Saturday, July 2, 2016

Yorkshire Light Infantry

Drink a cup o' courage, boys,
drink clear to the bottom;
fight for some fine futures boys,
and cuss those swells that's got 'em.

Kick them fakers, Sergeant Major!

At dawn we'll rise and run and die
and be forgotten shortly
by lofty pricks with walking sticks
who like their cricket sporting.
______
a 55 for Toads. 55 words including the title.

14 comments:

hedgewitch said...

This has a lilt of the times to it, both theirs and ours too--the common fate of the common man, to fight, to die, to be forgotten by those who profit by death and war, and who play a such a much more genteel game when people are watching. This seems almost like a song, a rueful and biting one.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

Yes, what Joy said.

Outlawyer said...

This is a very stinging kind of poem, although honestly, in WWI - certainly not in more current conflicts--I think a lot of the upper class Brits died, and on a percentage basis a ton of officers and lower officers were killed, so that there wasn't quite so much of favoritism/nepotism as in later wars and earlier. Though I'm sure there was a lot too. But that's my impression--that just about everyone died! So so awful. And so stupidly jaunty in the beginning just as you capture. And, as you write, the upper classes, and certainly the older people, had a lot to do with making the whole dumb thing happen. Very wonderful rhythms for grim subject. k.

brudberg said...

the light rhyme here is like a mock of the forgotten soldiers... This would be suitable for a newpaper of political satire.

Kerry O'Connor said...

The irony is superb in this 'drinking song'. As always your portrayal of voice is spot on.

writinginnorthnorfolk.com said...

Your poem reminds me of the propaganda poems of the time - you've captured a stinging sense of irony.

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Beautifully bitter - all the horror and all the futility captured in this mock-jolly little ditty.

Marian said...

Ouch. Yes, seems like... a newspaper or a newsreel maybe? Because I can hear it when I read. Love the word "swells" here.

Isadora Gruye said...

Reminds me of that Pogues song, the soldiering life in deed. Well done!

gillena cox said...

Luv the sarcasm, wit and rhyme

Much love...

Lynn said...

Very British!

Sioux said...

This poem seems like it could be a pub song/chant. Not that I'm an expert on drinking songs or bars...

Mama Zen said...

This has such an authentic feel to it, if that makes any sense. Very cool, Shay.

Chris "the groomer" Bear Anthony said...

Wow. Just wow. This is perfect