It is the "most wonderful time of year" - it's time for Gramma to get 'run over by a reindeer', and
for the Xerox Xmas Letter
There was a row in Silver Street that's near to Dublin Quay, Between an Irish regiment an' English cavalree; It started at Revelly an' it lasted on till dark: The first man dropped at Harrison's, the last forninst the Park. For it was: -- "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's one for you!" An' it was "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's done for you!" O buckle an' tongue Was the song that we sung From Harrison's down to the Park! There was a row in Silver Street -- the regiments was out, They called us "Delhi Rebels", an' we answered "Threes about!" That drew them like a hornet's nest -- we met them good an' large, The English at the double an' the Irish at the charge. Then it was: -- "Belts, &c." There was a row in Silver Street -- an' I was in it too; We passed the time o' day, an' then the belts went whirraru! I misremember what occurred, but subsequint the storm, A Freeman's Journal Supplemint was all my uniform. O it was: -- "Belts, &c." There was a row in Silver Street -- they sent the Polis there, The English were too drunk to know, the Irish didn't care; But when they grew impertinint we simultaneous rose, Till half o' them was Liffey mud an' half was tatthered clo'es. For it was: -- "Belts, &c." There was a row in Silver Street -- it might ha' raged till now, But some one drew his side-arm clear, an' nobody knew how; 'Twas Hogan took the point an' dropped; we saw the red blood run: An' so we all was murderers that started out in fun. While it was: -- "Belts, &c." There was a row in Silver Street -- but that put down the shine, Wid each man whisperin' to his next: "'Twas never work o' mine!" We went away like beaten dogs, an' down the street we bore him, The poor dumb corpse that couldn't tell the bhoys were sorry for him. When it was: -- "Belts, &c." There was a row in Silver Street -- it isn't over yet, For half of us are under guard wid punishments to get; 'Tis all a merricle to me as in the Clink I lie: There was a row in Silver Street -- begod, I wonder why! But it was: -- "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's one for you!" An' it was "Belts, belts, belts, an' that's done for you!" O buckle an' tongue Was the song that we sung From Harrison's down to the Park!
by Rudyard Kipling
O woe is me for the merry life I led beyond the Bar, And a treble woe for my winsome wife That weeps at Shalimar. They have taken away my long jezail, My shield and sabre fine, And heaved me into the Central jail For lifting of the kine. The steer may low within the byre, The Jat may tend his grain, But there'll be neither loot nor fire Till I come back again. And God have mercy on the Jat When once my fetters fall, And Heaven defend the farmer's hut When I am loosed from thrall. It's woe to bend the stubborn back Above the grinching quern, It's woe to hear the leg-bar clack And jingle when I turn! But for the sorrow and the shame, The brand on me and mine, I'll pay you back in leaping flame And loss of the butchered kine. For every cow I spared before In charity set free, If I may reach my hold once more I'll reive an honest three. For every time I raised the low That scared the dusty plain, By sword and cord, by torch and tow I'll light the land with twain! Ride hard, ride hard to Abazai, Young Sahib with the yellow hair -- Lie close, lie close as khuttucks lie, Fat herds below Bonair! The one I'll shoot at twilight-tide, At dawn I'll drive the other; The black shall mourn for hoof and hide, The white man for his brother. 'Tis war, red war, I'll give you then, War till my sinews fail; For the wrong you have done to a chief of men, And a thief of the Zukka Kheyl. And if I fall to your hand afresh I give you leave for the sin, That you cram my throat with the foul pig's flesh, And swing me in the skin!
by Rudyard Kipling
I'm 'ere in a ticky ulster an' a broken billycock 'at, A-layin' on the sergeant I don't know a gun from a bat; My shirt's doin' duty for jacket, my sock's stickin' out o' my boots, An' I'm learnin' the damned old goose-step along o' the new recruits! Back to Army again, sergeant, Back to the Army again. Don't look so 'ard, for I 'aven't no card, I'm back to the Army again! I done my six years' service. 'Er Majesty sez: "Good day -- You'll please to come when you're rung for, an' 'ere's your 'ole back-pay: An' fourpence a day for baccy -- an' bloomin' gen'rous, too; An' now you can make your fortune -- the same as your orf'cers do." Back to the Army again, sergeant, Back to the Army again. 'Ow did I learn to do right-about-turn? I'm back to the Army again! A man o' four-an'-twenty that 'asn't learned of a trade -- Beside "Reserve" agin' him -- 'e'd better be never made. I tried my luck for a quarter, an' that was enough for me, An' I thought of 'Er Majesty's barricks, an' I thought I'd go an' see. Back to the Army again, sergeant, Back to the Army again. 'Tisn't my fault if I dress when I 'alt -- I'm back to the Army again! The sergeant arst no questions, but 'e winked the other eye, 'E sez to me, " 'Shun!" an' I shunted, the same as in days gone by; For 'e saw the set o' my shoulders, an' I couldn't 'elp 'oldin' straight When me an' the other rookies come under the barrik-gate. Back to the Army again, sergeant, Back to the Army again. 'Oo would ha' thought I could carry an' port? I'm back to the Army again! I took my bath, an' I wallered -- for, Gawd, I needed it so! I smelt the smell o' the barricks, I 'eard the bugles go. I 'eard the feet on the gravel -- the feet o' the men what drill -- An' I sez to my flutterin' 'eart-strings, I sez to 'em, "Peace, be still!" Back to the Army again, sergeant, Back to the Army again. 'Oo said I knew when the troopship was due? I'm back to the Army again! I carried my slops to the tailor; I sez to 'im, "None o' your lip! You tight 'em over the shoulders, an' loose 'em over the 'ip, For the set o' the tunic's 'orrid." An' 'e sez to me, "Strike me dead, But I thought you was used to the business!" an' so 'e done what I said. Back to the Army again, sergeant, Back to the Army again. Rather too free with my fancies? Wot -- me? I'm back to the Army again! Next week I'll 'ave 'em fitted; I'll buy me a swagger-cane; They'll let me free o' the barricks to walk on the Hoe again, In the name o' William Parsons, that used to be Edward Clay, An' -- any pore beggar that wants it can draw my fourpence a day! Back to the Army again, sergeant, Back to the Army again. Out o' the cold an' the rain, sergeant, Out o' the cold an' the rain. 'Oo's there? A man that's too good to be lost you, A man that is 'andled an' made -- A man that will pay what 'e cost you In learnin' the others their trade -- parade! You're droppin' the pick o' the Army Because you don't 'elp 'em remain, But drives 'em to cheat to get out o' the street An' back to the Army again!