FLORENCE NIGHTINGALE

I N S P I R A T I O N


I remember writing these words shortly after the family moved to Worminghall (near Oxford). The words leapt from the pages of a school history book and ideas for the tune unfurled after listening to somebody playing at Long Wittenham Folk Club. I generally play this in Drop D with the capo on 3rd fret. There is a version on youtube: Florence Nightingale, and the version on the player immediately below is by my friend Pam Dentith, who helped me to get going again. The version which is on Bare Bones can be heard on Soundcloud.

Florence Nightingale

We went to fight the Russians to hold the dogs at bay,

Keep them to the border in the hope that’s where they’d stay.

French and English fighting men, were brought from far and near,

To keep the Turkish empire whole, we battled in Crimea.

And we weren’t dressed for the winter, of Russia at its worst.

Many owe their lives today to the Nightingale who nursed.

 

We got the call from India, that’s where we had been,

Working for our country and Victoria the queen.

With victory at Alma, Sebastapol saw spine,

In highland men who stood as one, to form a thin red line.

And we weren’t dressed for the winter, of Russia at its worst.

Many owe their lives today, to the Nightingale who nursed.

Nightingale, Nightingale,

Many owe their lives today, to the Nightingale who nursed.

 

The fumbling bungling officers, did not know what to do.

They took them out of mothballs, where they’d been since Waterloo.

It was frostbite and cholera, that took a toll on life,

Killed more men than the Russians ever did, with bayonet and knife.

And we weren’t dressed for the winter, of Russia at its worst.

Many owe their lives today, to the Nightingale who nursed.

Nightingale, Nightingale,

Many owe their lives today, to the Nightingale who nursed.

  

Paul J Openshaw (1986 ish) 

Chords:

D                                                              G               Em          A

We went to fight the Russians to hold the dogs at bay,

D                                                           G                    Em                A

Keep them to the border in the hope that’s where they’d stay.

Bm                                 G               D                 Em                     G            A

French and English fighting men, were brought from far and near,

D                                                                          G             A   D

To keep the Turkish empire whole, we battled in Crimea.

                  Em                          G            A                 Em       G        A

And we weren’t dressed for the winter, of Russia at its worst.

D                                                                  G             A             D

Many owe their lives today to the Nightingale who nursed.

THEN THE CHORUS BIT AFTER SECOND AND THIRD VERSES

D                      G   Em  A

Nightingale, Nightingale,

Bm                          G       D                      Em         A               D

Many owe their lives today to the Nightingale who nursed.

© Paul J Openshaw 2012