1854 AN' ALL THAT
(T' Charge of T' Light Brigade.)
by
Alan Lavercombe
'Twere the twenty-fifth day of October
At the height of the Crimean War,
And our lot were fighting the Russians,
'Cos' we 'adn't fought t' Russians before.

Now the story that I'm goin' to tell thee
Is about t' Charge of t' Light Brigade
At a place that were called Balaclava, you know,
Where all t' woolly 'elmets is made.

There, servin' 'is country, Bert Wainthrop,
And such a nice young man 'e were,
That if 'e 'ad not been a Trooper,
'E'd never 'ave learned 'ow to swear.

Bert fancied 'imself as a bugler,
And practised by night and by day,
But 'e'd spent most of t' war on the substitutes' bench
An' 'ad never been sent on to play.

'E'd practised 'Reveille' at half-one that mornin'
An' Lord Lucan 'ad give 'im the sack,
But when t' bugler's cut t' lip on a broken beer bottle,
'E's asked Bert, like, would 'e come back?

Our Bert were reet chuffed, 'e unpacked 'is kitbag
An' took out 'is bugle to play,
But Lucan says "Not now, we've got t' mornin' off,
Fact we might not be needed today."

See, The 'Eavy Brigade charged that mornin',
An' that 'ad been quite a success.
They gave t' Russians a reet proper pastin',
But left t' pitch in a bit of a mess.

Then t' 93rd. 'Ighland Division marched in,
Their kilts in the wind they were blowin'.
None of them knew where the wind came from,
But they all knew where it was goin'.

An' in the confusion of t' battle,
Some Turks as we'd lent some guns to
Were takin' some stick from t' Russians.
They left t' guns where they were, an' they flew.

Lord Raglan, now e' were the gaffer,
'Cos 'e were the oldest one there,
'Ad 'eard that these Russians were usin' our guns,
An' 'e didn't think this were quite fair.

So 'e's written some orders to Lucan,
Which 'e's read over lunch in 'is tent.
They said: 'Lucan, recapture those canons!'
But didn't say which ones 'e meant.

Captain Nolan, who'd brought 'im the orders,
Said "Leave it to me, lad, I know."
Lucan didn't like orders wot came from above,
Let alone those wot came from below!

'E's decided to phone up Lord Raglan,
Well, any road up like, 'e tries,
An' somebody lent 'im two pennies,
But the phone box 'ad been vandalized.

So, there they were, 'alf- way through dinner
Wi' orders to charge after noon.
British Summertime ended the Sunday before,
So they'd 'ave to do summat quite soon.

So, Lucan an' Cardigan inspected the pitch.
Wot wi' 'orses an' 'Ighlanders' boots
An' thumpin' great canon balls burstin' all round,
The grass were worn down to the roots.

Now Cardigan, who lived aboard 'is private yacht,
'Cos 'e were a reet proper toff,
Not wishin' to get 'is boots dirty,
Wanted Lucan to call it all off.

But then, to their 'orror, Bert Wainthrop,
Who'd been listenin' to t' rumours, went back
To 'is tent, an' 'e's picked up 'is bugle,
An' started to practice 'Attack'.

Bert's bugle call put t' British camp in confusion.
T' Shop Stewards gave t' Generals a warnin';
If they didn't get t' rest of their dinner-hour off,
They'd want 'alf an 'our's lay-in next morning.

After t' meetin' in t' mess-tent, t' were chaos
As they queued to throw t' dinners away,
But not one of them really minded that much,
'Cos the chips were dead soggy that day.

They got t' nosebags off most of their 'orses,
Then saddled an' mounted for t' do,
And mustered The Gallant Six Hundred,
Minus one or two still in the loo.

Into t' Valley of Death rode t' Six 'Undred,
T' Russians didn't 'alf give us what for.
See, when Bert played 'Attack', they'd all finished their din,
'Cos they'd all 'ad theirs one hour before.

Canons to t' left of us, canons to t' right of us,
T' younger lads were not used to such dangers.
Some were 'ardened to t' sight of death, blood, guts an' gore,
'Specially those who'd seen Celtic play Rangers!

Lord Lucan still led the charge onwards,
Though 'is boots were quite filthy by then.
'E 's murmered "I think someone's blundered.
Tha'll not catch me doin' this again!"

In t' Directors' Box, up in the grandstand,
Where most of the Generals were,
General Bosquet, a French lad, 'e cries "Sacre Bleu!
Magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la geurre!"

As the Generals all sat up there watchin',
An' tryin' to find out the score,
Raglan says "Wot wi' our away record,
I 'ad this one down as score-draw."

But we got revenge t' next time we met 'em.
We trampled 'em into the ground,
In front of an 'ome crowd in Moscow,
Knocked 'em out of t' World Cup in t' first round!
The end