The Great War

from War, The Liberator and Other Pieces, an electronic edition

Where the Trenches Run
Down from the Somme to
the Sea

Tune--" The Mountains of Morne "

OH, Mary, the front is a wonderful place,

Where a person can't fight without shaving his face

We're not very frightened of shells, so I've found,

But when generals come near we all get to ground.

I met one in a trench, and some tea-leaves were there,

And we got such a strafing it whitened our hair,

So it seems we must swallow the leaves in our tea,

Where the trenches run down from the Somme to the sea.

At night-time I can't sleep a full minute's space,

For the rats playing games on the top of my face,

And other small creatures I'd rather not name,

But they live in the folds of my kilt just the same.

Tell wee Jimmy, if only our dug-out he knew.

He'd never be asking to go to the Zoo,

For every dug-out is a menagerie,

Where the trenches run down from the Somme to the sea.

The sap that I stand in, it nightly is made

Into hell by a thing they call Rifle Grenade,

And when heavy trench mortars are bursting close by

It is not lust of battle that gleams in my eye.

Don't think me a coward though, Mary, my dear,

For along the whole front it's the same thing I fear,

And every young hero is funking like me,

Where the trenches run down from the Somme to the sea.

At Albert they've lately begun an advance

Which is going to shove all the Bosches out of France,

And we are all waiting and hoping some day

To meet with the gentlemen over the way.

And oh, what a state of delight we'll be in

When we're bombing our way up the streets of Berlin,

So I hope in a few months I surely shall be

In a train running down from Berlin to the sea.