(notes edited by
The Senior Service does not gush. There are certain formulae appropriate to every occasion. …….Presently my friend of the destroyer went back to his stark, desolate life, where feelings do not count.These few words seem to capture much of the form and spirit of "My Boy Jack" and they suggest that poem was either in Kipling’s mind or already down on paper around the time when the articles were written.
...after “Oh, dear, what comfort can I find?” the anguish in German's treatment of “None this tide, . . Nor any tide,” is almost unbearable before the final defiant shout of faith, “hold your head up” 'Clara Butt was capable of doing full justice to the vividly melodramatic style and emotional projection that the song called for. Standing six foot two, she was famed for her booming voice. Sir Thomas Beecham once said that on a clear day she could be heard across the English Channel, and during the war she was immensely popular as a concert performer of patriotic songs and ballads, including "My Boy Jack", which remained at the centre of her repertoire.
[Brian Mattinson in "Kipling and Music", 6 September 2007].
...when the war came, he was the one who before all others saw and said exactly what it would be. He had the poet’s “terrible sagacity,” the vision and the passion. For Kipling at times, like the truest poets, reaches the absolute Greek simplicity. His verse seems the breath of passion made visible and taking shape like the wisp of cloud in the rack of the hurricane. Nature seems to speak through him, and the art blots itself out. Shakespeare had this gift. Tennyson had it in “Break, Break!”. Kipling has in “My Boy Jack” [quoting the final stanza].The ‘Jack’/John confusion