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John Tams

Over the Hills and Far Away is an English traditional set to an even older tune. The martial lyrics of this version refer to the War of the Spanish Succession (1701--1714), the Duke of Marlborough, and Queen Anne of England (1665 --1714).

Hark now the drums beat up again
 
For all true soldier gentlemen
So let us list and march I say
And go over the hills and far away
Chorus: Over the hills, and o'er the main
To Flanders, Portugal and Spain
Queen Anne commands and we'll obey
And go over the hills and far away
There's twenty shillings on the drum
For him that with us freely comes
'Tis volunteers shall win the day
Over the hills and far away
Chorus
Come gentlemen that have a mind
  To serve a queen that's good and kind
  Come 'list and enter in to pay
And go over the hills and far away
  Chorus
And we shall live more happy lives
Free of squalling brats and wives
Who nag and vex us every day
So its over the hills and far away
Chorus
Prentice Tom may well refuse
To wipe his angry master's shoes
For now he's free to run and play
Over the hills and far away
Chorus
No more from sound of drum retreat
When Marlborough and Galway beat
The French and Spaniards every day
Over the hills and far away.

The lyrics changed often, and several versions are known. The tune was very popular, and was used for a number of 17th and 18th century ballads.

For the Sharpe's television movies, folk singer John Tams, who appeared as Rifleman Hagman, adapted the lyrics to suit the era of the stories, and wrote several episode specific verses as well:

Here's forty shillings on the drum
For those who volunteer to come,
To 'list and fight the foe today
Over the Hills and far away
[Chorus] O'er the hills and o'er the Main
Through Flanders, Portugal and Spain
King George commands and we obey
Over the hills and far away When duty calls me I must go
To stand and face another foe
But part of me will always stray
Over the hills and far away
Chorus
If I should fall to rise no more As many comrades did before
Then ask the pipes and drums to play
Over the hills and far away
Chorus
Then fall in lads behind the drum
With colours blazing like the sun
Along the road to come what may
Over the hills and far away
Chorus
Through smoke and fire
And shot and shell
And to the very walls of hell
But we shall stand and we shall stay
Over the hills and far away
Chorus
Though I may travel far from Spain
Part of me shall still remain
For you are with me night and day
And over the hills and far away
Chorus
When evil stalks upon the land
I'll neither hold nor stay me hand
But fight to win a better day
Over the hills and far away

John Tams

John Tams as Daniel Hagman

Chorus

Let kings and tyrants come and go
I'll stand ajudged by what I know
A soldier's life I'll n'er gainsay
Over the hills and far away
Chorus
Old Wellington, he scratched his bum
He says, 'Boney lad, thee's had thee fun'
My riflemen will win the day
Over the hills and far away
Chorus

(Traditional - additional lyrics by John Tams)

SeeEdit

Over the Hills and Far Away: The Music of Sharpe CD by John Tams

https://youtu.be/zBwXvW11gDc