“Song of the Madras Cannoniers” Competition Continues

25 May | News,
Suzanne Webber
Competition winner Suzanne Webber receiving his prize from FIBIS Chairman Peter Bailey

At the FIBIS Open Meeting last weekend, Peter Bailey presented the prize for the winning entry to Suzanne Webber. In  March 1828, Gunner William Porter of the Madras Artillery on duty in Penang, wrote a letter to his father in London. He included the words of a song sung at the time by the Madras Artillerymen. Sadly he included no music. So, FIBIS challenged its members to write some music to suit the words. Suzanne won!

Since there was only the one verse, FIBIS is now challenging all-comers to write a series of three or four verses to the music and the current verse will be used as a refrain. For anyone interested in writing a few more verses an audio recording of the winning tune with words and musical score can be found below.


Madras Cannoniers score
Score of the Madras Cannoniers (click image to enlarge)

The words to be used as the chorus are:

For why should soldiers be dismayed
and give way to senseless tears
Come seize your cup and drink success
to the Madras Cannoniers!

Please send all entries to Peter at [email protected] Depending upon the flow of responses, we hope to announce the winner by our November Open Meeting.