WHEN THE BUGLE CALLS
by
Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
Hark! 'tis the bugle calling -
And over the top we went
Leaving the women to 'carry on'
And the lodger to pay the rent.

As we marched away to the station,
A girl shouted, 'Good-bye Jack
Is there anything I can do for you?'
I said, 'Save it till I come back.'

There were boys from the North and boys from the South
Boys from the office - and rope works
'Pretty Boys' there - with sweet scented hair
And others that smelt of the soap-works.

And the tales we told! and the songs we sung!
In Russian - Caboodle - and Gothic (Gaelic)
I always got an encore for mine,
They shouted, 'Bravo!' - and 'Carbolic.'

Now I had no drinking companions,
I only had one chum
And he was a staunch teetotaller,
So he gave me his ration of rum

We did very well in the front line,
But we did better still at the back
And I did a mile a minute
When the rifles began to 'crack'

The football season had just begun
When the enemy came in sight
And as nobody knew which way to run
There was nothing to do but fight

So we jumped in our 'Austin 7's,
Each man feeling sure of defeat
And we'd nearly got through when they turned us back,
It was only a one-way street

Then we ran short of ammunition,
So they called for a volunteer
To go 'n borrow some from the enemy
And wish 'em a Happy New Year.

I crawled on my hands and knees that night,
all through the ruin and wreck
I crawled on my hands and knees because
I can't crawl on the back of my neck

They were ever so pleased to see me.
As soon as they knew it was me
They started letting off fireworks,
But I didn't wait to see

Back to the 'Second Division'
I went by the shortest cut
But it seemed as though all was lost
For I found the canteen shut

So I said, 'Listen Comrades,
I've just thought of a good 'un
We haven't a shell to blow 'em to hell,
But there's my old woman's bread-pudden.'

She sent it out in a parcel
And it's twice as heavy as lead
So we got the guns into position
And fired that at 'em instead

And the battle soon was over,
They packed up without any question
Some picked it up and ate it,
And died of indigestion

They beat us at Allaga-zoota,
But we beat 'em at Pontoon and Banker
We beat 'em at Codham, Shove-ha'p'ny and Darts
And we beat 'em at Crown-an-Anchor

I was called before the Colonel,
He listened to my story
Said, 'Right about turn.' and I marched away
To the music of 'What Price Glory'

I was mentioned in despatches
And ordered to quit the place
And I was the man who saved the King,
Till they beat it with an ace

And for what I did for my country,
These medals are all I got (none)
Tho' every man in the regiment agreed,
That at least I ought to have been shot. 
The end