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Cholera Camp

Peter Bellamy
Language: English


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[1890-92]
Versi di Rudyard Kipling, nella raccolta intitolata “The Seven Seas”, pubblicata nel 1896.
Musica di Peter Bellamy, in una musicassetta inedita intitolata “Soldiers Three”, realizzata nel 1990. Poi il brano è stato incluso nella riedizione del 2012 del disco “Peter Bellamy Sings the Barrack-Room Ballads of Rudyard Kipling”, originariamente pubblicato nel 1976
Testo trovato su Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music

Peter Bellamy Sings the Barrack-Room Ballads of Rudyard Kipling

Alle “Feste della Vedova” si moriva in molti modi. E per un soldato di Sua Maestà rimanere ucciso nel corso di una battaglia non era nemmeno quello peggiore. Fu proprio la colonizzazione britannica, con il movimento continuo di truppe e merci, a dare la stura alla più vasta e duratura epidemia di colera che la storia ricordi. Iniziata sulle rive del Gange nel 1817, veicolato proprio dalle truppe inglesi, il colera raggiunse la Cina e il Medio Oriente e nel 1830, attraverso la Russia, si spinse fino in Austria, causando decine di migliaia di morti. A partire dagli anni 30 furono colpite Londra, Parigi, l’Europa Centrale e l’Italia intera (con l’eccezione di Sardegna ed Isola d’Elba). Nella nostra penisola tutto il corso dell’800 fu contrassegnato da continue e violente esplosioni dell’epidemia che fecero registrare centinaia di migliaia di morti.
We've got the cholerer in camp—it's worse than forty fights;
We're dyin' in the wilderness the same as Isrulites;
It's before us, an' be'ind us, an' we cannot get away,
An' the doctor's just reported we've ten more to-day!

Oh, strike your camp an' go, the Bugle's callin',
The rains are fallin'—
The dead are bushed an' stoned to keep 'em safe below;
The band's a-doin' all she knows to cheer us;
The Chaplain's gone and prayed to Gawd to 'ear us—
To 'ear us—
O Lord, for it's a-killin' of us so!

Since August, when it started, it's been stickin' to our tail,
Though they've 'ad us out by marches an' they've 'ad us back by rail;
But it runs as fast as troop-trains, and we cannot get away;
An' the sick-list to the Colonel makes ten more to-day.

There ain't no fun in women nor there ain't no bite to drink;
It's much too wet for shootin', we can only march and think;
An' at evenin', down the nullahs, we can 'ear the jackals say,
“Get up, you rotten beggars, you've ten more to-day!”

Oh, strike your camp an' go, the Bugle's callin',
The rains are fallin'—
The dead are bushed an' stoned to keep 'em safe below;
The band's a-doin' all she knows to cheer us;
The Chaplain's gone and prayed to Gawd to 'ear us—
To 'ear us—
O Lord, for it's a-killin' of us so!

'Twould make a monkey cough to see our way o' doin' things—
Lieutenants takin' companies an' captains takin' wings,
An' Lances actin' Sergeants—eight file to obey—
For we've lots o' quick promotion on ten deaths a day!

Our Colonel's white an' twitterly—'e gets no sleep nor food,
But mucks about in 'orspital where nothing does no good.
'E sends us 'eaps o' comforts, all bought from 'is pay—
But there aren't much comfort 'andy on ten deaths a day.

Oh, strike your camp an' go, the Bugle's callin',
The rains are fallin'—
The dead are bushed an' stoned to keep 'em safe below;
The band's a-doin' all she knows to cheer us;
The Chaplain's gone and prayed to Gawd to 'ear us—
To 'ear us—
O Lord, for it's a-killin' of us so!

Our Chaplain's got a banjo, an' a skinny mule 'e rides,
An' the stuff 'e says an' sings us, Lord, it makes us split our sides!
With 'is black coat-tails a-bobbin' to Ta-ra-ra Boom-der-ay!
'E's the proper kind o' padre for ten deaths a day.

An' Father Victor 'elps 'im with our Roman Catholicks—
He knows an 'eap of Irish songs an' rummy conjurin' tricks;
An' the two they works together when it comes to play or pray;
So we keep the ball a-rollin' on ten deaths a day.

We've got the cholerer in camp—we've got it 'ot an' sweet;
It ain't no Christmas dinner, but it's 'elped an' we must eat.
We've gone beyond the funkin', 'cause we've found it doesn't pay,
An' we're rockin' round the Districk on ten deaths a day!

Then strike your camp an' go, the Rains are fallin',
The Bugle's callin'!
The dead are bushed an' stoned to keep 'em safe below!
An' them that do not like it they can lump it,
An' them that cannot stand it they can jump it;
We've got to die somewhere—some way—some'ow—
We might as well begin to do it now!
Then, Number One, let down the tent-pole slow,
Knock out the pegs an' 'old the corners—so!
Fold in the flies, furl up the ropes, an' stow!
Oh, strike—oh, strike your camp an' go!
(Gawd 'elp us!)

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2017/10/23 - 08:38



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