War, the Liberator, and Other Pieces/My Old Grenade

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Tune—‘‘My Old Shako”

I MIND the day, my old grenade,
When first we met at war,
’Twas in a little billet place
Six months ago and more;
I dreamt that I should be cashiered,
As I went to the Orderly Room—
’Twas then I met our Adjutant,
And he spoke my final doom.

Heigh-ho, you have got to know
All about the bombs and how to detonate and throw,
And then I hope you’ll bring us back, when to the line we go,
Ten, twenty, thirty, forty Bosches in a row.

I recollect, my old grenade,
The time I tried that same,
’T was in a most unpleasant wood,
The Hammerhead[1] by name,
When we waited for three hours or more
Under the Bosches’ fire—
But I only got a beastly cold
And some scratches from the wire.

Heigh-ho, how was I to know
They’d wired the bottom of the ditch by which we had to go
And that was how I somehow failed to get the D.S.O.,
With ten, twenty, thirty, forty Bosches in a row.

I’m waiting now, my old grenade,
Until the spring sets in,
And the blinking old Division
More pushing will begin.
And when you come to bury me
With a handy pick and spade,
Just write, “Here lies a grenadier
That loathed his old grenade.”

Heigh-ho, and I hope that I shall go
To a place where I shall never get an order or memo.,
And here’s to every gallant lad that gets a D.S.O.
By bringing twenty, thirty, forty Bosches in a row.


  1. Hammerhead Wood, Thiepval, where the Bosches nearly cut short a bright young life.