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A good soldier is a poor scout.

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Rudyard Kipling

The Young British Soldier

When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
So-oldier ~OF~ the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier . . .

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts --
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts --
An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier . . .

When the cholera comes -- as it will past a doubt --
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An' it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier . . .

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You ~must~ wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier . . .

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier . . .

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old --
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier . . .

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em -- you'll swing, on my oath! --
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier . . .

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Mother’s Cry of Late

Where for art thou, soldier?
Out East? West? –
And when? –
What part your rabid history?
And why? –
What wrought your destiny? –
For whom
You’d wreak your enmity –
I crave your fate to pen!

What comprehension of the
Order? –
‘Listen up! you men!
Raze to ground the taken land!
See they die and e’er you’ll stand, for
Death is but a grain of sand –
The mighty triumph, medal grand!

Now go you well!
Amen! ’

What sight upon the bloody lie
Of war? – your doubtful fate.

‘Where for art thou, soldier? ’ –
Your mother’s cry of late.

Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2011

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Soldier's Ghost

I bled for you - would you for me?

I blessed a skin in blazing fuel
Then took a bullet in a duel of
‘He or I to Die.'

I often question ‘Why? '
Do you?

My country was my life to give -
Would you for country cease to live?
Sinking in a mire of death,
You have no choice -
So while you're still alive,
Rejoice!

I cried in failure - did you care?
And as I waned, were you aware of
What I did -?
Fighting for my country while you hid
Behind your comfort back at home?

Still relaxed?
My wife and child are fading at the tomb.


Copyright © Mark R Slaughter 2009


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Oh! He's Nothing But A Soldier

'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
But he's coming here tonight,
For I saw him pass this morning,
With his uniform so bright.
He was coming in from picket,
Whilst he sung a sweet refrain,
And he kissed his hand at some one
Peeping through the window pane.
Ah! he rode no dashing charger
'With a black and flowing mane,'
But his bayonet glistened brightly,
As the sun lit up the plain.
No waving plume or feather
Flashed its crimson in the light -
He belonged to the Light Infantry,
And he came to war- to fight.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
His trust is in his sword -
To carve his way to glory,
Through the servile Yankee horde.
No pompous pageant heralds him,
No sycophants attend,
In his belt you see his body guard -
His tried and trusty friend.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
And a stranger in our land;
His home is in the sunny South,
By the blue Gulf's golden strand.
But I wish I knew his people,
Some little of his past,
For father's always telling me
About our 'social caste'.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
But his eyes are very fine,
And I sometimes think, when passing,
They are piercing into mine.
Pshaw! 'He's nothing but a soldier,'
Come, let me be discreet;
But really, for a soldier,
His toilet's very neat.
'Oh! he's nothing but a soldier,'
But last night he came to tea -
What an interesting soldier -
But then, he's rather free.
'Twas two o'clock this morning,
Before he took his leave;
He has my ring - the fellow!
But what's the use to grieve?
He has been again to see us,
The 'gentleman' in grey;

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In A Soldier...You Will Find...

In a soldier...
Loyalty and strength you see.
In a soldier...
Discipline, bravery.
In a soldier...
A world that is free.
In a soldier..
Sacrifice, so the world can be free.
In a soldier...
No compromise.
In a soldier...
Courage in his eyes.
In a soldier...
A special bond.
In a soldier...
Iraq, Viet-Nam.
In a soldier...
Sad, drooped eyes.
In a soldier...
Pain, when a buddy dies.
In a soldier...
Terrible places.
In a soldier...
Tough, grim faces.
In a soldier...
Stories untold.
In a soldier...
Action makes him old.
In a soldier...
Dark, frightening nights.
In a soldier...
Missing his lovely wife.
In a soldier...
Memories of a decent life.
In a soldier...
Scars deep in the mind.
In a soldier...
An exploding mine.
In a soldier...
The thrill of leaving war.
In a soldier...
No more pains anymore.
In a soldier...
No more tears.
In a soldier...
Leaving war, after a long, trying year.

