The 335 Years' War
By: Beck Hansen, E.N. McNeill

Written by: Beck Hansen, E.N. McNeill

  1. The 335 Years' War
    Available on Song Reader.
The 335 Years' War [Version (a)]:

'Twas on the Isles Of Sicily in 1651
The Dutch declared a war but nobody raised a gun
In fact no shots were fired and nobody even went
Till three centuries passed and a treaty was finally sent

Here's to the heroes of the Sicily Islands War
For three-hundred and thirty-five years, no one left their door
The enemy forgot to come, forgot what to fight for
So here's to the heroes of the Sicily Islands War
The Song:

"The 335 Years' War" is part of a collection of patriotic songs about wars and soldiers and the like, referenced on the back of one of the songs in Beck's Song Reader. Much of Song Reader was based on realistic, actual items. And while I don't believe (and doubt) there were any old sheet music about The 335 Years' War in particular, songs about patriotism, soldiers, wars, and the like was an actual genre of the time. That's what Beck was tapping into here with this fragment.

The 335 Years' War really happened--it was a war, as explained in the song, where no shots were ever fired before a peace treaty was signed 300 some years later.

You can read about it here, like Beck seems to have (all the info in the song was probably sourced from this Wiki article).

Also, many of the song fragments Beck wrote for Song Reader are credited to different names. This song says "by E.N. McNeill." The best I can tell though is this name is entirely made-up and not a reference to anything or anyone in particular. (The best I could find was an H.W. McNeill who wrote a 'patriotic' song called "American Anthem" in 1896.)