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Shillin' a Day

Peter Bellamy
Language: English


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[1890-92]
Versi di Rudyard Kipling, nella raccolta intitolata “Barrack-Room Ballads”, pubblicata nel 1892.
Musica di Peter Bellamy, nel suo disco “Peter Bellamy Sings the Barrack-Room Ballads of Rudyard Kipling”, 1976
Testo trovato su Mainly Norfolk: English Folk and Other Good Music

Peter Bellamy Sings the Barrack-Room Ballads of Rudyard Kipling

A protest song. Not much evidence here of the unthinking flag-waving jingoism so often attributed to Kipling today. Place names—Birr: Ireland; Hong Kong: China. All the rest are in India, except Leeds, which isn't. “To go commissarin” means to join a corps of ex-soldiers who acted as messengers in London to supplement their miserable pensions. The tune is mine, but any jig or double-jig would match the rhythms of the verse.
(Peter Bellamy)

Uno scellino al giorno, una paga ben misera per il soldato che per anni ha combattuto e rischiato ogni giorno la vita per il grande Impero inglese… I reduci erano costretti ad improvvisarsi corrieri per integrare la pensione di guerra.
My name is O'Kelly, I've heard the Revelly
From Birr to Bareilly, from Leeds to Lahore,
Hong-Kong and Peshawur,
Lucknow and Etawah,
And fifty-five more all endin' in “pore”.
Black Death and his quickness, the depth and the thickness,
Of sorrow and sickness I've known on my way,
But I'm old and I'm nervis,
I'm cast from the Service,
And all I deserve is a shillin' a day.

Shillin' a day,
It's bloomin' good pay—
You're lucky to touch it, a shillin' a day!

Oh, it drives me half crazy to think of the days I
Went slap for the Ghazi, my sword at my side,
When we rode Hell-for-leather
Both squadrons together,
That didn't care whether we lived or we died.
But it's no use despairin', my wife must go charin'
An' me commissairin' the pay-bills to better,
So if me you be'old
In the wet and the cold,
By the Grand Metropold, won't you give me a letter?

Give 'im a letter—
He can't do no better,
Late Troop-Sergeant-Major an'—runs with a letter!
Think what 'e's been,
Think what 'e's seen,
Think of his pension an'—

Gawd save the Queen

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2017/10/20 - 11:15



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