Judy Cook, Folksinger

The Valiant Conscript

As Sung By Judy Cook

Tune: Yankee Doodle

How are you boys? I'm just from camp
And feel as brave as Caesar;
The sound of bugle drum, and fife
Has raised my Ebenezer
I'm full of fight, odds shot and shell,
I'll leap into the saddle,
And when the Yankees see me come,
Lord how they will skedaddle!

Hold your head up, Shanghai, Shanks
Don't shake your knees and blink so,
It is no time to dodge the act;
Brave comrades, don't you think so.

I was a ploughboy in the field,
A gawky, lazy dodger,
When came the conscript officer
And took me for a sodger.
He put a musket in my hand,
And showed me how to fire it;
I marched and counter-marched all day;
Lord,how I did admire it!

With corn and hog fat for my food,
And digging, guarding, drilling,
I got as thin as twice-skimmed milk,
And was scarcely worth the killing.
And now I'm used to homely fare,
My skin as tough as leather,
I do guard duty cheerfully
In every kind of weather.

I'm brimful of fight, my boys,
I would not give a "thank ye"
For all the smiles the girls can give
Until I've killed a Yankee
High private is a glorious rank,
There's wide room for promotion;
I'll get a corporal's stripes some day,
When Fortune's in the notion

'Tis true I have not seen a fight,
Nor have I smelt gunpowder,
But then the way I'll pepper them
Will be a sin to chowder.
A sergeant's stripes I now will sport
Perhaps be color-bearer
And then a captain - good for me -
I'll be a regular tearer

I'll then begin to wear the stars,
And then the wreaths of glory,
Until the army I command,
And poets sing my story.
Our Congress will pass votes of thanks,
To him who rose from zero,
The people in a mass will shout,
Hurrah, behold the hero!

(He fires his gun by accident)

What's that? oh dear! A boiler's burst,
A gaspipe has exploded,
Maybe the Yankees are hard by
With muskets ready loaded.
Oh, gallant soldiers, beat 'em back,
I'll join you in the frolic,
But I've a chill from head to foot,
And symptoms of the colic.