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Rudyard Kipling - The Young British Soldier



When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier
So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
An' it's bad for the young British soldier
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier

When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out
An' it crumples the young British soldier
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier
But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You ~must~ wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier
Front, front, front like a soldier
When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are -- you treat her as sich
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine
For noise never startles the soldier
Start-, start-, startles the soldier

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight
And wait for supports like a soldier
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains
And the women come out to cut up what remains
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier