Saturday, 27 June 2009

Sam Drummed Out

by R.P. Weston and Bert Lee (1935)

When a lad's been drummed out of the Army,
He's an outcast despised by all men;
I'd rather be shot at dawn any old time
'Cause I never get up before ten.

Once I was drummed out, tho' today I'm a hero
With all that a soldier could wish.
Ay, once poor old Sam stood before a Court Martial
With head bowed in shame and anguish.

And the old Colonel said, when he 'eard the charge read,
"It's a terrible crime, Sam," said he,
And the whisper went round, "Has old Sam
Been a traitor to 'is King and 'is 'count-ar-ar-y' ?"

“Nay, nay, I was charged with a crime worse than that,
Far more dastardly wicked and mean.
I were charged with maliciously putting cold water
In beer, in the Sergeant's canteen.

And the Colonel's voice shook and he swallowed a lump
And he said, "Nay, nay, come, come, ee dear, dear,
Good beer is the life-blood of our glorious Army,
Our battles was all won on beer.

"What have you got to say to this terrible charge ?"
I said, "Nowt."
He said, "Nowt ?"
I said, "Nowt."

He said, "Can't you say owt but nowt ?"
I said, "No, nowt."
"Well," he said, "Sam,
Then you'll be drummed out."

Next morning the Company lined on Parade
I stood to attention, quite stiff;
Then the Sergeant stepped forward and knocked off my pillbox
And worse - he untidied me quiff.

Then he pulled out his sword and cut off me coat buttons
Them buttons fell 'clink' on the floor;
But when he began on my trousers I said,
"Don't lower me prestige any more."

The he pulled off me medals, me twenty-five medals
I'd won out in different parts.
But I said to him, "Oi, give me two of them back,
'Cause I won them there two playing darts."

Then the drums and the pipes played the Rogues March
And the Colonel he sobbed and said, "Sam,
You're no longer a Soldier, I'm sorry to say
Sam, Sam, you're a dirty old man."

And soon I was outside the old barrack gates
With the tears rolling down me face;
Then up rode the Colonel's young daughter, God bless her,
The pride of the Regiment, our Grace.

She said, "What's to do, Sam ?"
I said, "What's to do ? I'm drummed out lass for watering beer."
Then she fell off her 'orse, threw her arms round me kneck
And said, "Sam, you poor innocent dear."

Then she rushed to her father, the Colonel, and said,
"Say, Papa, I'll hand you the dope.
Poor Sam here is innocent, I did the deed;
I was told to by my Band of Hope."

Then the Colonel said, "Corporal Sam, please come back."
I said , "Nay, nay, I've just been drummed out."
Then the Colonel said, "Sergeant Sam, Sergeant Sam, please."
I just shrugged and said, "Nowt doing, nowt."

He said, "Lieutenant Sam, come forgive and forget."
But I stamped and I said, "Nay, nay, begone."
Then he said, "Captain Sam." I said, "Captain, tut tut;
Make it Major and then I'll clock on."

And that's how I won me Commission, me lads,
A commission I think I well earned -
10 per cent on the beer, 10 per cent on the stout,
And the pennies on bottles returned.

And the Regiment gave me a tankard, inscribed
With these words which I'm proud of, I am,
'Presented by First Lancashire 'Fusilliers'
To their champion liar, Old Sam.'

1 comment:

  1. I love reading these, Eddie....
    Thank you so much for posting them. If you didn't, I would never have had the privilege of doing so.
    Poor Sam....I'm worried about his 'lowered prestige'... :-))


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