( Parody)

The togs of war are loose and my shako I can't bear
I'm bent with kit and uniform which don't fit anywhere
I'll swear I've got the heart disease, consumption or am lame
For my pals in the militia try the same old game
To keep away from Turkey I've tried every excuse
From lying down to crying, and from begging to abuse
But I'll be precious careful so that when the paper's read
My name will not be found among the dying or the dead.

Chorus: I don't want to fight, I'll be slaughtered if I do
I'll change my togs, I'll sell my kit, and pop my rifle too
I don't like this war, I ain't a Briton true
And I'd let the Russians have Constantinople.

They say the Turk's a coward, and doesn't like to die
A lazy dirty vagabond, a sneak, and so am I
I play a game of skittles, I can drink till I am tight
Dance a jig, or do a prig, or anything but fight
I've got my pay, my uniform, I shan't put on again
But when I've cut the buttons off, I'll sell it down the lane.


Newspapers talk of Russian hate of its ambition tell
Of course they want a war becauise it makes the papers sell
But when the army's fighting for the honour of the flag
They sit in Fleet Street offices, and let the papers brag
Let all those politicians who desire to help the Turk
Put on the uniform themselves, and go and do the work
War keeps the population down, the clever people say
But I would rather stay at home, and try some other way.


I'll to Constantinople go, when all the fighting's done
And if there's any plundering, I don't mind making one
Or while the Turkish soldiers go, and lose their precious lives
I'll guard their property and give, protection to their wives
And when a Russian bullet - puts the owner on the shelf
I'll wear a turban, and I'll turn a dirty Turk myself
I'll get another Turkish loan, and keep a harem too
I've said that I don't mean to fight, and hang me if I do.


Written and composed by Henry Pettitt & T. Vincent Davies - 1878
Performed by Herbert Campbell (1844-1904)
From monologues.co.uk Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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