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16-17.04.1989
19.12.1989 (.)
   




Barrack-Room Ballads. 10. Oonts


     (Northern India Transport Train) 

Wot makes the soldiers eart to penk, 
                    wot makes im to perspire?
It isnt standin up to charge 
                    nor lyin down to fire;
But its everlastin waitin 
                    on a everlastin road
For the commissariat camel 
                    an is commissariat load.
    	O the oont*, O the oont, 
                              O the commissariat oont!
                    With is silly neck a-bobbin 
                              like a basket full o snakes;
          We packs im like an idol, 
                              an you ought to ear im grunt,
          An when we gets im loaded up 
                              is blessed girth-rope breaks.
 
Wot makes the rear-guard swear so ard 
                    when night is drorin in,
An every native follower 
                    is shiverin for is skin?
It aint the chanst o being rushed 
                    by Paythans from the ills,
Its the commissariat camel 
                    puttin on is bloomin frills!
          O the oont, O the oont, 
                              O the hairy scary oont!
     		A-trippin over tent-ropes 
                              when weve got the night alarm!
    	We socks im with a stretcher-pole 
                              an eads im off in front,
     		An when weve saved is bloomin
                              life e chaws our bloomin arm.
 
The orse e knows above a bit, 
                    the bullocks but a fool,
The elephants a gentleman, 
                    the battery-mules a mule;
But the commissariat cam-u-el, 
                    when all is said an done,
Es a devil an a ostrich 
                    an a orphan-child in one.
          O the oont, O the oont, 
                              O the Gawd-forsaken oont!
                   The lumpy-umpy ummin-bird 
                              a-singin where e lies,
         Es blocked the whole division 
                              from the rear-guard to the front,
                   An when we get him up again  
                              the beggar goes an dies!
 
Ell gall an chafe an lame an fight  
                   e smells most awful vile;
Ell lose isself for ever 
                   if you let im stray a mile;
Es game to graze the ole day long 
                   an owl the ole night through,
An when e comes to greasy ground 
                   e splits isself in two.
    	O the oont, O the oont, 
                               O the floppin, droppin oont!
     		When is long legs give from under 
                               an is meltin eye is dim,
    	The tribes is up beind us, 
                               and the tribes is out in front 
     		It aint no jam for Tommy, 
                               but its kites an crows for im.
 
So when the cruel march is done, 
                    an when the roads is blind,
An when we sees the camp in front 
                    an ears the shots beind,
Ho! then we strips is saddle off, 
                    and all is woes is past:
E thinks on us that used im so, 
                    and gets revenge at last.
    	O the oont, O the oont, 
                               O the floatin, bloatin oont!
     		The late lamented camel 
                               in the water-cut e lies;
    	We keeps a mile beind im 
                               an we keeps a mile in front,
     		But e gets into the drinkin-casks, 
                               and then o course we dies.

* Camel: oo is pronounced like u in bull, but by Mr. Atkins to rhyme with front.



:
  1. The Dying Chauffeur
  2. A History of England. 1911. 10. The King's Job
  3. Debits and Credits. (1919-1926). 6. Late Came the God
  4. Brazilian Verses. 1927. 6. The Open Door
  5. Brazilian Verses. 1927. 3. Song of the Dynamo




: 848



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