DESCRIPTION: "I have come to say goodbye, Dolly Grey; It's no use to ask me why, Dolly Grey; There's a murmur in the air... So it's time to do and dare, Dolly Grey." The singer bids Dolly a sad farewell and goes off to join the "boys in blue"
AUTHOR: Words: Will D. Cobb / Music: Paul Barnes
EARLIEST DATE: 1898 (composed, according to Waites & Hunter)
KEYWORDS: soldier separation
FOUND IN: Australia
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Meredith/Covell/Brown-FolkSongsOfAustraliaVol2, pp. 35-36, "Dolly Grey" (1 text, 1 tune)
ADDITIONAL: Aline Waites & Robin Hunter, _The Illustrated Victorian Songbook_, Michael Joseph Ltd., 1984, pp. 194-197, "Good-Bye Dolly Gray" (1 text, 1 tune)
Good-Bye Dollars, I Must Leave You (IWW song by Richard Brazier)
Parody on Dolly Gray ("When the boots are on the last, Dolly Gray, And I have to mend them fast") (by Johnny Burke) (Johnny Burke (John White, Editor), Burke's Ballads , no printer listed, n.d. (PDF available on Memorial University of Newfoundland web site), p. 61) (Johnny Burke (William J. Kirwin, editor), _John White's Collection of Johnny Burke Songs_, Harry Cuff Publications, St. John's, 1981, #35, pp. 55-56)
Goodbye Dolly Gray
NOTES [112 words]: Meredith/Covell/Brown-FolkSongsOfAustraliaVol2 report this to have been popular during the first world war, though written some decades earlier.
According to Eversley Belfield, The Boer War, p. 13, Britain entered the Boer War "bursting with enthusiasm and self-confidence, many people thinking that it would be ended by Christmas [the ultimatum came October 9 and expired October 11]; the song 'Goodbye Dolly Gray' echoed popular feeling." Waites & Hunter call it "the theme song of the Boer War" -- although it was written in the context of the Spanish-American War.
Spaeth's A History of Popular Music in America, p. 312, seems to imply it became a hit in 1900. - RBW
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