The winds of war inspired me to finalize this modification of my favourite folk song about dying of cholera, for the horrors of fighting under a certain spring enchantment. If you want an idea of the tune I recommend tracking down Bellowhead’s version from their album Matachin
Well the rivers running red – and it’s worse than forty fights;
And we’re dyin’ in the wilderness the same as questin’ knights;
It’s before us, an’ be’ind us, an’ we cannot get away,
An’ the doctor’s just reported that we’ve ten more today!
Oh, strike your camp an’ go, the Captain’s callin’,
Red Rains are fallin’ –
The dead are bushed an’ stoned to keep ‘em safe below;
The Band’s a-doin’ all they can to cheer us;
The Priest’s Burnin’ through liao to steel us –
To steel us –
O Viritue, for it’s a-killin’ of us so!
Since the summit, when it started, it’s been stickin’ to our tail,
We’ve been out across the Marches and back by trod and trail;
But it runs as fast as horses, and we cannot get away;
An’ the sickness to the General makes ten more today.
And there ain’t no fun in eatin’ and there ain’t no drop to drink;
It’s much too wet for fightin’, we can only march and think;
An’ at evenin’, down the nullahs, we can 'ear the jackals say,
“Get up, you rotten beggars, you’ve ten more today!”
And it would make the highborn cough to see our way o’ doin’ things –
Lieutenants takin’ companies and captains takin’ wings,
An’ Lances actin’ Sergeants – eight file to obey –
Oh yes, there’s lots of quick promotion on ten deaths a day!
Our Colonel’s white an’ twitterly – and she gets no sleep nor food,
But mucks about in 'orspital where nothing does no good.
And she sends us ‘eaps o’ comforts, all bought from 'er pay –
But there aren’t much comfort 'andy on ten deaths a day.
We’ve got the rivers running red – we’ve got em ‘ot an’ sweet;
It ain’t no Leaguish dinner, but it’s served an’ we must eat.
We’ve gone beyond the funkin’, ‘cause we’ve found it doesn’t pay,
An’ we’re rockin’ round the mournwold on ten deaths a day!
So strike your camp an’ go, Red Rains are fallin’,
The Captain’s callin’!
The dead are bushed an’ stoned to keep ‘em safe below!
An’ them that do not like it they can lump it,
An’ them that cannot stand it they can jump it;
We’ve got to die somewhere – some way – some’ow –
Se we might as well begin to do it now!
So, Number One, let down the tent-pole slow,
Knock out the pegs an’ hold the corners – so!
Furl up the ropes, furl up the ropes, an’ stow!
Oh, strike – oh, strike your camp an’ go!