THE YOUNG BRITISH SOLDIER
By Rudyard Kipling

 

 

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,
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier,
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier,
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!




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,
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier,
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier,
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier,
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier,
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier,
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Front, front, front like a soldier,
Front, front, front like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier,
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Start-, start-, startles the soldier,
Start-, start-, startles the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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,
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier,
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!



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.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

Written Between 1889 and 1891

 

The background music is
"The Son of God Goes Forth To War"
used in the Movie "The Man Who Would Be King"
Based on a Kipling Story
Staring Michael Caine and Sean Connery

Music From
Franks Music Page
Volkslieder aus aller Welt

Also By Rudyard Kipling

HYMN BEFORE ACTION

The Grave of The Hundred Head

See Also This Fine Site

http://www.poetryloverspage.com/poets/kipling/kipling_ind.html

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