meets once a week for practice in the new Derry Social Club, which was built in the 1970's with money raised by a local Orange Lodge, The Purple Sons of Derry by buying a brick for £1 each week until it was built.

The band takes engagements from all kinds of organisations, including the Norwegian Consulate in Liverpool for "17th May, Norway day", the torchlight parade in Kendal, Cumbria for the gathering of farmers, and The Lord Mayors parade in Liverpool. The Imperial has also appeared in two television productions: in "The Lillies" a serialised saga of life in a part of Liverpool known as Garston, about a family where all the males were in the Orange lodge, and all the females were Roman Catholics; and, in a television production about people from East Belfast who built the Titanic at Harland and Wolfe.

Even today the connections between Liverpool and Northern Ireland remain strong. The Treasurer's family is from Mosside, Co Antrim. The Secretary's wife is from Londonderry and was married in Glendermott Parish Church. The musical director hails from greater Belfast, and one of the drummers has family from East Belfast. So Ulster is a bit of a second home, and the Imperial Corps of Drums has been delighted to perform all across Northern Ireland over many years.


Click on the links below to view more information
about the songs played in the videos...

  1. The Kingsman - The Kingo
  2. Heart of Oak
  3. Leaving of Liverpool
  4. Hey Jude
  5. Ferry Cross the Mersey
  6. The Great Escape
  7. Over the Hills and Far Away
  8. Waiting for the Sunrise / Bring Me Sunshine
  9. Orangemen of England

1. The Kingsman - The Kingo

This tune was chosen to reflect part of the military history of the city of Liverpool.

The Kings Regiment was originally formed as the Princess Anne of Denmark's Regiment of Foot during a rebellion in 1685 by the illegitimate son of King Charles II against King James I. It took part in the Siege of Carrickfergus in Ireland in 1689 (which lasted just 7 days) and in the Battle of the Boyne the following year. Further actions, while under the command of John Churchill (later 1st Duke of Marlborough) took place that year involving the regiment during the sieges of Limerick, Cork and Kinsale.

The King's Regiment (Liverpool) was one of the oldest infantry regiments of the British Army, and numbered as the 8th (The King's) Regiment of Foot in 1751. Unlike most British infantry regiments, which were associated with a county, the King's represented the city of Liverpool, one of only four regiments affiliated to a city in the British Army.

The 1957 Defence White Paper (known as the "Sandys Review" after Secretary of State for War Duncan Sandys) announced the government's intention to reduce the army's overseas responsibilities and abolish national service. Regiments and other units were resultingly rationalised through amalgamation or disbandment. After 273 years of continuous existence, the regiment was amalgamated with the Manchesters in 1958. The regiments did, however, share an historical connection through the 63rd (West Suffolk) Regiment of Foot, constituted as the 8th Foot's second battalion in 1756 and redesginated the 1st Battalion, Manchester Regiment in 1881.

In June, at Brentwood, the colours of the two regiments were paraded for the last time in the presence of Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. The King's Regiment (Manchester and Liverpool) formally came into being on 1 September 1958. On 1 July 2006, the successor regiment amalgamated, joining with two others to form the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment.

The surviving territorial battalion of the King's (Liverpool), the 5th, retained its identity until reduced to "B" Company, Lancastrian Volunteers in 1967. The lineage of 5th King's later became perpetuated by "A" Company on its formation in 1992. The company became an integral component of the 4th Battalion, Duke of Lancaster's Regiment in 2006 and contained the Liverpool Scottish Platoon.

The King's are coming up the hill, boys
The King's are coming up the hill, boys
They all laugh at us, they all scoff at us
They all say our days are numbered.
Oh, to be a Kingo, victorious are we,
If you want to win the cup
Then you'd better hurry up,
'Cos the King's are coming up the hill.
Victorious and glorious,
One bottle of beer between the four of us,
Glory be to God there isn't any more of us,
'Cos one of us would drink the ******* lot!
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2. Heart of Oak

It would be impossible to talk of Liverpool and not to make reference to the naval history of the city.

"Heart of Oak" is the official march of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom. It is also the official march of several Commonwealth navies including the Canadian Navy that was established in 1910 as the Canadian Naval Service and was from 1911 until 1968 the Royal Canadian Navy, The Royal Australian Navy and the Royal New Zealand Navy.

