Remember the dead, think abut the living. Then dig deep.
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
For a gentleman in khaki ordered South?
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
Duke's son – cook's son – son of a hundred kings,
thousand horse and foot going to Table Bay!)
Each of 'em doing his
country's work (and who's to look after the things?)
Pass the hat
for your credit's sake, and pay – pay – pay!
There are girls he married secret, asking no permission to,
he knew he wouldn't get it if he did.
There is gas and coal and
vittles, and the house-rent falling due,
And it's rather more than
likely there's a kid.
There are girls he 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
We must help the girl that Tommy's left behind
Cook's son – Duke's son – son of a belted Earl,
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?)
hat for your credit's sake, and pay – pay – pay!
There are families by the thousands, far too proud to beg or
And they'll put their sticks and bedding up the spout,
they'll live on half o' nothing paid 'em punctual once a week,
the man that earned the wage is ordered out.
He's an absent-minded
beggar, but he heard his country's call,
And his reg'ment didn't
need to send to find him;
He chucked his job and joined it – so
the task before us all
Is to help the home that Tommy's left
Duke's job – cook's job – gardener, baronet, groom
Mews or palace or paper-shop – there's someone gone away!
of 'em doing his country's work (and who's to look after the
Pass the hat for your credit's sake, and pay – pay –
Let us manage so as later we can look him in the face,
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
we sent 'em to the workhouse while their daddy hammered Paul,
we'll help the homes that Tommy's 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!