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We work under escort in trousies an' shirt,
An' the heathen they plug us tail-up in the dirt,

Annoying, etc.

We blast out the rock an’ we shovel the mud,
We make 'em good roads an—they roll down the

Reporting, etc.

We make 'em their bridges, their wells, an' their

huts, An' the telegraph-wire the enemy cuts,

An' it's blamed on, etc.

An' when we return an' from war we would

cease, They grudge us adornin' the billets of peace,

Which are kept for, etc.

We build 'em nice barricks—they swear they

are bad, That our Colonels are Methodist, married or

mad, Insultin', etc.

They haven't no manners nor gratitude too,
For the more that we help 'em the less will they

But mock at, etc.

Now the Line's but a man with a gun in his

hand, An' Cavalry's only what horses can stand,

When helped by, etc.

Artillery moves by the leave o' the ground,
But we are the men that do something all round,

For we are, etc.

I have stated it plain, an' my argument's thus,

(“' It's all one,” says the Sapper), There's only one Corps which is perfect—that's

An' they call us Her Majesty's Engineers,
Her Majesty's Royal Engineers,
With the rank and pay of a Sapper!


It got beyond all orders an' it got beyond

all 'ope; It got to shammin' wounded an' retirin' from

the 'alt. 'Ole companies was lookin' for the nearest road to

slope; It were just a bloomin' knock-out-an' our


Now there ain't no chorus 'ere to give,

Nor there ain't no band to play; An' I wish I was dead 'fore I done what I did

Or seen what I seed that day!

We was sick o' bein' punished, an' we let 'em

know it, too; An' a company-commander up an' 'it us with a


An' some one shouted "'Ook it!” an' it come to

sove-ki-poo, An' we chucked our rifles from us--oh, my


There was thirty dead an' wounded on the ground

we wouldn't keepNo, there wasn't more than twenty when the

front begun to go; But, Christ! along the line o' flight they cut us up

like sheep, An' that was all we gained by doin' so.

I 'eard the knives be'ind me, but I dursn't face my

man, An' I don't know where I went to, 'cause I

didn't 'alt to see, Till I 'eard a beggar squealin' out for quarter as 'e

ran, An' I thought I knew the voice an’—it was me!

We was ’idin' under bedsteads more than 'arf a

march away;

We was lyin' up like rabbits all about the coun

try side;

An' the major cursed 'is Maker 'cause 'e lived to

see that day, An' the colonel broke 'is sword acrost, an'


We was rotten 'fore we started—we was never

disciplined; We made it out a favour if an order was

obeyed; Yes, every little drummer 'ad 'is rights an’ wrongs

to mind, So we had to pay for teachin'-an’ we paid!

The papers 'id it 'andsome, but you know the

Army knows; We was put to groomin' camels till the regi

ments withdrew, An' they give us each a medal for subduin' Eng

land's foes, An' I 'ope you like my song-because it's true!

An' there ain't no chorus 'ere to give,

Nor there ain't no band to play; But I wish I was dead 'fore I done what I did

Or seen what I seed that day!

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