The Guns

Melody -

From the Marne, WWI

There's a battery snug in the spinney,
A French seventy-five in the mine,
A big nine-point-two in the village
Three miles to the rear of the line.
The gunners will clean them at dawning
And slumber beside them all day,
But the guns chant a chorus at sunset,
And then you should hear what they say.
Whizz bang! pip squeak! ss-ss-st!
Big guns, little guns waken up to it.
We're in for heaps of trouble,
Dug-outs at the double,
And stretcher-bearers ready
To tend the boys who're hit.

2. And then there's the little machine-gun,
A beggar for blood going large.
Go, fill up his belly with iron,
And he'll spit in the face of a charge.
The foe fixed his ladders at daybreak,
He's over the top with the sun;
He's waiting; for ever he's waiting,
The pert little vigilant gun.
Its tit-tit! tit-tit! tit! tit! tit!
Hark the little terror bristling up to it!
See his victims lying,
Wounded sore and dying
Red the field and volume
On which his name is writ.

3. The howitzer lurks in an alley,
(The howitzer isn't a fool,)
With a bearing of snub-nosed detachment
He squats like a toad on a stool.
He's a close-lipped and masterly beggar,
A fellow with little to say,
But the little he says he can say in
A most irrepressible way.
OO -- plonk! OO-plonk! plonk! plonk! plonk!
The bomb that bears the message riots through the air.
The dug-outs topple over
On the foemen under cover,
They'll slumber through revelly
Who get the message there!

4. The battery barks in the spinney,
The howitzer plonks like the deuce,
The big nine point two speaks like thunder
And shatters the houses in Loos,
Sharp chatters the little machine-gun,
Oh! when will its chattering stop?
At dawn, when we swarm up the ladders;
At dawn we go over the top!
Whizz bang! pipsqueak! OO-plonk! sst!
Up the ladders! Over! And carry on with it
The guns all chant their chorus,
The shells go whizzing o'er us:
Forward, hearties! Forward
To do our little bit!

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