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Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Fourth Book

THEY met still sooner. 'Twas a year from thence
When Lucy Gresham, the sick semptress girl,
Who sewed by Marian's chair so still and quick,
And leant her head upon the back to cough
More freely when, the mistress turning round,
The others took occasion to laugh out,–
Gave up a last. Among the workers, spoke
A bold girl with black eyebrows and red lips,–
'You know the news? Who's dying, do you think?
Our Lucy Gresham. I expected it
As little as Nell Hart's wedding. Blush not, Nell,
Thy curls be red enough without thy cheeks;
And, some day, there'll be found a man to dote
On red curls.–Lucy Gresham swooned last night,
Dropped sudden in the street while going home;
And now the baker says, who took her up
And laid her by her grandmother in bed,
He'll give her a week to die in. Pass the silk.
Let's hope he gave her a loaf too, within reach,
For otherwise they'll starve before they die,
That funny pair of bedfellows! Miss Bell,
I'll thank you for the scissors. The old crone
Is paralytic–that's the reason why
Our Lucy's thread went faster than her breath,
Which went too quick, we all know. Marian Erle!
Why, Marian Erle, you're not the fool to cry?
Your tears spoil Lady Waldemar's new dress,
You piece of pity!'
Marian rose up straight,
And, breaking through the talk and through the work,
Went outward, in the face of their surprise,
To Lucy's home, to nurse her back to life
Or down to death. She knew by such an act,
All place and grace were forfeit in the house,
Whose mistress would supply the missing hand
With necessary, not inhuman haste,
And take no blame. But pity, too, had dues:
She could not leave a solitary soul
To founder in the dark, while she sate still
And lavished stitches on a lady's hem
As if no other work were paramount.
'Why, God,' thought Marian, 'has a missing hand
This moment; Lucy wants a drink, perhaps.
Let others miss me! never miss me, God!'

So Marian sat by Lucy's bed, content
With duty, and was strong, for recompense,
To hold the lamp of human love arm-high
To catch the death-strained eyes and comfort them,
Until the angels, on the luminous side

[...] Read more

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Allegany Camp

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amelia earhart in japanese war camp

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VII. Pompilia

I am just seventeen years and five months old,
And, if I lived one day more, three full weeks;
'T is writ so in the church's register,
Lorenzo in Lucina, all my names
At length, so many names for one poor child,
—Francesca Camilla Vittoria Angela
Pompilia Comparini,—laughable!
Also 't is writ that I was married there
Four years ago: and they will add, I hope,
When they insert my death, a word or two,—
Omitting all about the mode of death,—
This, in its place, this which one cares to know,
That I had been a mother of a son
Exactly two weeks. It will be through grace
O' the Curate, not through any claim I have;
Because the boy was born at, so baptized
Close to, the Villa, in the proper church:
A pretty church, I say no word against,
Yet stranger-like,—while this Lorenzo seems
My own particular place, I always say.
I used to wonder, when I stood scarce high
As the bed here, what the marble lion meant,
With half his body rushing from the wall,
Eating the figure of a prostrate man—
(To the right, it is, of entry by the door)
An ominous sign to one baptized like me,
Married, and to be buried there, I hope.
And they should add, to have my life complete,
He is a boy and Gaetan by name—
Gaetano, for a reason,—if the friar
Don Celestine will ask this grace for me
Of Curate Ottoboni: he it was
Baptized me: he remembers my whole life
As I do his grey hair.

All these few things
I know are true,—will you remember them?
Because time flies. The surgeon cared for me,
To count my wounds,—twenty-two dagger-wounds,
Five deadly, but I do not suffer much—
Or too much pain,—and am to die to-night.

Oh how good God is that my babe was born,
—Better than born, baptized and hid away
Before this happened, safe from being hurt!
That had been sin God could not well forgive:
He was too young to smile and save himself.
When they took two days after he was born,
My babe away from me to be baptized
And hidden awhile, for fear his foe should find,—

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Brave Little Soldier

Im a brave little soldier
I must be bold and strong
A brave little soldier
And I must carry on
Im a brave little soldier
A brave little soldier
Im a brave little soldier
I must fight, I must win
Im a brave little soldier
Through hell and back again
Im a brave little soldier
A brave little soldier
Per rum, pum, pum
Per rum, pum, pum
Per rum, pum, pum, pum, pum
Ye though I am marching through the valley filled with fear
My steps are sure and sturdy and my aim is straight and clear
The enemy is stalking me just waiting for the kill
Like david slewed galiath
I will claim this battle field
Im a brave little soldier
I must do what I can
Im a brave little soldier
And I must take a stand
Im a brave little soldier
A brave little soldier
Marching, marching onward
Searching out the light of truth
I did not start the war
But its a battle I cant lose
Faith will be my armor
And love my sword and shield
I must defeat the enemy
I will, I will, I will
A brave little soldier
I must be bold and strong
A brave little soldier
And I must carry on
A brave little soldier
A brave little soldier
Im a brave little soldier
A brave little soldier
Brave, little soldier

