The Great War

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

The Whole Duty of a Compan

(i) The Offensive Spirit Tune--"It's the only, only way"

IF at night you see a Hun,

Be it many or just one,

Crawling out about the ground,

Don't you make a single sound.

Watch him till you see him roll

Into a convenient hole,

Take your Mills, pull out the pin,

Then just lob it in.

It's the only, only way,

It's the only game to play,

He's the only Bosche, and it's only fair,

For you haven't got any bombs to spare,

So you strafe him on the spot

With the only Mills you've got,

If you're only wise, you will only say

"That's the umpteenth Bosche that I've killed to-day ";

So take my advice, and you'll count him twice--

It's the o—o—only way.

(ii) Co-operation

If the Bosches should attack,

And your runners can't get back,

And his bloody barrage-fire's

Broken all your buzzer wires,

Don't get flurried, my young friend,

Or attempt your wires to mend,

If you want to stop the foe,

Let your rockets go.

It's the only, only way,

It's the telephonely way,

Here's a barrage on, and you can't get through,

So put up your S.O.S.,

And the guns will answer, " Yes,"

You will find it really the game to play

If the Bosche attacks you by night or day,

Just get on the guns, and you'll smash the Huns,

It's the O—O—only way.

(iii) The Acquisition of Decorations

If you want a D.S.O.,

Or a small M.C. or so,

Don't go crawling rashly out

When there's nobody about,

In the middle of a fight

Ask a private for a light--

The correspondent's interview

Will do the rest for you.

It's the only, only way,

It's the only game to play,

For there's nothing people at home like more

Than, tobacco smoke in the midst of war,

So get out your cigarette

Or a pipe is better yet,

If a general comes, he will only say,

That's the coolest man that I've seen to-day,

Take his name for me for our next V.C.,"

It's the o—o—only way.