Yankee

With apologies to Rudyard Kipling.

Yankee

I went into a public-‘ouse to get a pint o’ beer,
The publican ‘e up an’ sez, “We serve no red-hats here.”
The girls be’ind the bar they laughed an’ giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again an’ to myself sez I:
O it’s Yankee this, an’ Yankee that, an’ “Yankee, go away”;
But it’s “Thank you, Mister Doodle”, when the band begins to play,
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
O it’s “Thank you, Mister Doodle”, when the band begins to play.

I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but ‘adn’t none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-‘alls,
But when it comes to fightin’, Lord! they’ll shove me in the stalls!
For it’s Yankee this, an’ Yankee that, an’ “Yankee, wait outside”;
But it’s “Special plane for Doodle” when the trooper’s on the tide,
The troopship’s on the tide, my boys, the troopship’s on the tide,
O it’s “Special plane for Doodle” when the trooper’s on the tide.

Yes, makin’ mock o’ uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an’ they’re starvation cheap;
An’ hustlin’ drunken soldiers when they’re goin’ large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin’ in full kit.
Then it’s Yankee this, an’ Yankee that, an’ “Yankee, ‘ow’s yer soul?”
But it’s “Thin green line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll,
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
O it’s “Thin green line of ‘eroes” when the drums begin to roll.

We aren’t no thin green ‘eroes, nor we aren’t no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An’ if sometimes our conduck isn’t all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don’t grow into plaster saints;
While it’s Yankee this, an’ Yankee that, an’ “Yankee, fall be’ind”,
But it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind,
There’s trouble in the wind, my boys, there’s trouble in the wind,
O it’s “Please to walk in front, sir”, when there’s trouble in the wind.

You talk o’ better food for us, an’ schools, an’ fires, an’ all:
We’ll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don’t mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Eagle’s Uniform is not the soldier-man’s disgrace.
For it’s Yankee this, an’ Yankee that, an’ “Chuck him out, the brute!”
But it’s “Saviour of ‘is country” when the guns begin to shoot;
An’ it’s Yankee this, an’ Yankee that, an’ anything you please;
An’ Yankee ain’t a bloomin’ fool — you bet that Yankee sees!

And let me add:

It’s Yankee this, and Yankee that, and Yankee you’re a bore
But it’s please to come and save us, when the guns begin to roar.

But that’s okay.  You need us a lot more than we need you.

3 thoughts on “Yankee”

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