Talk:The Grand Old Duke of York

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Taken from my own knowledge, but dates and battle scenes pinpointed by The Oxford Companion to British History (Ed by John Cannon, 2002)


Wakefield suggests that the rhythm refers to a much older battle in 1460 at Wakefield, where Richard, Duke of York (father of Edward IV of England was defeated. Anyone know which is right? Timrollpickering 00:34, 19 Dec 2004 (UTC)

An anon has added that Richard, Duke of York is the same Richard of York as in the rainbow mnemonic, ROYGBIV ("Richard of York gave battle in vain"). I must admit that I had thought that ROYGIV referred to Richard III, but I can see that the other Richard of York is also a possibility. Can anyone help sort this out? -- ALoan (Talk) 15:00, 17 August 2005 (UTC)

Additional lyrics[edit]

Can't claim a source, however we've learned this to be the second verse of the song:

He marched them to the left.
He marched them to the right.
And then he marched them upside down,
Oh what a funny sight!

Tune of TGODOY and AHWWG[edit]

Until recently, this article said "It is sung to the tune of "A-Hunting We Will Go". Somebody removed this about 6 months ago. Because AHWWG has no Wikipedia article, this can be a challenge. Any discussion?? Georgia guy 20:14, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

The reference should not have been removed merely because of the lack of a corresponding WP article. That's what red links are for: when the corresponding article does someday emerge, this one will automatically link to it. I think the useful reference should be restored, and encourage you to do so. --StanZegel (talk) 13:55, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
"A Hunting We Will Go" now redirects to this page - it is linked from other articles, such as "The Farmer in the Dell". There is essentially no information about "A Hunting We Will Go" here, or on any other page I can find. Definitely a hole which needs to be filled. (talk) 00:03, 23 November 2010 (UTC)

Personal Opinion[edit]

Removed this:

"HG - i believe it is about Richard III. He was the last King from the family of York, and usurped the throne in 1483. In the battle of Bosworth in 1485, in which he was killed by the army of Henry Tudor, he began as what many consider the stronger of the two, and took with him ten thousand men. He began the battle at the top of the hill and fought downwards ("he marched them up to the top of the hill and he marched them down again..."). Despite his larger army and advance, he lost."

Editor might well be right, but an encyclopaedia entry doesn't start with "I believe". - Shrivenzale 19:08, 28 October 2007 (UTC) (I made this change originally from another computer and didn't have my login details to hand.)

Shrivenzale might well be right, but it should be noted that the entire article is idle speculation and it might well be eliminated altogether, as reading it is a great waste of time for anyone. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Douglas W. Reynolds (talkcontribs) 11:40, 21 March 2013 (UTC)


Expect this to get reverted again as WP:MOSMUSIC calls for song titles to be in quotes, not "inverted commas" (around here we call this mark an apostrophe). --Gadget850 (talk) 00:25, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

In British English those are quotes. Conventions are different in British and American publishing. Both are usually accepted. Because the subject is originally British I used British conventions (as I would for spelling). If it was American I would use those, particularly under the guidelines on stability of articles. See American and British English differences#Punctuation --Sabrebd (talk) 00:28, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

  • You are entering ' which is a hex 27 which is an apostrophe
  • Inverted commas or single quotes are ‘ and ’ hex 91 and 92; see quotation mark
  • I don't particularly care, but don't be surprised to see this type of edit reverted as it is not covered in the MOS
  • If you are interested in pushing this you should discuss it at WP:MOSMUSIC

--Gadget850 (talk) 00:43, 13 April 2009 (UTC)

Its a fair point on hex 27. I have changed them.--Sabrebd (talk) 08:10, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


"James II ... marched his troops to Salisbury Plain ..." No hills on Salisbury plain - please expand upon this tenious theory to maintain crdulity. Leegee23 (talk) 19:26, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

The Most Common Attribution[edit]

I am surprised that there is no mention of the most common reason for the attribution to the Napoleonic era Duke. This has been taught to my knowledge in the British Army since my grandfather's day and was certainly taught to me. The song was a sarcastic response of his fellow officers who objected to the fact that he was a keen professional and insisted that they forego their social lives to take part in manoeuvres, which they thought pointless. He is widely regarded as the originator of formation (rather than individual and unit) training in the British Army. DickyP (talk) 13:46, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

It is in the article. The big picture of his statue is a clue.--SabreBD (talk) 14:01, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
I didn't say there wasn't an attribution - what I pointed out the absence of the 'real' reason for the attribution to him: his significant place in the history of military training as a discipline. DickyP (talk) 15:13, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
Then why not get a reliable source and put it in?--SabreBD (talk) 16:11, 21 May 2011 (UTC)

If it was published in 1642, then how can it possibly be about Prince Frederick, born 1763?! (Or, for that matter, James II?) (talk) 00:03, 19 June 2013 (UTC)


There was a Captain Kirk He had a thousand men He beamed them up onto his ship And beamed them down again

Now when you're up, you're up And when you're down, you're down And when you're only halfway up, You're nowhere to be found! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:17, 14 September 2011 (UTC)