MANDALAY (1)
by
Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
By an old whitewashed Pagoda
Looking Eastwards to the West
There's a Burma girl, from Bermondsey
Sits in a sparrow's nest.

She's as pretty as a picture
Though she's lost one eye, they say
Through the Black Hole of Calcutta
Perhaps the keyhole of Bombay.

Look as far as you can see, boy
Look a little further, son
For that Burma girl is burning
Stick a fork in, see if she's done.

Oh, there's not a drop of water
In that waste of desert land
And the soldiers' tongues are hanging out
And trailing in the sand.

Oh, they're hanging out like carpets
And you'll hear the natives say
Mr Drage has laid the lino
On the road to Mandalay.

As the temple bells are ringing
Comes a soldier from his hut
Will he be in time for service?
No, too late, the canteen's shut.

There's a pub three miles behind us
And we've passed it on the way
Come you back, you British soldiers
There's a Scotsman wants to pay.

See, the desert moon is rising
For the golden sun has dropped
And the Burma girl is sleeping
Sleeping sleeps she never slopped.

She is lying on an ant hill
Soon the ants come out to play
Then she wakes and finds she's bitten
On the road to Mandalay.

See that stately dromedary
As it walks along with pride
On its back there's two mosquitoes
Cheek to cheek and side by side.

On its hump there sits a Hindoo
And, as up and down he bobs
All the troops shout, "Stop you're swanking
'Cos you're sitting with the knobs."

Oh, that land of plague and pestilence
Where the natives die in shoals
And they have to vaccinate them
Till their torsos' filled with holes.

Where they have to sit on red hot stones
To keep the flies away
It's no wonder they get sunburnt
On the road to Mandalay.

There's a farm on the horizon
Looking eastward to Siam
We could have some ham and eggs there...
If they had some eggs and ham!

But they've only got one hen
They call her Mandy by the way
But they've found out she's a cock
That's why they can't make Mandy lay.

The poor sandpiper cannot pipe
He's all wheezed up and croaked
He's swallowed so much sand
His blinking carburettors choked!

He cannot whistle through his throat
He's in a sorry plight
So he sticks his beak into the sand
And whistles through the night.

There were no maps for soldiers
In this land of Gunga Din
So they picked the toughest warrior out
And tattooed on his skin.

On his back he's got Calcutta
Lower down he's got Bombay
And you'll find him sleeping peacefully
On the road to Mandalay. 
The end