When Sam Small joined the regiment,
'E were no' but a raw recruit,
And they marched 'im away one wint'ry day,
'Is musket course to shoot.
They woke 'im up at the crack o' dawn,
Wi' many a nudge and shake,
'E were dreaming that t' Sergeant 'ad broke 'is neck,
And 'e didn't want to wake.
Lieutenant Bird came on parade,
And chided the lads for mooning,
'E talked in a voice like a pound o' plums,
'Is tonsils needed pruning.
"Move to the right by fours," he said,
Crisp like but most severe,
But Sam didn't know 'is right from 'is left,
So pretended 'e didn't 'ear.
Said Lieutenant, "Sergeant, take this man's name."
The Sergeant took out 'is pencil,
'E were getting ashamed o' taking Sam's name,
And were thinking o' cutting a stencil.
Sam carried a musket, a knapsack and coat,
Spare boots that 'e'd managed to wangle,
A 'atchet, a spade... in fact, as Sam said,
'E'd got everything bar t'kitchen mangle.
"March easy men," Lieutenant cried,
As the musket range grew near,
"March easy me blushing Aunt Fanny," said Sam,
"What a chance with all this 'ere."
When they told 'im to fire at five 'undred yards,
Sam nearly 'ad a fit,
For a six foot wall, or the Albert 'All,
Were all 'e were likely to 'it.
'E'd fitted a cork in 'is musket end,
To keep 'is powder dry,
And 'e didn't remember to take it out,
The first time 'e let fly.