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Oley Speaks - On the Road to Mandalay



By the old Moulmein Pagoda lookin' eastward to the sea
There's a Burma girl a-settin' and I know she thinks of me
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple bells they say
"Come you back, you British soldier, come you back to Mandalay."
Come you back to Mandalay
Where the old Flotilla lay
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay
Where the flyin' fishes play
And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'crost the bay

'er petticoat was yaller, an 'er little cap was green
An' 'er name was Supiyawlat, jes' the same as Theebaw's queen
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on a 'eathen idol's foot
Bloomin' idol made o' mud
What they called the great Gawd Budd
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed her where she stood
On the road to Mandalay
Where the flyin' fishes play
And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'crost the bay

Ship me somewheres east of Suez where the best is like the worst
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments, an' a man can raise a thirst
For the temple bells are callin' and it's there that I would be
By the old Moulmein Pagoda lookin' lazy at the sea
Come you back to Mandalay
Where the old Flotilla lay
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay
Where the flyin' fishes play
And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'crost the bay