Now, brother Bill's a soldier
And he's somewhere at the front
And now and then he sends us bits of news.
And in return, from home,
We send parcels every week,
Of handy little things that he can use.

Sometimes we send him eatables
Or something he can smoke,
Or perhaps a comic song he'd like to sing.
We know some things are wasted
Well, he writes to tell us so
But mother always sends the very thing.

Sarah sent some sausages and slippers,
Father sent a half a pound of shag.
Auntie sent along a bar of 'Sunlight' soap,
And uncle sent a sleeping bag.
And he wrote to say, 'I'm grateful
For the presents you have sent.
I appreciate your thoughts and timely greetings.
And everything's alright... except,
I cannot sleep at night.'
So mother sent along a pound of 'Keatings'. ***

Each week we’d rack our brains
To try and send him something nice,
We somehow think he’s caught the Frenchie tone.
We can’t make pate-de-fois-gras or even snails in ice
So we have to send a mixture of our own.
So Mother made a parcel up of winkles
And a pound of bullock’s liver chopped in tiny bits,
And Mother said, “If only Bill will rub some dripping in,
‘Twill knock the Frenchie’s patties into fits.

Sarah sent some socks and salts and senna,
Auntie sent a fine-tooth comb.
Father sent a photo of the Sunday joint,
To remind him of his home sweet home.
And he wrote that, 'Way out here,
It's very lonely for the boys,
No chance to see or speak to any fairy.
Or, just to have a word with a fancy little bird...
So mother sent along a pet canary.

Now, Bill's a chap who has his moods,
He's sometimes full of fun.
And then perhaps in sentiment he'll roam.
And he's writtlen, lately, saying
That when next he's here on leave
He'd like to meet a girl and make a home.

So we all looked up some lady-friends,
Who are rather fond of Bill.
We sent their photos on and wished him joy.
But mother sat and pondered
For it seemed that after all
It meant that she would lose her loving boy.

Sarah sent a sticky-back of Stella
Father sent one on of cousin, Flo.
Auntie sent a photo of a dear, good girl
And uncle sent a saucy serio'.
And his letter said, 'I like the girls,
They're very nice, but no,
They all seem, very much, like one an'other.
I want one by my side,
One who'll be a pal... a guide.'
Next day there came a photo signed,
'Your mother.'
Written and composed by Harry Randall & Ernest Butcher -1918
Performed by Ernest Butcher (1885-1965)
From Music Hall Lyrics Collection
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