The Absent Minded Beggar

Been reading some Rudyard Kipling recently, how about a spot of culture;

WHEN you’ve shouted “Rule Britannia,” when you’ve sung “God save the Queen,”

When you’ve finished killing Kruger with your mouth,

Will you kindly drop a shilling in my little tambourine

For a gentleman in khaki ordered South?

He’s an absent-minded beggar, and his weaknesses are great—

But we and Paul must take him as we find him—

He is out on active service, wiping something off a slate

And he’s left a lot of little things behind him!

Duke’s son—cook’s son – son of a hundred kings

(Fifty thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay!)

Each of ’em doing his country’s work

(and who’s to look after their things?)

Pass the hat for your credit’s sake,

and pay—pay—pay !

 

There are girls he married secret, asking no permission to,

For he knew he wouldn’t get it if he did.

There is gas and coals and vittles, and the house-rent falling due,

And its more than rather likely there’s a kid.

There are girls he’s walked with casual. They’ll be sorry now he’s gone,

For an absent-minded beggar they will find him,

But it ain’t the time for sermons with the winter coming on

We must help the girl that Tommy’s left behind him!

Cook’s son—Duke’s son—son of a belted Earl

Son of a Lambeth publican—it’s all the same to-day !

Each of ’em doing his country’s work

(and who’s to look after the girl?)

Pass the hat for your credit’s sake,

and pay—pay—pay !

 

There are families by thousands, far too proud to beg or speak,

And they’ll put their sticks and bedding up the spout,

And they’ll live on half o’ nothing, paid ’em punctual once a week,

‘Cause the man that earns the wage is ordered out.

He’s an absent-minded beggar, but he heard his country call,

And his reg’rnent didn’t need to send to find him!

He chucked his job and joined it—so the job before us all

Is to help the home that Tommy’s left behind him !

Duke’s job—cook’s job—gardener, baronet, groom.

Mews or palace or paper-shop, there’s someone gone away!

Each of ’em doing his country’s work

(and who’s to look after the room?)

Pass the hat for your credit’s sake,

and pay—pay—pay !

 

Let us manage so as, later, we can look him in the face,

And tell him—what he’d very much prefer

That, while he saved the Empire, his employer saved his place,

And his mates (that’s you and me) looked out for her.

He’s an absent-minded beggar and he may forget it all,

But we do not want his kiddies to remind him

That we sent ’em to the workhouse while their daddy hammered Paul,

So we’ll help the homes that Tommy left behind him !

Cook’s home—Duke’s home—home of a millionaire,

(Fifty thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay !)

Each of ’em doing his country’s work

(and what have you got to spare?)

Pass the hat for your credit’s sake,

and pay—pay—pay !

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Dunservin
Dunservin
July 14, 2012 10:46 am

@TD

“Will you kindly drop a shilling in my little tambourine
For a gentleman in khaki ordered South?”

– Occasionally, I like your style. ;-)

– And it’s not just those in khaki. From the Navy News website (http://www.navynews.co.uk/archive/news/item/5281):

– “…In all, some 17,000 military personnel are committed to the Olympic and Paralympic events – 2,600 each from the Navy and RAF, 11,800 from the Army.”

– Anyone like to bet it stops there? Not me.

x
x
July 14, 2012 11:42 am

On ARRSE they are calling the Olympics “Sports Day”. Makes me laff.

elizzar
elizzar
July 14, 2012 2:51 pm

wouldn’t it have worked out a bit better / fairer if instead of any g4s involvement (a history of cock-ups, just read private eye or follow inspector gadget’s blog) in order; all those who were recently effectively sacked; then who will be receiving redundancies in the next 12 months; finally a.n.others from the armed forces; had been offered 6-8 weeks work covering all the security aspects at say £10k for their time? a little show of respect and a payoff that those that served. i know it still isn’t what they deserve, but even requiring 20,000 service-people on that money would cost £200 million, compared to the nearly £300 million g4s have effectively stolen (will we see that back? will we buggery). seeing as how it’s all taxpayers money i know who i’d rather have receive it.

x
x
July 14, 2012 2:53 pm

I wonder how many Third World athletes will forget to go home……

Red Trousers
Red Trousers
July 14, 2012 7:36 pm

Thanks for the culture TD. Reminds me of Trooper X who had a heart of gold, so much so that he managed to rent several rent-a-cars in order to donate to his extended family and absent-mindedly forget to return. Some false ID was involved. Last heard of skipping off to France to join the FFL, but that was nearly 25 years ago, so Lord knows what he’s up to now. He sent a Christmas card to the Squadron a couple of years after going AWOL, and then a few years later sent his British Army ID card back to the SSM – the SSM at the time had to ask me who he was, as he’d not been around when X bunked off. Apparently he’s safe and well somewhere, and in touch with a couple of people, but they keep their lips sealed.

STV
STV
July 26, 2012 2:46 pm
Reply to  x

One of them already has….if you catch my drift.

Some middle distance African runner walked into a police station and claimed asylum.

Hooray for government stupidity.