Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads/Danny Deever

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Departmental Ditties and Ballads and Barrack-Room Ballads  (1919) 
Rudyard Kipling
Danny Deever
Garden City New York: Doubleday, Page & Company pages 141-145

BARRACK-ROOM BALLADS


To T. A.

 I have made for you a song,
 And it may be right or wrong,
But only you can tell me if it's true;
 I have tried for to explain
 Both your pleasure and your pain,
And, Thomas, here's my best respects to you!
 Oh, there'll surely come a day
 When they'll grant you all your pay,
And treat you as a Christian ought to do;
 So, until that day comes round,
 Heaven keep you safe and sound,
And, Thomas, here's my best respects to you.

R. K.


DANNY DEEVER

"What are the bugles blowin' for?" said Files-on-Parade.
"To turn you out, to turn you out," the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes you look so white, so white?" said Files-on-Parade.
"I'm dreadin' what I've got to watch," the Colour-Sergeant said.
 For they're hangin' Danny Deever, you can hear the Dead March play,
 The regiment's in 'ollow square—they're hangin' him to-day;
 They've taken of his buttons off an' cut his stripes away,
 An' they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.


"What makes the rear-rank breathe so 'ard?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's bitter cold, it's bitter cold," the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What makes that front-rank man fall down?" says Files-on-Parade.
"A touch o' sun, a touch o' sun," the Colour-Sergeant said.
 They are hangin' Danny Deever, they are marchin' of 'im round,
 They 'ave 'alted Danny Deever by 'is coffin on the ground;
 An' 'e'll swing in 'arf a minute for a sneakin' shootin' hound—
 O they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'!


"'Is cot was right-'and cot to mine," said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's sleepin' out an' far to-night," the Colour-Sergeant said.
"I've drunk 'is beer a score o' times," said Files-on-Parade.
"'E's drinkin' bitter beer alone," the Colour-Sergeant said.
 They are hangin' Danny Deever, you must mark 'im to 'is place,
 For 'e shot a comrade sleepin'—you must look 'im in the face;
 Nine 'undred of 'is county an' the regiment's disgrace,
 While they're hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.


"What's that so black agin the sun?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny fightin' 'ard for life," the Colour-Sergeant said.
"What's that that whimpers over'ead?" said Files-on-Parade.
"It's Danny's soul that's passin' now," the Colour-Sergeant said.
 For they're done with Danny Deever, you can 'ear the quickstep play,
 The regiment's in column, an' they're marchin' us away;
 Ho! the young recruits are shakin', an' they'll want their beer to-day,
 After hangin' Danny Deever in the mornin'.