Big strong man! (My brother Sylvest) – It may be offensive to some.

It needs more cowbell



Righto! This is a song from my childhood growing up in rural Western Australia, I have a feeling that it is of Irish origin, and whilst we now live in a society where any reference to gender, cultural ethnicity, sexuality, and religious persuasion can and does cause offense to apparently everyone as long as you are not a white heterosexual male. It is a tune about masculinity, and if you do find it offensive, or you believe your race, gender, sexual persuasion, religion and/or ethnicity is misrepresented, my sincerest apologies in advance. If the fact that generally speaking, you find no need to concern yourself with the factors mentioned above, and it is offensive to you that I believed a need to include them here, my apologies to you as well.

I’m pretty sure I’ve got all of the words right, if not, I hope I have not caused offense. It is an offence to cause offense you know.


What a load of bloody rot; let’s get on with it!


Big strong man! (My brother Sylvest)

Have you heard about the big strong man
He lives out in a caravan
Have you heard about the Jeffrey Johnson fight
Well oh what a hell of a fight
You can take all the heavyweights you got
We have a lad who could beat the whole lot
He used to ring the bells in the belfry
Now he’s gonna fight Jack Dempsey

‘Twas my brother Sylvest (What’s he got?)
Oh a row of forty medals on his chest (big chest)
He killed fifty bar men in the west (wild west!)
He knows no rest
Think of the man, hell’s fire don’t push (just shove)
plenty of room for you and me
He’s got an arm like a leg (ladies leg)
And a punch that would sink a battle ship (big ship!)
It takes all the navy and the army
To put the wind up Sylvest (Sylvest!)

He thought he’d take a trip to Italy
He thought that he’d head there by sea
He dived off the harbour in New York
And he swam like a man from Cork
Now he saw the Lusitania in distress
He put the Lusitania on his big big chest
He drank all the water in the sea
And he strode all the way to Italy


He thought he’d take a trip to old Japan
So they brought out the whole brass band
He played every instrument they’d got what a lad
Sure he played the whole lot
Well the old church bells did ring
The inbred old choir did sing
They all turned out to bid farewell
To my brother Sylvest (Sylvest!)

So there you go, click the picture above. ‘My  Brother Sylvest’ follows.







All posts and associated intellectual properties regards ‘’ remain ©The World Turned Upside Down.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I’ve heard this song before (UK) so possibly you are right about its Irish origins. Especially since Cork is a county in Ireland. I had a feeling it was one of those army marching songs, like ‘I don’t know but I’ve been told’ from Full Metal Jacket.


    1. Yes, we sang it in primary school. If you click on the picture on that post, I’ve embedded it being sung.

      Liked by 1 person

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