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We work under escort in trousies an' shirt,
We blast out the rock an' we shovel the mud,
khud, Reporting, etc.
We make 'em their bridges, their wells, an' their huts,
An' the telegraph-wire the enemy cuts,
An' it's blamed on, etc.
An' when we return an' from war we would
They grudge us adornin' the billets of peace,
We build 'em nice barricks-they swear they are bad,
That our Colonels are Methodist, married or
mad, Insultin', etc.
They haven't no manners nor gratitude too,
For the more that we help 'em the less will they
But mock at, etc.
Now the Line's but a man with a gun in his hand,
An' Cavalry's only what horses can stand,
Artillery moves by the leave o' the ground,
I have stated it plain, an' my argument's thus, ("It's all one," says the Sapper),
There's only one Corps which is perfect-that's
An' they call us Her Majesty's Engineers,
With the rank and pay of a Sapper!
IT got beyond all orders an' it got beyond all 'ope;
It got to shammin' wounded an' retirin' from the 'alt.
'Ole companies was lookin' for the nearest road to slope;
It were just a bloomin' knock-out-an' our fault!
Now there ain't no chorus 'ere to give,
Nor there ain't no band to play;
An' I wish I was dead 'fore I done what I did Or seen what I seed that day!
We was sick o' bein' punished, an' we let 'em know it, too;
An' a company-commander up an' 'it us with a sword,
An' some one shouted "'Ook it!" an' it come to
An' we chucked our rifles from us-oh, my Gawd!
There was thirty dead an' wounded on the ground we wouldn't keep
No, there wasn't more than twenty when the front begun to go;
But, Christ! along the line o' flight they cut us up
An' that was all we gained by doin' so.
I'eard the knives be'ind me, but I dursn't face my man,
An' I don't know where I went to, 'cause I didn't 'alt to see,
Till I'eard a beggar squealin' out for quarter as 'e
An' I thought I knew the voice an'-it was me!
We was 'idin' under bedsteads more than 'arf a march away;
We was lyin' up like rabbits all about the country side;
An' the major cursed 'is Maker 'cause 'e lived to see that day,
An' the colonel broke 'is sword acrost, an' cried.
We was rotten 'fore we started-we was never disciplined;
We made it out a favour if an order was
Yes, every little drummer 'ad 'is rights an' wrongs to mind,
So we had to pay for teachin'-an' we paid!
The papers 'id it 'andsome, but you know the Army knows;
We was put to groomin' camels till the regiments withdrew,
An' they give us each a medal for subduin' England's foes,
An' I 'ope you like my song-because it's true!
An' there ain't no chorus 'ere to give,
But I wish I was dead 'fore I done what I did