Monday, August 16, 2004

All together now. . .

If you're not already stopping by the Irish Elk on a regular basis your priorities do need some adjusting. I am assuming, though, that you've had sufficient encouragement from this site to be so doing. Thus you will already have seen this post and sung along with the Eton Boating Song. Aside from the fact that it fits rather well on the pipes (start on C) - you knew I'd work that into it somehow didn't you? - did you know that the tune once had a certain currency amongst artillerymen? The words to Rudyard Kipling's "The Screw Guns" fit the tune admirably and were once part of the Royal Horse Artillery's repertoire.

Smokin' my pipe on the mountings, sniffin' the mornin' cool,
I walks in my old brown gaiters along o' my old brown mule,
With seventy gunners be'ind me, an' never a beggar forgets
It's only the pick of the Army
that handles the dear little pets -- 'Tss! 'Tss!
For you all love the screw-guns -- the screw-guns they all love you!
So when we call round with a few guns,
o' course you will know what to do -- hoo! hoo!
Jest send in your Chief an' surrender --
it's worse if you fights or you runs:
You can go where you please, you can skid up the trees,
but you don't get away from the guns!

My old pipe major from the Clan Donnachaidh band informed me that there are also "drinking" words to the old tune which would render a quotation or a citation unsuitable for a pious Catholic blog. But I wouldn't know anything about that. The merest hearsay.