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A Soldier- Dedicated to Nicholas Shelton

There is discipline in A Soldier you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier you hear it when he talks.
There is courage in A Soldier you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier that he will not compromise.
There is something in A Soldier that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier that beats from his heart.
A Soldier isn't a title any man can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man buried deep inside of you.
A Soldier's job isn't finished after an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what comes first in a civilian's mind.
If you are civilian - I am saying this to you..... next time you see A Soldier remember what they do.
A Soldier is the reason our land is 'Home of the free',
A Soldier is the one that is brave protecting you and me.
If you are A Soldier - I am saying this to you.....
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER Thank God for what YOU do!

I thought about you Mr. Shelton, I figured this is the least I could do to thank you my friend.

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What You Find

There is discipline in A Soldier
you can see it when he walks,
There is honor in A Soldier
you hear it when he talks.
There is courage in A Soldier
you can see it in his eyes,
There is loyalty in A Soldier
that he will not compromise.
There is something in A Soldier
that makes him stand apart,
There is strength in A Soldier
that beats from his heart.
A Soldier isn't a title any man
can be hired to do,
A Soldier is the soul of that man
buried deep inside of you.
A Soldier's job isn't finished after
an 8 hour day or a 40 hour week,
A Soldier is always A Soldier
even while he sleeps.
A Soldier serves his country first
and his life is left behind,
A Soldier has to sacrifice what
comes first in a civilian's mind.
If you are civilian -
I am saying this to you.....
next time you see A Soldier
remember what they do.
A Soldier is the reason our land
is 'Home of the free',
A Soldier is the one that is brave
protecting you and me.
If you are A Soldier -
I am saying this to you.....
Thank God for EVERY SOLDIER
Thank God for what YOU do!


TY bohls

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The Irish Soldier

The Irish soldier, cast for fight,
Stood to his arms at dead of night,
Watching the east, until its ray
To the battle--field should show his way;--
Soldier, soldier, soldier brave,
You will fight though they call you slave,
And though you but help a bandit hand
Uncheck'd to kill in your native land.

The soldier thought on his chance of doom--
How the trampled sod might be his tomb--
How, in evening's dusk, his sightless stare
To the small pale stars might upward glare;--
Soldier, soldier, soldier brave,
You will fight though you think of the grave--
Though it yawn so near you, black and chill,
Honor and courage man you still.

And o'er his solemn brow he made
The Christian sign, and humbly said--
``Your prayers, good saints, if I should fall;
And for mercy, O Lord, on you I call!''--
Irish soldier, soldier brave,
You will fight, although you crave
The prayers of the saints your own to aid,
And the sign of the cross on your brow have made.

The morning broke--the bugle blew--
The voice of command the soldier knew,
And stern and straight in the van he stood,
And shouting, he rush'd to the work of blood;--
Irish soldier, soldier bold,
Thousands lay round you, crimson'd and cold--
But over their bodies you still fought on,
Till down you sank as the day was won.

And the Irish soldier now hath come,
Worn, and wounded, and crippled, home,
The hated, and slander'd, and scorn'd of those
Who safely slept while he faced their foes;--
Irish soldier, soldier bold,
In your native land you now are told
'Twas traitor--blood on that field you lost,
For you call'd on the saints, and your brow you cross'd!

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Rudyard Kipling

Soldier, Soldier

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Why don't you march with my true love?"
"We're fresh from off the ship an' 'e's maybe give the slip,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."
New love! True love!
Best go look for a new love,
The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better dry your eyes,
An' you'd best go look for a new love.

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
What did you see o' my true love?"
"I seed 'im serve the Queen in a suit o' rifle-green,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Did ye see no more o' my true love?"
"I seed 'im runnin' by when the shots begun to fly --
But you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Did aught take 'arm to my true love?"
"I couldn't see the fight, for the smoke it lay so white --
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
I'll up an' tend to my true love!"
"'E's lying on the dead with a bullet through 'is 'ead,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
I'll down an' die with my true love!"
"The pit we dug'll 'ide 'im an' the twenty men beside 'im --
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
Do you bring no sign from my true love?"
"I bring a lock of 'air that 'e allus used to wear,
An' you'd best go look for a new love."