The music was composed by Dr William Boyce, and the words were written by the 18th Century English actor David Garrick. Heart of Oak was originally written as an opera. It first saw the light of day on New Year's Eve 1759 sung by Samuel Thomas Champnes, grandson of John Weldon in one of the first pantomimes "Harlequin's Invasion" at the Garrick Theatre.

Come cheer up, my lads, 'tis to glory we steer,
To add something more to this wonderful year,
To honour we call you, not press you like slaves,
For who are so free as the sons of the waves?
Heart of oak are our ships,
Jolly tars are our men,
We always are ready,
Steady, boys, steady,
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.
We ne'er see our foes but we will them to stay,
They never see us but they will use away,
If they run, why we follow, and run them ashore,
And if they won't fight us, we cannot do more.
Heart of oak are our ships,
Jolly tars are our men,
We always are ready,
Steady, boys, steady,
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.
They swear they'll invade us, these terrible foes,
They frighten our women, our children and beaus,
But should their flat bottoms in darkness get o'er,
Still Britons they'll find to receive them on shore.
Heart of oak are our ships,
Jolly tars are our men,
We always are ready,
Steady, boys, steady.
We'll fight and we'll conquer again and again.
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3. Leaving of Liverpool

Probably one of the most popular tunes associated with Liverpool, so unsurprisingly part of the Imperial's tribute to its home city.

"Leaving of Liverpool", also known as "Fare Thee Well, My Own True Love", is a folk ballad, a popular and wistful song. The song's narrator laments his long sailing trip to America and the thought of leaving his birthplace and loved ones (especially his "own true love"). Liverpool was the natural point of embarkation because it had the necessary shipping lines and a choice of destinations and infrastructure, including special emigration trains directly to The Prince's Landing Stage (which is mentioned in the song's first line).

It was collected as a sailor's song, but recorded only twice, from the Americans Richard Maitland and Captain Patrick Tayluer. Maitland learned it from a Liverpool man on board the General Knox around 1885. It was collected from him by Bill Doerflinger, an American folk-song collector particularly associated with sea-songs, in New York.

Farewell to Prince's Landing Stage
River Mersey, fare thee well
I am bound for California
A place I know right well

Chorus:
So fare thee well, my own true love
When I return united we will be
It's not the leaving of Liverpool that's grieving me
But my darling when I think of thee

I'm bound off for California
By the way of stormy Cape Horn
And I'm bound to write you a letter, love
When I am homeward bound

Chorus:
I have signed on a Yankee Clipper ship
Davy Crockett is her name
And Burgess is the Captain of her
And they say she's a floating Hell

Chorus:
I have shipped with Burgess once before
And I think I know him well
If a man's a seaman, he can get along
If not, then he's sure in Hell

Chorus:
Farewell to lower Frederick Street
Ensign Terrace and Park Lane
For I think it will be a long, long time
Before I see you again

Chorus:
Oh the sun is on the harbour, love
And I wish I could remain
For I know it will be a long, long time
Till I see you again
Chorus:

4. Hey Jude

It would not be possible to perform a tribute to Liverpool without featuring The Beatles.

Hey Jude" is a song by The Beatles. Credited to Lennon/McCartney, the ballad evolved from "Hey Jules," a song Paul McCartney wrote to comfort John Lennon's son Julian during his parents' divorce. "Hey Jude" was released in August 1968 as the first single from The Beatles' record label Apple Records. More than seven minutes in length, "Hey Jude" was, at the time, the longest single ever to top the British charts.[2] It also spent nine weeks as number one in the United States - the longest run at the top of the American charts for a Beatles' single, and tied the record for longest stay at #1 (until the record was beaten by "You Light Up My Life" sung by Debby Boone).
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5. Ferry Cross the Mersey

"Ferry Cross the Mersey" is a song written by Gerry Marsden. It was first recorded by his band Gerry & the Pacemakers and released in late 1964 in the UK and in 1965 in the US. It was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic, reaching number six in the US and number eight in the UK. The song is from the film with the same name. The song is often misspelled as "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey", but according to the song's lyrics, the track is correctly titled "Ferry Cross the Mersey". "Cross" is not a contraction of "Across", rather, it is a request of the ferry: "Ferry, cross the Mersey." The ferry is the Mersey Ferry, which still runs to Liverpool from Birkenhead and Seacombe on the Wirral.
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6. The Great Escape

The Great Escape was described in detail in the diaries of Flight Lt Ted Nestor, who was sent to the camp after he was shot down over Germany on a bombing raid in 1943.

