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5th Battalion Regimental Marches

 

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DOMINIQUE

From the time he joined the Battalion, Bob Taylor had been thinking about a Regimental March for 5RAR and he had concluded that the most appropriate was "Dominique." He arranged the music then suggested to the CO that Dominique be accepted as the Regimental March. Lieutenant Colonel Warr was not convinced as he had never heard the tune. Bob Taylor, with the support of Major Max Carroll, the Operations Officer, then proposed that the band play Dominique and two other marches for the 800 men of the Battalion who would be asked to vote for the march they thought would be the best. Dominique received an overwhelming vote from all ranks and so it became the march of the "Tiger Battalion."

To listen to the MP3 Version played by the Army Band Corps (723Kb) Click Here
Original film clip of Sister Jeanine Deckers singing Dominique  (13Mb) Click Here

Background to Dominique

Jeanine Deckers (1933-1985) is famous all over the world as 'The Singing Nun' and for her massive hit "Dominique", which reached number 1 all over the world and sold more than 1.5 million copies. She is the only Belgian ever to achieve a number one hit in America and temporarily topped such heavy hitters as Stevie Wonder and The Beatles in the charts.

She joined the Dominican Fichermont Convent in Belgium as Sister Luc-Gabrielle. She was popular in the convent for her music and was encouraged by the other nuns to record an album in 1963. One song, "Dominique," soared to the top of the charts. Overnight, the Belgian nun was an international celebrity with the stage name of Soeur Sourire (Sister Smile). She performed in concerts and appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964. In 1965, a movie called The Singing Nun, starring Debbie Reynolds, was made about her, though she rejected the film as "fictional".

Around the same time, she stopped performing and entered a rigorous religious life in the convent. In 1967 she left the convent and recorded her second album, aptly titled "I Am Not a Star". Though she was deeply religious, she was also increasingly critical of the conservatism of the Roman Catholic Church and she became an advocate of birth control.

Having faded into obscurity, she opened a school for autistic children in Belgium with a close friend, Annie Pescher. By the early 1980s the Belgian government began claiming that she owed back taxes of more than $47,000; she claimed that the money was given to the convent and therefore exempt from taxes. In 1983, she tried to raise money by releasing an updated electronic version of 'Dominique' but it failed to sell in volume. Sadly, she and Pescher both committed suicide in 1985. "We hope God will welcome us. He saw us suffer," the women wrote in their last letter. Belgium's Catholic authorities granted their wish to be buried in consecrated ground. Only a handful of friends and family members were on hand to mourn.

I wonder what she would have thought of an Australian infantry battalion having chosen Dominique as their regimental march.

Lyrics

"Dominique, oh Dominique
Over the land he plods along
Never looking for reward
He just talks about the Lord, he just talks about the Lord, he just
talks about the Lord

At a time when John Lackland
Over England was the king
Dominic was in the backland
Fighting sin like anything

Now a heretic one day
Among the thorn forced him to crawl
Dominic with just one prayer
Made him hear the good Lord's call

Without horses or fancy wagon
He crossed Europe up and down
Poverty was his companion
As he walked from town to town

To bring back the straying liars
And the lost sheep to the fold
He brought forth the Preaching Friars
Heaven's soldiers brave and bold

One day in the budding Order
There was nothing left to eat
Suddenly two angels walked in
With a load of bread and meat

Dominic once in his slumber
Saw the Virgin coat unfurled
Over Friars without number
Preaching all around the world

Grant us now oh Dominic
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly love and truth on earth"

  MEN OF HARLECH

According to Folk Songs of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales "This famous march celebrates the defiance of the Welsh forces under Dafydd ap Jevan in defending Harlech Castle against the English in 1468." They were, however, forced to surrender to Yorkist forces. 
Harlech Castle was prominent in Welsh history several times. Owen Glendower captured it and held a parliament there in the early 15th century. Queen Margaret took refuge there in 1460, when her husband, Henry VI, was captured. In 1647, during the English Civil War, Harlech Castle was the last Welsh fortress surrendered to the Parliamentary armies.
The stirring music first appeared as March of the Men of Harlech in Musical and Poetical Relicks of the Welsh Bards (Edward Jones, London 1784). The song was first published in Gems of Welsh Melody (ed. John Owen, "Owain Alaw", 1860), the Welsh lyrics by "Talhaiarn", the English by W.H. Baker.
 The 'Vocal' version is sung by the Royal Regiment of Wales' Band singing "Men of Harlech" on the 120th anniversary of the battle of Rorke's Drift (1999). This was recorded in the church at Rorke's Drift.

Royal Regiment of Wales Band, choir of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers (2.7Mb)
Click Here
Video Band Version(3.21min)
Click Here
Audio Brass Band Version (2.8Mb)
Click Here

Lyrics

Tongues of fire on Idris flaring,
news of foe-men near declaring,
to heroic deeds of daring,
call you Harlech men

Groans of wounded peasants dying,
wails of wives and children flying,
for the distant succour crying,
call you Harlech men.


Shall the voice of wailing,
now be unavailing,
you to rouse who never yet,
in battles hour were failing.


This our answer crowds down pouring,
swift as winter torrents roaring,
not in vain the voice imploring,
calls on Harlech men.


Loud the martial pipes are sounding,
every manly heart is bounding,
as our trusted chief surrounding,
march we Harlech men.


Short the sleep the foe is taking,
ere the morrows morn is breaking,
they shall have a rude awakening,
roused by Harlech men.


Mothers cease your weeping,
calm may be your sleeping,
you and yours in safety now
the Harlech men are keeping,


Ere the sun is high in heaven
they you fear, by panic riven,
shall like frightened sheep be driven,
far by Harlech men.

 


 


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