The Longest Song Wiki

Not truly a traditional song, this piece hails from Cork during the first world war. Its author has not been verified. The earliest text record of it appears in Tomas o'Canainn's Down Erin's Lovely Lee (1978).

Factoids

The song refers to a long and diverse battle fought by the Munster Fusiliers (and others) in Salonika, Greece against Turkish forces between Spring 1916 and Spring 1917.

Foxy head refers to red hair, slackers is a mocking term given by "unionists" for men who wouldn't join up to fight,

Lyrics

These lyrics are based on the version performed by the Longest Johns in their Livestreams, the original lyrics can be found below.

{Robbie}
My husband's in Salonika I wonder if he's dead
I wonder if he knows he's got a kid with a foxy head

{Chorus}
So right away, so right away
So right away Salonika, right away me soldier boys

{Robbie}
Now when the War is over what will the soldiers do?
They'll be hobblin' around with a leg and a half and the slackers will have two

{Chorus}

{Robbie}
Now when the War is over what will the slackers do?
They'll be hanging around the soldiers for a loan of a bob or two

{Chorus}

{Robbie}
Well first they taxed the sugar, and then they taxed the tea,(pronounced; haypenny)
And then they brought conscript-i-on and took me man away,

{Chorus}

{Robbie}
Well they taxed the pound of butter, and they taxed the ha'penny buns,
You'd think with all the taxes they could beat the bleedin' Huns!

{Chorus}

{Robbie}
Well they takes up the field-oh and lays us on the grass,
puts us in the family way and then leaves us on our ass

{Chorus}

{Robbie}
Well now don't you marry a copper, a soldier, or a marine
politician, banker. Ladies keep your conscious clean!

{Chorus}

{Robbie}
And when the war is over what will the soldiers do?
For every kid in America, in Dublin there'll be two!

{Chorus}

{Dave, falsetto}
Oh me husband's in Salonika!

{JD, bass}
I wonder if he's dead

{Andy}
I wonder if he knows he's got

{All}
A KID WITH A FOXY HEAD!

{Chorus til finish}