145. The Kerry Recruit

Chanson contre le recrutement durant la 1ère Guerre Mondiale, Irlande (1915).

About four years ago I was digging the land
With me brogues on me feet and me spade in me hand
Says I to meself what a pity to see
Such a fine strapping lad footin' turf in Tralee

So I buttered me brogues and shook hands with me spade
I went off to the fair like a dashing young blade
I met with a sergeant who asked me to 'list
Arra sergeant a'gragh stuck the bob in me fist

And the first thing they gave me it was a red coat
With a wide strap of leather to tie round me throat
Then they gave me a queer thing, I asked what was that
They told me it was a cockade for me hat

And the next thing they gave me they called it a gun
With powder and shot and a place for me thumb
First she spat fire and then she spat smoke
She gave a great leap and me shoulder near broke

And the first place they sent me was down to the sea
On board of a warship bound for the Crimea
Three sticks in the middle all rolled round with sheet
Faith she walked through the water without any feet

When at Balaclava we landed quite sound
All cold wet and hungry we lay on the ground
Next morning for action the bugle did call
And we got a hot breakfast of powder and ball

We fought at the Alma likewise Inkerman
But the Russians they whaled us at the Redan
While scaling the walls there meself lost an eye
And a big Russian bullet ran off with me thigh

It was there I lay bleeding all on the cold ground
Heads legs and arms lay scattered all round
Says I, If me mam and me claveens were nigh
They'd bury me dacent and raise a loud cry

But they called a doctor who soon staunched me blood
They gave me an elegant leg made of wood
They gave me a medal and ten pence a day
So contented with Sheila I'll live on half pay

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