"Soldier, soldier come from the wars,
O then I know it's true I've lost my true love!"
"An' I tell you truth again -- when you've lost the feel o' pain
You'd best take me for your true love."
True love! New love!
Best take 'im for a new love,
The dead they cannot rise, an' you'd better dry your eyes,
An' you'd best take 'im for your true love.

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I Want to be a Soldier

I will be a soldier
Only when soldiers realize
They are not animals or
cattles
Only if soldiers can ask
'Why should I shoot that
innocent man? '
I would be a soldier
If soldiers can ask the
commander
'Why should we shoot at
the children? '
I would be a soldier
If soldiers know that
The red blood that runs
through their veins
Runs in the rest peopl's too.
I would be a soldier if
Soldiers know they aren't
what they ask them to be
When they know that
The Emperor will never ask
them to kill his children
I would be a soldier
When soldiers realize war
is inhuman
When soldiers know war
always starts war
When they know that
World peace can not be
reached through war
When United Nations can
ask themselves
Is war the only way to end
corruption in the globe?
When soldiers know the
distance between peace and
war.
When soldiers realize how
intoxicative the gun is.
When soldiers realize
that gun does not control
them, but they control it.
I would be a soldier only if
soldiers know
why Martin Luther King jnr.
was killed.
If they know Adolf Hitler
also tried to make peace
through war.

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The Parish Register - Part III: Burials

THERE was, 'tis said, and I believe, a time
When humble Christians died with views sublime;
When all were ready for their faith to bleed,
But few to write or wrangle for their creed;
When lively Faith upheld the sinking heart,
And friends, assured to meet, prepared to part;
When Love felt hope, when Sorrow grew serene,
And all was comfort in the death-bed scene.
Alas! when now the gloomy king they wait,
'Tis weakness yielding to resistless fate;
Like wretched men upon the ocean cast,
They labour hard and struggle to the last;
'Hope against hope,' and wildly gaze around
In search of help that never shall be found:
Nor, till the last strong billow stops the breath,
Will they believe them in the jaws of Death!
When these my Records I reflecting read,
And find what ills these numerous births succeed;
What powerful griefs these nuptial ties attend;
With what regret these painful journeys end;
When from the cradle to the grave I look,
Mine I conceive a melancholy book.
Where now is perfect resignation seen?
Alas! it is not on the village-green: -
I've seldom known, though I have often read,
Of happy peasants on their dying-bed;
Whose looks proclaimed that sunshine of the breast,
That more than hope, that Heaven itself express'd.
What I behold are feverish fits of strife,
'Twixt fears of dying and desire of life:
Those earthly hopes, that to the last endure;
Those fears, that hopes superior fail to cure;
At best a sad submission to the doom,
Which, turning from the danger, lets it come.
Sick lies the man, bewilder'd, lost, afraid,
His spirits vanquish'd, and his strength decay'd;
No hope the friend, the nurse, the doctor lend -
'Call then a priest, and fit him for his end.'
A priest is call'd; 'tis now, alas! too late,
Death enters with him at the cottage-gate;
Or time allow'd--he goes, assured to find
The self-commending, all-confiding mind;
And sighs to hear, what we may justly call
Death's common-place, the train of thought in all.
'True I'm a sinner,' feebly he begins,
'But trust in Mercy to forgive my sins:'
(Such cool confession no past crimes excite!
Such claim on Mercy seems the sinner's right!)
'I know mankind are frail, that God is just,
And pardons those who in his Mercy trust;

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A Song For The Irish Militia

AIR--_The Peacock._


I.

The tribune's tongue and poet's pen
May sow the seed in prostrate men;
But 'tis the soldier's sword alone
Can reap the crop so bravely sown!
No more I'll sing nor idly pine,
But train my soul to lead a line--
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!


II.

No foe would fear your thunder words,
If 'twere not for your lightning swords--
If tyrants yield when millions pray,
'Tis less they link in war array;
Nor peace itself is safe, but when
The sword is sheathed by fighting men--
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!


III.

The rifle brown and sabre bright
Can freely speak and nobly write--
What prophets preached the truth so well
As HOFER, BRIAN, BRUCE, and TELL?
God guard the creed these heroes taught--
That blood-bought Freedom's cheaply bought
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!


IV.

Then, welcome be the bivouac,
The hardy stand, and fierce attack,
Where pikes will tame their carbineers,
And rifles thin their bay'neteers,
And every field the island through
Will show 'what Irishmen can do!'
A soldier's life's the life for me--
A soldier's death so Ireland's free!

