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The Young British Soldier

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, 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

Fondamentali rudimenti del veterano di guerra alla recluta di Sua Maestà. Qui non c’entra nulla la retorica dell’eroismo ma solo la pragmatica della sopravvivenza. Uomo avvisato, mezzo salvato. Ed è curioso che soltanto le ultime quattro raccomandazioni riguardino la battaglia in sé e per sé. La maggioranza invece sono inviti a fare attenzione ai venditori di liquori a buon mercato, al colera (che ne uccide più lui che i nemici), al sole ed ai colpi di calore (che rendono pazzi), ai sergenti collerici (cercare di compiacerseli e una birra non mancherà mai al soldato), alle donne (se proprio devi sposartene una, trovatela vecchia, che il pensiero di una moglie giovane e bella non ti aiuterà in trincea) e ai loro tradimenti (la vendetta va consumata a caldo, in flagranza, sennò ti aspetta la galera).

Quanto alla guerra propriamente detta, pochi consigli: tratta bene il tuo fucile (il Martini-Enfield), non fare l’eroe, se non ricevi ordini stai al riparo e aspetta rinforzi e, infine:

“Quando sei ferito e abbandonato, sulle piane dell'Afghanistan, e arrivano le donne a tagliare quel che resta, prendi il fucile e fatti saltare la testa e vai al tuo Dio da soldato.”

Amen.
When the 'arf-made recruity goes out to the East
'E acts like a babe an' 'e drinks like a beast,
An' 'e wonders because 'e is frequent deceased
Ere 'e's fit for to serve as a soldier.
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
Serve, serve, serve as a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

Now all you recruities what's drafted to-day,
You shut up your rag-box an' 'ark to my lay,
An' I'll sing you a soldier as far as I may:
A soldier what's fit for a soldier.
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier,
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier,
Fit, fit, fit for a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

First mind you steer clear o' the grog-sellers' huts,
For they sell you Fixed Bay'nets that rots out your guts—
Ay, drink that 'ud eat the live steel from your butts—
An' it's bad for the young British soldier.
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier,
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier,
Bad, bad, bad for the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

When the cholera comes—as it will past a doubt—
Keep out of the wet and don't go on the shout,
For the sickness gets in as the liquor dies out,
An' it crumples the young British soldier.
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier,
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier,
Crum-, crum-, crumples the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

But the worst o' your foes is the sun over'ead:
You must wear your 'elmet for all that is said:
If 'e finds you uncovered 'e'll knock you down dead,
An' you'll die like a fool of a soldier.
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier,
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier,
Fool, fool, fool of a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

If you're cast for fatigue by a sergeant unkind,
Don't grouse like a woman nor crack on nor blind;
Be handy and civil, and then you will find
That it's beer for the young British soldier.
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier,
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier,
Beer, beer, beer for the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

Now, if you must marry, take care she is old—
A troop-sergeant's widow's the nicest I'm told,
For beauty won't help if your rations is cold,
Nor love ain't enough for a soldier.
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier,
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier,
'Nough, 'nough, 'nough for a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

If the wife should go wrong with a comrade, be loath
To shoot when you catch 'em—you'll swing, on my oath!—
Make 'im take 'er and keep 'er: that's Hell for them both,
An' you're shut o' the curse of a soldier.
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier,
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier,
Curse, curse, curse of a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.
Front, front, front like a soldier,
Front, front, front like a soldier,
Front, front, front like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

When 'arf of your bullets fly wide in the ditch,
Don't call your Martini a cross-eyed old bitch;
She's human as you are—you treat her as sich,
An' she'll fight for the young British soldier.
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier,
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier,
Fight, fight, fight for the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

When shakin' their bustles like ladies so fine,
The guns o' the enemy wheel into line,
Shoot low at the limbers an' don't mind the shine,
For noise never startles the soldier.
Start-, start-, startles the soldier,
Start-, start-, startles the soldier,
Start-, start-, startles the soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
And wait for supports like a soldier.
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier,
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier,
Wait, wait, wait like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
And the women come out to cut up what remains,
Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
An' go to your Gawd like a soldier.
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
Go, go, go like a soldier,
So-oldier of the Queen!

Contributed by Bernart Bartleby - 2017/10/23 - 14:15



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