Malvina Reynolds: Song Lyrics and Poems  

We Hate to See Them Go

Notes: words and music by Malvina Reynolds; copyright 1958 Schroder Music Company, renewed 1987. a.k.a. "The Bankers and the Diplomats" and "Gentlemen of Distinction in the Army." An earlier version that lacked the chorus is known as "Swivel Chair Reserves," "Ticker Tape Parade," or "The Bankers and the Diplomats." A version of the tune with new lyrics by Charlie King has been called "The Money's Gonna Flow."

Last night I had a lovely dream.
I saw a big parade with ticker tape galore,
And men were marching there
The like I'd never seen before.

Oh the bankers and the diplomats are going in the army.
Oh happy day! I'd give my pay to see them on parade,
Their paunches at attention and their striped pants at ease.
They've gotten patriotic and they're going overseas.
We'll have to do the best we can and bravely carry on,
So we'll just keep the laddies1 here to manage while they're gone.

Oh, oh, we hate to see them go,
The gentlemen of distinction in the army.

The bankers and the diplomats are going in the army,
It seemed too bad to keep them from the wars they love to plan.
We're all of us contented that they'll fight a dandy war,
They don't need propaganda, they know what they're fighting for.
They'll march away with dignity and in the best of form,
And we'll just keep the laddies here to keep the lassies1 warm.


The bankers and the diplomats are going in the army,
We're going to make things easy cause it's all so new and strange;
We'll give them silver shovels when they have to dig a hole,
And they can sing in harmony when answering the roll,
They'll eat their old K-rations from a hand-embroidered box,
And when they die, we'll bring them home, and bury them in Fort Knox.


Malvina Reynolds songbook(s) in which the music to this song appears:
---- Little Boxes and Other Handmade Songs
---- The Malvina Reynolds Songbook

Other place(s) where the music to this song appears:
---- Peter Blood-Patterson: Rise Up Singing: The Group-Singing Song Book [lyrics & guitar chords only] (Bethlehem, PA: Sing Out Corp., 1988), p. 187
---- Broadside No. 101 (September 1969)
---- Sing Out!, Volume 20(3) (1971), p. 25

Malvina Reynolds recording(s) on which this song is performed:
---- Another County Heard From
---- Malvina Reynolds
---- Malvina Reynolds

Recordings by other artists on which this song is performed:
---- Bluestein Family: Let the Dove Come In [as "The Bankers and the Diplomats"] (Fretless Records FR 156, 1981)
---- Michael Cooney: Michael Cooney [as "The Bankers and the Diplomats Are Going in the Army"] (Folk Legacy Records FSI-35, 1968)
---- Sally Rogers and Claudia Schmidt: Closing the Distance [as "Gentlemen of Distinction in the Army"] (Flying Fish FF70425, 1987)
---- listen to video
---- listen to video
---- listen to video
---- listen to video
---- listen to video

Additional note
1. To bring this up to date, substitute "young folk" for "laddies" in the first verse, and "young folk here to keep each other" for "laddies here to keep the lassies" in the second verse.

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This page copyright 2006 by Charles H. Smith and Nancy Schimmel. All rights reserved.

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