They Called It No Man's Land

R. Walker
Language: English

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Sull’aria de "They Called It Dixie Land"
L’autore di queste strofe è stato tal R. Walker, pioneer, ossia soldato del genio, impegnato nella Grande Guerra sul fronte francese nelle squadre che si occupavano di allestire i cosiddetti “decoys”, diversivi per ingannare i nemici.

Nella raccolta curata da Frederick Thomas Nettleingham, sottoufficiale di Sua Maestà, e intitolata “More Tommy's Tunes: An Additional Collection of Soldiers' Songs, Marching Melodies, Rude Rhymes and Popular Parodies, Composed, Collected, and Arranged on Active Service with the B.E.F.”, pubblicata a Londra nel 1918.

Accurata descrizione della No Man's Land, la terra di nessuno tra le trincee nemiche che si fronteggiavano sul teatro di guerra delle Fiandre...
I used to have a dear old Mama
In the days of long ago
She said, "Your Dad was a soldier lad
So a soldier you must be also."
She said the angels loved the soldiers
Well, I know that's not a fib (I've been to Amiens)
But the rest of the tale is moonshine
'Cos I know now what the soldiers did.

They've got some wire out in front
And they call it No Man's Land
We get bully beef and sometimes bread
And tons of Tickler's jam (1)
It's the nastiest place I've known
Since I left my Home Sweet Home
Everything is rotten and so God forgotten
I wish I'd never seen the Somme.
They brought some sandbags from above
And they gave a few to me
The sergeant said, "Just fill these up
With clay to the top, d'ye see."
At first I think I looked a fool
But they damned soon taught me how to use the trenching tool
And I wish the lice were in paradise
When they're tickling my No Man's Land.

As I said before my Mama
In the days of long ago
She used to cuddle me upon her knee
And tell me what the soldiers do
She said they looked so brave and lovely
When she saw them on parade
Now I wonder what she said in Heaven
When she saw me in my first trench raid.

We cut the wire out in front
And crossed o'er No Man's Land
I had boko souvenirs in here (2)
And a Mills' bomb in my hand,
I let it fly at Fritz
It blew him into bits
The Kaiser was forgotten and his mess bill was verboten
He was finished with the Faderland
Then I saw some shrapnel in the skies
So I started back for tea
I fell into a trench and swore
As blue as blue could be
I got up toot sweet and off I ran
And nearly stopped a bullet from an Alleyman (3)
I was damned near twice in Paradise
When I first crossed No Man's Land.
(1) Tickler's jam: si riferisce alla razioni di marmellata marca Tickler, imprenditore inglese che si fece un mucchio di soldi con le commesse per l’esercito durante la guerra.
(2) boko = rifle, fucile
(3) Alleyman: dal francese Allemand, per tedesco

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2018/5/16 - 09:17

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