Stop the Cavalry

Stop the Cavalry

"Stop The Cavalry" is a song written and performed by the musician, Jona Lewie.

The song peaked at number three in the UK Singles Chart in December 1980, at one point only being kept from number one by two re-issued songs by John Lennon, who had been murdered on 8 December.

The song was never intended as a Christmas hit, but the line 'Wish I was at home for Christmas' as well as the brass band arrangements made it an appropriately styled song to play around Christmas time.

The song appears to be set at the front during a war in which the UK participated, although references to both Churchill and to a "nuclear fallout zone" mean that its exact chronology is uncertain. Lewie himself has desribed the song's protagonist as being "a bit like the eternal soldier at the Arc de Triomphe" [ [ Stop The Cavalry by Jona Lewie Songfacts ] ] - in other words, representing all soldiers in all wars (as evidenced by the line "I have had to fight, almost every night, down throughout these centuries") rather than any specific conflict. However, the song's promotional video is set in the trenches of the First World War.

The song's melody is loosely based on a theme from "Swedish Rhapsody No. 1" by Hugo Alfvén, and its major musical elements copied directly from Mozart's Rondo in D Major, K382. "Stop the Cavalry" reached #2 in Australia behind Slim Dusty's 'Duncan'.

In 1981, Stiff Records brought together the Gwalia Singers (Swansea) - a Welsh male voice choir - and the Cory Band to record a new arrangement of the song.

From 2008 the song has become the walk on tune for Lancastrian amateur boxer Jamie 'The Woolman' Barnes, with his coaching team known as the Cavalry and his small promotional company known as Cavalry Productions. Whilst Barnes has never met Lewie, he said in an March 2008 interview with Boxing Weekly, that if he ever turns professional he will ask Lewie to sing the song live as he enters the ring.


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