Billy Bennett
(Almost a Gentleman)
Billy Bennett
Hark to the guns, 
One a penny, two a penny, hotcross buns,
Cannons and shells, Bombardier Wells, 
Looting and shooting, and soldiers' farewells, 
Lancers, dragoons, flags and balloons— 
That was the sight I beheld. 
Blue-nosed marines, on sewing machines, 
Pea-nuts, and eggs being shelled,
Europe once lay at Napoleon's feet, 
Bowed to the ruler of France, 
When up came a guy with a Wellington boot 
And kicked me in the Oxford pants. 
'Je suis Napoleon, L'Empereur de France, 
Le petit Corporal, tres magnifique '— 
You won't understand that, neither can I, 
Its Yiddish for bubble and squeak. 
When I think of the retreat from Moscow, 
It brings a big lump in my throat— 
When I think of them treating in Glasgow, 
I put on my waterproof coat.
Forty more miles to the battle, 
To cut off the Russian retreat, 
Nothing to eat but some grasshoppers' eggs 
And a cargo of butterflies' feet. 
Up came the old Sergeant Major— 
'Back, back to Brussels ' he shouts,
I gave him a basket and sixpence, 
And asked him to fetch me some sprouts. 
Crackity-crack went the bayonets, 
Sippity-sip went the beer, 
Flames raging higher, Moscow on fire, 
And the Prudential man not here! 
See, the troops fly away in confusion. 
Did Napoleon fly with the rest? 
No, I just played on my fiddle, 
With my back to the flames 
'Til, I blistered my celluloid vest.
Then came the fatal morning, 
When I fought for the Waterloo Cup, 
One half of the army were absent, 
And the others forgot to turn up.
The Germans advanced full of sauerkraut, 
The English were full of Vin Blanc, 
One shouted 'I'm William the Conqueror,' 
So I hit him a slap on the conk. 
Halt! and the column started; 
Crash ! I can hear the noise yet,
I tripped over a drummer boy's whiskers, 
And bang went my crystal set.
Right in the midst of the thick of the thin 
A Salvation lass came on the scene, 
'Up guard and at 'em,' she shouted, 
And a mule kicked the girl's tambourine. 
She turned round to me, with her ears full of tears,
And the back of her neck full of foam, 
She said 'Buy me a wet '— I said, 'No, No, Nanette, 
But I'll show you the way to go home.'
On came the gallant Scotch Brigade,
Their kilts in the wind were blowing.
None of them knew where the wind came from,
But they all knew where it was going.
Bullets flew by with a sizzle,
Bagpipes and gaspipes roared.
I stood the shots well, but Napoleon fell
When they told me that (local team) had scored.
If I'd only had French officers with knobs on,
I think of that now, but it's too late,
And at nightime, when I'm in the mess (and what a mess I'm in) 
I soliloquize on how I met my fate. 
At Waterloo, St. Pancras, too, they put me in the cart, 
Wellington and Blucher, both assisted me to start, 
Somebody poked a bayonet in Napoleon's Bonaparte 
And I went marching home. 
The end