Digital Tradition Mirror

Join the British Army

[GIF Score]

(This score available as ABC, SongWright, PostScript, PNG, or PMW, or a MIDI file)
Pennywhistle notation and Dulcimer tab for this song is also available

Join the British Army

When I was young I used to be as fine a man as ever you'd see;
The Prince of Wales, he said to me, "Come and join the British army."
   Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, they're looking for monkeys up in the zoo
   If I had a face like you, I would join the British army.

Sarah Camdon baked a cake; it was all for poor old Slattery's sake.
I threw meself into the lake, pretending I was balmy.
   Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, 'twas the only thing that I could do
   To work my ticket home to you and leave the British army.

Corporal Duff's got such a drought, just give him a couple of jars of stout;
He'll kill the enemy with his mouth and save the British Army.
   Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, Me curse is on the Labour crew;
     They took your darling boy from you to join the British army.

Captain Heeley went away and his wife got in the family way,
And all the words that she would say was "Blame the British Army."
   Too ra loo ra loo ra loo, I've made me mind up what to do
  I'll work my ticket home to you and leave the British army.

note: This one's a parody of an old Scots song called the Braes of
   Killiecrankie. Harry Lauder sang a version which went:

When I was young I used to be As smart a lad as e'er you'd see
The Duke of Wales he sent for me To gae and jine the army
Noo I'm old and gettin' frail Like a dog wi' oot a tail
All for the love o' Jean McPhail, the lass o' Killiecrankie. RG

The late and much-missed Hamish Imlach had another version the chorus of
which was: Tooral Ooral Ooral Oo,
        I'll tell ye something awfy true,
        Ye wadnae hae yer telly the noo,
        If it wasnae for the Union.

Here's a verse, courtesy of Tommy Dahill, late of Minneapolis and Dahill's
Irish Band:
   "Kilted soldier's wear no drawers, Ladies, will ye lend 'em yours?
   The poor should always help the poor, God save the british Army!"

recorded by Ewan MacColl

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

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