The Retreat From Moscow
by
G.H. Goodwin
When Napoleon were Emperor of t'French ' 
'E were Lord of all 'e surveyed
'E'd beaten everyone as far as 'e knew 
And them that were left were afraid.

'I'm gettin' bored' 'e said to 'is wife ' 
'Sittin' 'ere with nowt to do 
I'll 'ave to get me Grand Army together 
An' march off to see wot's new'.

'That's a fine thing' said Josephine, 'is wife
'I'd 'ave thought tha were dead beat 
Wot wi' fightin' an' marchin' an' all that 
Tha should be glad to rest your feet'.

'An' wot's wrong wi' me waitin' 'ere? 
Thy face must be made of brass, 
Comin' an' goin' just as yer please
I think tha 'as another lass'.'

'Nay don't talk daft' said Napoleon 
'Fancy sayin' that about me 
I've always been faithful 'aven't I? 
At least when I'm 'ome with thee'.

'You're always out' said Josephine
'Leavin' me 'ere on me own
I sit 'ere waitin' for hours
For thee to ring me on t'phone'.

'Give me me boots' said Napoleon 
'I'm not stayin' 'ere to be nagged 
I can't always be ringin' thee up 
After a battle, I'm fagged'.

'I'll 'ave a go at Russia 
She's the one I've yet to beat'. 
'Don't go there' said Josephine 
'It's winter an' you'll get cold feet'.

'That's the clever bit' said Napoleon 
'It's time to land t'decisive blow 
I reckon by this time next week 
I'll be warmin' me feet in Moscow'.

So off 'e went with 'is army 
An' advanced through t'muck an' t'snow 
An' just as 'e'd promised a week before 
Finished up wi' cold feet in Moscow.

'Get t'fire goin'' 'e ordered sharply 
'Me feet are nigh frozen through 
I 'aven't come all this way for nowt 
I've got Josephine comin' to view'.

'We can't light a fire' said a General 
'Russians 'ave left nowt to burn 
They took t'lot when we chased 'em 
An' I think it's time to return'.

'We can't do that' said Napoleon 
'Just think wot people might say 
We'll be t'laughin' stock of t'world 
Besides, Josephine's comin' up for t'day'.

'That's a daft thing to do' replied t'General, 
'There's nowt 'ere that'll suit 
When she sees wot t'place looks like 
She'll likely give thee the boot'.

'Where is everybody?' asked Josephine 
When she arrived in Moscow's Red Square 
'Where's t'beach an' t'candy floss 
An' all the fun of the fair?'

'There's nowt like that 'ere lass' 
Said Napoleon, 'It's not a seaside resort 
I've come 'ere to fight t'Russians 
Not to let thee 'old court'.

'I'm off back 'ome' said Josephine 
'There's nowt 'ere for me 
An' wot I've seen of this place 
Russians 'ave left even less for thee'.

'We'd better go back' said Napoleon 
After Josephine 'ad departed 
'Call all t'lads an' tell 'em 
It'll stop 'em gettin' down 'earted.

So t'retreat from Moscow began
With Napoleon leadin' the way
Wot wi' Russians, weather, an' cold feet
'E felt it wasn't 'is day.

When 'e arrived back in Paris 
With 'is feet all frozen an' red 
'You're not sleepin' 'ere' said Josephine 
'Puttin' them cold things in my bed'.

Which brings me to t'point of the story 
It's a thing wot wants puttin' right 
It wasn't Napoleon 'oo made that remark 
But Josephine 'oo said 'Not tonight!'. 
The end