When first I made me mind up that a soldier I would be
The girl that I was courting she came round and said to me
'I've had me photo taken, Bill, and if we are to part
Promise me you'll always wear the photo next your heart.'
She hung the locket round my neck and her ruby lips I kissed
Borrowed the fare to Aldershot and off I went to enlist.

Chorus: The photo of the girl I left behind me
I went and joined the army full of glee
Then someone came up to remind me
The doctor wanted to examine me
When the doctor found the locket next my heart he said to me
'Whose photograph is this sir that I find
Is this the captain's bulldog?' I said, 'No, sir, if you please, sir
It's the photo of the girl I left behind.'

I never shall forget the first day that I went under fire
I'd been looking at the photo of the girl that I admire
I thought her lovely face would encourage me to go
And fight like Englishmen should do when going to face the foe
The Captain said, 'We're cornered, boys, so fight like mad you must
I kissed the photograph and then you couldn't see me for dust.

Chorus: With the photo of the girl I left behind me
I rushed into the thickest of the fray
When the Captain said, 'We're out of ammunition
I'm afraid it's going to be a losing day.'
I said, 'Don't worry over ammunition, if you please
I have something far more terrible you will find
I will rush amongst the enemy and I'll frighten them to death
With the photo of the girl I left behind.

With the photo of the girl I left behind me
I went to practice shooting one Summer day
When we found a gust of wind had been unkind and
Blown the blooming target right away
The Captain said, 'The target's gone whatever shall we do?'
I shouted just to cheer him, 'Never mind
If you haven't got a target and you want something to shoot at
Here's the photo of the girl I left behind.'

Written, composed and performed by Billy Merson (1881-1947)
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