Big Strong Man
|"Big Strong Man"|
"Big Strong Man" or "My Brother Sylveste" is an English-language folk song. Though commonly associated with Ireland and performed by Irish bands, it may be of North American origin. The song was popular with Canadian soldiers in World War II. The song is about the singer's brother Sylveste, hyperbolically described as a giant of a man capable of extraordinary feats, such as swimming from New York to Italy. Set in the early 20th century, the song contains allusions to boxers Jack Dempsey and Jack Johnson; it also credits Sylveste with averting the sinking of the Lusitania.
Artists and groups who have recorded the song include:
- The Wolfe Tones, on their 1969 album Rifles of the I.R.A.
- Mike Harding, as a 1976 single
- Houghton Weavers, on their 1978 Album Sit Thi Deawn
- Orthodox Celts, on their 1996 album Muzičke paralele
- Brobdingnagian Bards, on their 2002 album Songs of Ireland
- Carbon Leaf, on their 2003 album 5 Alive!
- Derek Warfield, on his 2005 album Songs for the Bhoys
- Blaggards, on their 2005 album Standards
- O'Connor, Edward (14 March 2008). "Big Strong Man — Irish History in Song". Edward O'Connor. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
- Hopkins, Anthony (1979). Songs from the front and rear: Canadian servicemen's songs of the Second World War. Edmonton: Hurtig. ISBN 0888301723. OCLC 15905196.
- "Big Strong Man (My Brother Sylveste)". Brobdingnagian Bards. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
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