Patriotic pieces from the Great War/The Comb Band
THE COMB BAND
Permission of the author
Oh we love the gay canned music in the watches of the night
And we sit about and listen to its records with delight,
And we like to hear the music of the regimental band
While the leader juggles gayly with the baton in his hand,
But the melody that's sweetest as we linger in the gloam
Is the harmony extracted from a fine-tooth comb.
Yes, we get some tissue-paper and some combs from out our kit
And we gather in the squad tent where the lantern shadows flit,
And we play a bunch of rag-time with a lot of vim and go
In a sort of jazz-band rhythm—all the latest stuff we know;
Tunes that set your shoulders swaying, while your thoughts are light as foam,
To the sound of syncopation on a fine-tooth comb.
It's a crazy sort of music which would drive a critic mad
But it makes the evenings shorter, and it really ain't so bad,
And it often kind of "gets you" when the boys start in to play
For I've seen some homesick fellows wipe a tear or two away
To the strains of "Suwanee River" and "My Old Kentucky Home,"
As they float in wistful minors from a fine-tooth comb.
When this cruel war is over—and I hope I'll last it through
And we beat the German army—as we all intend to do,
When the slaughtering is finished and the final fight we win,
And with flags and pennons flying we go marching through Berlin,
I would like to tramp in triumph past the kaiser's palace dome,
Playing "Stars and Stripes Forever!" on a fine-tooth comb!