WHAT DID YOU DO IN THE GREAT WAR, DADDY?
 
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Come and sit beside me, Daddy
Tell me the tale once more
I often asked you to tell me, Daddy
What you did in the great Great War?

What did you do in the War, Bertie?
'I' said the young man from the grocery store
'Took no coupons from the woman next door
Whose husband was on the Tribunal.
All single girls got butter fresh and lumps of sugar large
For married ones I gave them all a half a pound of marge
And that's what I did in the Great War, Daddy.'

What did you do in the Great War, Maria?
'I' said the maiden aunt with zeal
'Tried to knit a pair of socks but couldn't turn the heal
So I changed it into a hearth rug.
I knitted chest protectors and warm body-belts galore
Embroidering them in coloured silks with 'roses round the door'
And that's what I did in the Great War, Daddy.'

What did you do in the Great War, Frederick?
'I' said the special, 'From ten to four
Guarded the local reservoir and saw that no one drank it
When small boys got impertinent I soon applied the stopper
And frightened them by threatening to whistle for a copper
And that's what I did in the Great War, Daddy.'

What did you do in the Great War, Muriel?
'I' said the land-girl, 'Rose at six
I fed the cows and milked the chicks. I was a farmer's boy.
I said good-bye to crepe de chines and pretty low necked blouses
And wore an old thick flannel shirt and an ugly pair of, er, braces
And that's what I did in the Great War, Daddy.'

What did you do in the Great War, Bill?
'I' said the man who made munitions
Paid real cash for those chips and fishions
Pass me the asparagas
Me and my missis went in shops
And bought each thing they sold us
Changed my shirt each week and bought two pianos with my bonus
And that's what I did in the Great War, Daddy.'

What did you do in the Great War, Jane?
'I' said the lady with the voice pathetic
'Sang songs without giving an anaesthetic
I sang to the soldiers.
I sang to wounded Tommies with their beds all in a row
We do not want to lose you but we think you ought to go.
And that's what I did in the Great War, Daddy.'

What did you do in the Great War, Cuthbert?
'I' said the youth, 'Searched limbs and minds
But failed my vowicose veins to find
So I went in a Government Office
When Gwandad and Gweat Gwandpapa both had joined their gwoups
I shouted, 'Wule bwittania, that's the stuff to give our twoops'
And that's what I did in the Great War, Daddy.'

And all the profiteers who had been so long in clover
Fell a-sighing and a-sobbing when they heard the war was over
For they'd all made their 'bit' in the Great War, Daddy.
 
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Performed by Tom Clare (1876-1946)
 
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