Saturday, April 09, 2005

Dance the Danny Deever

I note that Mark Grimsely seems to have taken on something of a penchant for poetry and given that Kipling and Starship Troopers have both been playing merry hell with my brain recently, here's one by the former:

"What are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.
"To turn you out, to turn you out," the Colour Sergeant said.
"What makes you look so white, so white?" said Files-on-Parade.
"I'm dreadin' what I've got to watch," the Colour Sergeant said.
For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
The Regiment's in 'ollow-square - they're hangin' him today;
They've taken off his buttons an' they've cut his stripes away,
An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'

"What makes the rear-rank breathe so 'ard?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's bitter cold, it's bitter cold," the Colour Sergeant said.
"What makes the front-rank man fall down?" said Files-on-Parade.
"A touch o' the sun, a touch o' the sun," the Colour Sergeant said.
They are hangin' Danny Deever, they are marchin' of 'im round.
They 'ave 'alted Danny Deever by 'is coffin on the ground;
An' 'e'll swing in 'arf a minute for a sneakin' shootin' hound -
Oh they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'!

"'Is cot was right-'and cot to mine," said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's sleepin' out an' far tonight," the Colour Sergeant said.
"I've drunk 'is beer a score o' times," said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's drinkin' bitter beer alone," the Colour Sergeant said.
They are hangin' Danny Deever, you must mark 'im to 'is place,
For 'e shot a comrade sleepin' - you must look 'im in the face;
Nine 'undred of 'is country and the regiment's disgrace,
While they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

"What's that so black against the sun?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny fightin' 'ard fo life," the Colour Sergeant said.
"What's that that whimpers over'ead?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny's soul that's passin' now," the Colour Sergeant said.
For they're done with Danny Deever, you can 'ear the quickstep play,
The regiment's in column an' they're marchin' us away;
Ho! the young recruits are shakin' an' they'll want their beer today.
After hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.

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