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Bellowhead - Cholera Camp



We've the cholera in camp and it's worse than forty fights
And we're dying in the wilderness same as Israelites
It's before us and behind us, we cannot get away
And the doctor's just reported that we've ten more today

Oh, strike your camp and go - the bugle's calling
The rains are falling
The dead are bushed and stoned to keep them safe below
The bands are doing all they can to cheer us
The chaplain's gone and prayed to God to hear us
To hear us
Oh, Lord, for it's the killing of us all

Since August, when it started, it's been sticking to our tail
Though they've had us out by marches
And they've had us back by rail
But it runs as fast as troop-trains and we cannot get away
And the sick list to the Colonel makes ten more today

And there ain't no fun in women
And there ain't no bite to drink
It's much too wet for shooting
We can only march and think
And at evening, down the nullahs, we can hear the jackals say
“Get up, you rotten beggars, you've got ten more today!”
Oh, strike your camp and go - the bugle's calling
The rains are falling
The dead are bushed and stoned to keep them safe below
The bands are doing all they can to cheer us
The chaplain's gone and prayed to God to hear us
To hear us
Oh, Lord, for it's the killing of us all

And it would make a monkey cough to see our way of doing things
Lieutenants taking companies and captains taking wings
And Lances acting Sergeants - eight file to obey
Oh yes, there's lots of quick promotion on ten deaths a day!

And our Colonel's white and twitterly
And he gets no sleep or food
He just mucks about in hospital where nothing does no good
And he sends us heaps of comforts, all bought from his pay
But there aren't much comfort handy on ten deaths a day

So strike your camp and go - the bugle's calling
The rains are falling
The dead are bushed and stoned to keep them safe below
The bands are doing all they can to cheer us
The chaplain's gone and prayed to God to hear us
To hear us
Oh, Lord, for it's the killing of us all
And our chaplain he's got a banjo and a skinny mule he rides
And the stuff he says and sings, oh Lord, it makes us split our sides
With his black coat-tails a-bobbin' to ta-ra-ra-boom-de-ay
Oh, he's the proper kind of padre for ten deaths a day

Oh, we've the cholera in camp
We've go it hot and sweet
And it ain't no Christmas dinner
But it's certain we must eat
And we've gone beyond the funkin'
'Cause we've found it doesn't pay
And we're rocking 'round the District on ten deaths a day

So strike your camp and go - the bugle's calling
The rains are falling
The dead are bushed and stoned to keep them safe below
And them that do not like it they can lump it
And them that cannot stand it they can jump it
For we've got to die somewhere, someway, somehow
So we might as well begin to do it now!

So, Number One, let down the tent-pole slow
Knock out the pegs and hold the corners so
Fold up the flies, furl up the ropes, and stow
Oh, strike, oh strike your camp and go