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A Song For The Irish Militia

The tribune's tongue and poet's pen
May sow the seed in prostrate men;
But 'tis the soldier's sword alone
Can reap the crop so bravely sown!
No more I'll sing nor idly pine,
But train my soul to lead a line
A soldier's life's the life for me
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

No foe would fear your thunder words,
If 'twere not for your lightning swords
If tyrants yield when millions pray,
'Tis less they link in war array;
Nor peace itself is safe, but when
The sword is sheathed by fighting men
A soldier's life's the life for me
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

The rifle brown and sabre bright
Can freely speak and nobly write
What prophets preached the truth so well
As HOFER, BRIAN, BRUCE, and TELL?
God guard the creed these heroes taught-
That blood-bought Freedom's cheaply bought
A soldier's life's the life for me
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

Then, welcome be the bivouac,
The hardy stand, and fierce attack,
Where pikes will tame their carbineers,
And rifles thin their bay'neteers,
And every field the island through
Will show 'what Irishmen can do! '
A soldier's life's the life for me
A soldier's death so Ireland's free!

Yet, 'tis not strength and 'tis not steel
Alone can make the English reel;
But wisdom, working day by day,
Till comes the time for passion's sway
The patient dint and powder shock,
Can blast an empire like a rock.
A soldier's life's the life for me
A soldier's death, so Ireland's free!

The tribune's tongue and poet's pen
May sow the seed in slavish men;
But 'tis the soldier's sword alone
Can reap the harvest when 'tis grown.
No more I'll sing, no more I'll pine,

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I was a Soldier once

Old, tired, physically worn out,
With every move my muscles shout.
Woodworking, gardening, lazing about,
nothing to do but widdle and pout.

I was a Soldier once, large and strong,
I was a Soldier once, doing no wrong.
I was a Soldier once, fighting your war,
I was a Soldier once, mighty to the core.

I sit behind a desk now, slowly getting fat,
Knowing where I should really be settling my hat.
This civilian life I live, is so deadly to me,
I should, again, be a soldier, a sight to see.

I was a Soldier once, Yes Sir, No Sir, anything you say Sir.
I was a Soldier once; it was the life I preferred.
I was a Soldier once, leading from the saddle.
I was a Soldier once, living in my battle rattle.

Those that have never been one shall never know.
Those that put them down can basically go blow.
In this day and age, Soldiers protect our Freedom
In this day and age, everyone should be one.
I know this because,

I was a Soldier once, protecting you and yours.
I was a Soldier once, with back to back fighting tours.
I was a Soldier once, dying for the American way.
and although I was a Soldier once,
I should be a Soldier Now, fighting for you every day.

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Tin Heart

Twenty five soldier boys standing in a line
Twenty five army toys made out of tin
But the last one was broken
Unfinished
Missing a leg
And he stood the straightest
Of them all

His line stood straight
Eyes facing forward
But our one legged soldier
Looked toward the doll house
She was a ballerina
He was a soldier boy
And he loved her

At night the toys come out to play
But our steadfast little soldier
Just longed for the ballerina

Out popped the Jack-in-the-box
Who mocked and scoffed
Why would the beautiful ballerina
Pick a broken soldier?
Any fool could see that Jack wanted her too

But the soldier just ignored him

The next day came
And the little boy set the soldier on the windowsill
But by terrible luck
Or maybe it was Jack
The window blew open and down the steadfast little soldier fell
All the way down

Some boys picked him up and made a boat
Out of paper
And sent him sailing down the Thames

Our steadfast tin soldier stood steady at the wheel
But he wished for the ballerina to stay his trembling heart
Through rapids and down waterfalls
He tumbled
Still standing steadfast at the helm

But the boat was made of paper
And eventually the soggy bottom tore
And down little soldier fell
Once more

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Be Good Johnny

Skip de skip, up the road
Off to school we go
Dont you be a bad boy johnny
Dont you slip up
Or play the fool
Oh no ma, oh no da,
Ill be your golden boy
I will obey evry golden rule
Get told by the teacher
Not to day-dream
Told by my mother:
Be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good be good (johnny)
Be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good (johnny)
Be good be good.
Are you going to play football this year, john?
No!
Oh, well you must be going to play cricket this year then,
Are you johnny?
No! no! no!
Boy, you sure are a funny kid, johnny, but I like you! so tell me,
What kind of a boy are you, john?
I only like dreaming
All the day long
Where no one is screaming
Be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good be good (johnny)
Be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Be good be good be good
Johnny!

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