The Foreign Legion
by
Arthur Askey (1941)
See that gang of ruffians come marching o'er the sand.
Out of time and out of step - they haven't got a band.
Fighting with the Arabs and our friends from La Belle France,
If you dare to lag behind, you get kicked in the pants.

Marching with the Foreign Legion.
Marching on to who knows where.
Across the hot Sahara - with sand on your tarara,
That's the life of every Legionnaire.
Marching on to death or glory
Knowing there are none to care:
Just a real Beau Geste - with whiskers on your chest
That's the life of the Legionnaire.

It's a hell of a life in the Legion,
When you're out in the desert I mean.
This story I'll tell you is clever,
It's not only clever - it's clean.

When first I was sent down from Oxford,
To London I came for a job.
But I stole all my Grandfather's money,
Amounting to seventeen bob.
For six months I lived like a prince, sir,
Wine, women and song all day long.
Till I found that I'd only got fourpence,
So I cut out the wine and the song.

The women still hovered around me.
I thought they were under my spell.
But I found they were after my fourpence,
So I gave them a soldier's farewell.
It was then that I thought of the Legion.
I joined with the greatest of ease.
I thought perhaps they wouldn't have me,
As I suffered from duck's disease.

I chummed up with one they called Stinker,
The deepest-dyed villain of all.
He'd had to leave home in a hurry,
After writing rude words on a wall.
Our Captain we hated like poison.
He had a moustache like a bedsock.
And what the men called him led me to believe
That he had been born out of wedlock.

He took us a route march and lost us.
An obsolete map they had sold him.
He said 'Listen men, I don't know where to go'
So every one of us told him.
After six months of hell I absconded,
If captured I well know my fate.
So I just put myself in my diary
And palmed myself off as a date.

I landed in England last Tuesday,
It wasn't so hard to detect it.
For I'd sand in my whiskers and sand in my hair
And sand where you'd never expect it.
Now here I am back entertaining,
Singing songs ancient and new,
Striving and straining to get a good laugh
Out of boss-eyed palookas like you.
The end