Mythstories Mythstories Federation for European Storytelling member

Edric Still Rides

Here is a song about the men of the area around the Stiperstones going off to war.

Read the lyric of 'The Lads In Their Hundreds' and listen to the music file. See if you can sing along.

The lyric was written as a poem by A E Housman as part of his work A Shropshire Lad. It is about the men who went to fight in the Boer War. The poem was set to music by George Butterworth, a composer who fought and died in the First World War.

play the song

A SHROPSHIRE LAD - XXIII - The Lads in their Hundreds

The lads in their hundreds to Ludlow come in for the fair
There's men from the barn and the forge and the mill and the fold,
The lads for the girls and the lads for the liquor are there.
And there with the rest are the lads that will never be old.

There's chaps from the town and the field and the till and the cart,
And many to count are the stalwart, and many the brave,
And many the handsome of face and the handsome of heart,
And few that will carry their looks or their truth to the grave.

I wish one could know them, I wish there were tokens to tell
The fortunate fellows that now you can never discern:
And then one could talk with them friendly and wish them farewell
And watch them depart on the way that they will not return.

But now you may stare as you like and there's nothing to scan;
And brushing your elbow unguessed-at and not to be told.
They carry back bright to the coiner the mintage of man,
The lads that will die in their glory and never be old.

Permission for the use of this poem was obtained from The Society of Authors as the literary representative of the Estate of A E Housman.

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