CHEERFUL CHARLIE
by
F.C. Hennequin & P.N. Parker (1916)

 We called him Cheerful Charlie, a pessimistic chap, 
Who never saw no good in life, but only black mishap. 
On sunny days he shook his head and said it smelt like rain, 
He'd eat and drink enough for two, then say it caused him pain. 

He looked just like a funeral, the day that he was wed 
And whispered in his best man's ear, 'I might as well be dead.' 
When war broke out he gave a sigh and said, 'They'll soon get here 
And we shall live on sauerkraut and dirty lager beer; 

And if they fail, well what's the odds them Russians, mark my word, 
Will turn on us and scoop the lot, we can't win, it's absurd. 
If I enlist it won't help things, I know that ALL IS LOST; 
Most likely we'll be submarined before we get acrost.' 

But when we fell back, gave him his due, he didn't say a word, 
And all the time when things went wrong his voice was never heard. 
He took his whack and did his bit and always helped a pal, 
And oftentimes he's closed their eyes as tender as a gal. 

But when we got the upper hand and things were going strong 
I'm blest if he don't start afresh and say, 'It can't last long.' 
He grumbled through three victories and cursed at 60 Hill, 
Because he said he came away from home and never made no will. 

He says, 'Each hour may be your last and mine too, don't forget it!' 
Then someone hit him with a spade and said. 'Lor Lumme! let it!' 
We had to take some big Redoubt, we knew the day before, 
And Charlie says, 'It's suicide, the regiment is no more!' 

But he was first inside their trench and laying Germans out, 
When in we tumbled after him, just as he got his clout. 
They carried him to hospital and took away one arm 
And pinned a medal on his breast to keep the beggar calm. 

The Colonel says, 'Cheer up, my man, we've got them fairly beat!' 
Then Charlie gives a mournful smile, and says, 'Ho yes! but where's the Fleet?' 
So he's gone back home to Blighty but he's left a blank behind, 
For we took no stock of his poison gas when we knew his heart was kind. 

But in his favourite little pub he turned the beer all sour
With the dismal tales of 'orrors that he tells them by the hour. 
The potman's gone and drowned himself, the barmaid's off her chump, 
And every blessed soul he knows has got the blooming hump!  
The end