An ex-RAF navigator who died 19 years ago, Ted's two diaries remained locked away in a drawer until 2009 when a family friend realised their significance.

Ted, who was born in Waterloo near Liverpool, wrote about "the Great Escape" as it happened before his eyes.

He recorded it all in code, as if it were a horse race, describing how just prior to the escape the men were "under starter's orders". Although he would have liked to have escaped, there was a strict pecking order of who should go and instead he was deployed on intelligence, watching the guards.

In a later entry, which he entitles The Escape, he lists in detail the size of the tunnel, where the exit was and how they learned that many of the escapees had been killed.

Ted considered publishing the diaries in the 1980s but was hesitant as it was his private recollection and he thought nobody would be interested.

Read the Liverpool Daily Post article: Waterloo man's diaries tell the true story of the Great Escape.
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7. Over the Hills and Far Away

"Over the Hills and Far Away" is a traditional English song, dating back to at least the early 18th century. One version was published in Thomas D'Urfey's Pills to Purge Melancholy in 1706, a very different one appeared in George Farquhar's play The Recruiting Officer. A version also appears in John Gay's The Beggar's Opera of 1728.

Farquhar's version refers to fleeing oveseas to join the army. The tune was provided with another set of lyrics for the Sharpe movies, based on Farquhar's version: though the Queen referred to is undoubtedly Queen Anne who reigned 1702-1714. The Kings Regiment had a bit of a gender change for a brief period. On the accession of Princess Anne to the British throne in 1702, the Regiment's title was changed to The Queen's Regiment. (The 4th Foot, having been designated "The Queen's Regiment" by James II continued to hold that title and during the reign of Queen Anne, both units were styled "The Queen's Regiments".) Under the new name the Regiment fought under the Duke of Marlborough in Flanders and Germany.

During the 1715 Jacobite Rebellion, the Regiment suffered heavy casualties at Dunblane (Nov. 13th) when its rearguard action saved the Royal Army. It was a desperate fight which resulted in the virtual destruction of the Regiment. In 1716, King George I recognised the Regiment's loyalty and bravery by granting it the title The King's Regiment and the White Horse of Hanover as a badge. The Regiment's title was, effectively, a battle honour.

A version of the lyrics by George Farquhar for his play The Recruiting Officer from 1706.

Our 'prentice Tom may now refuse
To wipe his scoundrel Master's Shoes,
For now he's free to sing and play
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.
We all shall lead more happy lives
By getting rid of brats and wives
That scold and bawl both night and day -
Over the Hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.
Courage, boys, 'tis one to ten,
But we return all gentlemen
All gentlemen as well as they,
Over the hills and far away.
Over the Hills and O'er the Main,
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain,
The queen commands and we'll obey
Over the Hills and far away.

The nursery rhyme "Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son" mentions a piper
who knows only one tune, this one.

Tom, Tom, he was a piper's son,
He learned to play when he was young.
And all the tune that he could play
Was over the hills and far away;
Over the hills is a great way off.
The wind shall blow my top-knot off.
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8. Waiting for the Sunrise / Bring Me Sunshine

Waiting for the Sunrise was appeared on an early Beatles recording; home recording a version on a Grundig tape recorder, sometime in the late 1950's. The Beatles version featured guitars by Harrison and Lennon and vocals from Paul McCartney. The original "The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise" is a popular ballad with lyrics by Gene Lockhart and music (Toronto 1918) by the concert pianist Ernest Seitz, who had conceived the refrain when he was 12. Embarrassed about writing popular music, Seitz used the pseudonym "Raymond Roberts" when the song was first published by Chappell in 1919.

Keeping on the 'sun' theme, the arrangement is completed with the famous theme song of Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise who first performed as 'Morecambe & Wise' at the Empire Theatre, Liverpool, in 1941.
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9. Orangemen of England

Finally, the Orange Order has particular strength in the Liverpool and surrounding region. Perhaps the strong ties in trade, and point of entry and departure for so many between Liverpool and Belfast, has retrained those traditions more strongly than elsewhere. 'Orangemen of England' is an arrangement of a well known tune, written by Laurie Johnston. The Imperial's Musical Director, Laurie is originally from Ulster but now lives in Morecombe. Orangemen of England concludes the selection of tunes which are in some way connected to the great City of Liverpool.
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