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Remembered Today:

Oh what a lovely war.


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Hi All;

In the film of 1969 directed by Richard Attenborough, there is a song sung by a lone soldier, he sings when this lousy war is over, based on What a friend we have in jesus.

In the credits of this film i beleive this soldier/actor to be Maurice Arthur, but wondered if he is the original singer.

Google search reveals many versions of the song, but my interest is in the original singer.

Would anyone know if the original mentioned above was indeed the singer, is there a CD or download from the original.

As i understand the soldier who acually sung this in wwi, was a Bill Pringle, a MGC of the Canadian army..Just something i read some where....

FOUND, thanks to youtube converter.

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Malcolm Linham

Tony

I have the LP which states that it is the original sound track recording from the film and it confirms that Maurice Arthur was the vocalist.

The DVD of the film has been released and is I believe still available.

Malcolm

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I have the 2006 DVD which contains a number of production documentaties. I will look into it....

:)

M

PS sang it myself in a 1977 Production in Birmingham.

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  • 9 years later...

I have been Maurice's partner for 45 years.   He was indeed the singer in the film and was appearing in opera at Glyndebourne when that scene was shot and went on to record and appear in many operas all over the world as a leading tenor.  Sadly, he now has dementia as he approaches his 81st birthday, as well as having had a stroke some 15 years ago which left him disabled and is in a nursing home here in Wales where we have lived for over 13 years. 

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8 hours ago, CAROL DAVIS said:

I have been Maurice's partner for 45 years.   He was indeed the singer in the film and was appearing in opera at Glyndebourne when that scene was shot and went on to record and appear in many operas all over the world as a leading tenor.  Sadly, he now has dementia as he approaches his 81st birthday, as well as having had a stroke some 15 years ago which left him disabled and is in a nursing home here in Wales where we have lived for over 13 years. 

How kind of you to post, Carol. Best wishes to you and Maurice.

 

seaJane

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Maurice's rendition of the song has been my favorite moment in the film since the first time I saw it on the big screen.  If it is any consolation Carol I have derived years of pleasure from your partners performance.  Best wishes to you both.

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Yes, me too Carol - even now I often find myself humming, whistling or even (badly) singing the song, thanks entirely to your partner's rendition of it in the film. Thanks for posting here, all the best to you both.

 

Pat

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Thanks for sharing that story Carol.  i've just listened and it is most beautifully sung.

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16 hours ago, T8HANTS said:

Maurice's rendition of the song has been my favorite moment in the film since the first time I saw it on the big screen.  If it is any consolation Carol I have derived years of pleasure from your partners performance.  Best wishes to you both.

Me also. Best wishes to both of you.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

His performance was one of the highlights of the film.

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Magnificent voice. 

 

Slightly OT, but in the versions of the film that I have seen online, there seems to be an unfortunate cut made in the music hall scene, where it is apparent that some bad news has just been read to the audience before the "Are we downhearted?" song begins.  I wonder if this is common to all versions of the film.

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So sad to hear, Carol. Best wishes to both of you!

I think I'll re-watch the movie somwhere this week…

 

M.

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3 hours ago, Hyacinth1326 said:

I was always stunned by the ending of the film. The crosses.

 

Yes, very moving and no c.g.i. then, wonder how long it took to set them up.

 

Mike.

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  • 1 month later...

Carol, I have lookedy times to try to find whose fabulous voice it was. Sadly I now know. Hopefully all the comments here are a help. Just watched it again fot the umpteenth time. Ken Durkin

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  • 1 month later...
aussie greg
On 25/10/2019 at 22:32, CAROL DAVIS said:

I have been Maurice's partner for 45 years.   He was indeed the singer in the film and was appearing in opera at Glyndebourne when that scene was shot and went on to record and appear in many operas all over the world as a leading tenor.  Sadly, he now has dementia as he approaches his 81st birthday, as well as having had a stroke some 15 years ago which left him disabled and is in a nursing home here in Wales where we have lived for over 13 years. 

Carol

I was browsing the net and came across the clip  of "When This Lousy War is Over"  I searched for the man with the magnificent voice , relieved to find him half way through the clip.

I had to search to find out who he was . It seems a shame that he had so little presence on the internet, as his singing was emotionally riveting. Shook me to the core. I hope you can pass on my sincere admiration for his powerful performance from a  humble musician in Australia. The song and performance has increased relevance in our modern world and it was like he was singing for all those lost souls. Thank you Maurice Arthur!

greg

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CAROL DAVIS

Hi Greg,

 

Thank you for your message.  I always let Mo know when anyone posts about him and will do so when I next visit him.  If you want to hear more, check out his Opera Rara recordings.  Many of these were from live performances.  He started out as one of the original Black and White Minstrels after singing in clubs before his operatic apprenticeship and training btw!  He was also a bit of a prodigy as a boy tenor so it was obvious at an early age where his talent would lead him.  His parents both sang as amateurs in public, his dad from Dunvant on the Gower in Wales and his mum from East London. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
aussie greg

Carol

You can hear the ringing of Wales in his voice, don't know about East London. I looked on youtube but no clips are on offer and i am not an opera follower. But, in the quest for more of his singing i went back to the When this War is Over clip and was again struck by the beauty of his singing. i reckon that will do me for a while anyway. I'll ask my operatic pals if they have any recordings but i don't expect much. His voice, for me, was a touching moment in time and I would probably prefer to always remember him in that clip.

greg

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CAROL DAVIS

Quite a long intro but you will hear Mo eventually.  Hope you enjoy it.

 

 

Edited by CAROL DAVIS
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