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Bedfordshire Women's Land Army

Land Army Song "Back to the Land"

Bedfordshire Women's Land Army

"Back to the Land" is one of a number of songs written for land girls to sing.  This one was part of a land army opera written by two talented Surrey members.  Miss P. Adkins (words, with assistance from J. Moncreiff) and Mrs. E.K. Loring (music). The bawdy male version of this was "Backs to the Land".

Click to hear a modern recording of the song by professional singer Alison Young (mezzo-soprano), accompanied by Kenneth Young (piano). Alison Young, 2006.

"Back to the Land" was originally broadcast by the BBC in the Forces programme on April 20th 1942.

Click to see a full copy of the music and verses.  Reproduced courtesy of the Museum of English Rural Life, The University of Reading. 

Back to the Land


Below is another song dedicated to the land girls (author not known). Museum of English Rural Life, The University of Reading.

 

Land Army song

These were not taken up nationally as frequently-sung songs, although some of their verses were quoted.  Land girls preferred singing the popular songs of the day and inventing their own ditties to sing in the fields and while on transport lorries.

One popular ditty was sung to the tune of "She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes" and referred to the land girls' uniform, including a brown hat.

If you wanna go to heaven when you die
You must wear a green pullover and a tie
You must wear a khaki bonnet
With WLA on it
If you wanna go to heaven when you die

Another parody, this time on the First World War song "When this lousy war is over", went:

When this silly war is over
Oh how happy I shall be
When I get my civvy clothes on
No more Land Army for me
No more digging up potatoes
No more threshing out the corn
We will make that bossy foreman
Regret the day that he was born


Stuart Antrobus Historian/Author

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Page last updated: 13th October 2016