The Kerry Recruit
So I buttered me brogues and shook hands with me spade,
And went off to the fair like a dashing young blade,
A sergeant came up and said Would ye enlist,
Sure sergeant says I, Slip the bob in my fist.
Then up came a captain, a man of great fame,
Who straightways enquires my country and name,
Well I told him before as I'd tell him again,
That my father and mother were two Kerrymen.
Well the first thing they gave me it was a red coat,
With a lump of black leather to tie 'round me throat,
The next thing they gave me, I said What is that,
Sure man a cockade for to stick in yer hat,
The next thing they gave me they called it a horse,
With a saddle and bridle, my two legs across,
Well I gave her the whip and I gave her the steel,
And Oh Holy Mother, She went like an eel.
The next thing they gave me, they called it a gun,
So under the trigger I settled me thumb,
The gun it belched fire, and vomited smoke,
And gave me poor shoulder the Devil’s own stroke.
The next place they took us was down to the sea,
Aboard a great ship, bound for the Crimea,
With three sticks in the middle, all covered with sheet,
She walked on the water without any feet.
We reached Balaclava all safe and all sound,
And tired and weary we lay on the ground.
Next morning at daybreak a bugle did call,
And served us a breakfast of powder and ball.
We whipped them at Alma and at Inkerman,
But the Russians they foiled us at the Redan.
While scaling a rampart myself lost an eye,
And a great Russian bullet ran away with me thigh.
All dying and bleeding I lay on the ground,
With me arms, legs and feet all scattered around,
Says I to myself, If me father was nigh,
He would bury me sure, just for fear I might die.
But a surgeon came up and he soon stops the blood,
And he made me a leg all made of wood,
And they gave me a pension of ten pence a day,
And contented on Sheila I live on half-pay.