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Screw Guns

Poem by Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling was an English poet and author in the late 1800s and early 1900s. One of his poems, titled "Screw Guns", was about the life of an artillery soldier in the in English controlled India. The Mountain Artillery had adopted the use of a rifled cannon that could be screwed together from two pieces, hence the name screw gun. Being made of two pieces allowed the screw guns to be carried over the rugged terrain of India where a normal piece of artillery would be too heavy for the mules. Kiplings poem about the screw guns became so popular that it became the unofficial song of the Royal Garrison Artillery and was set to the tune of the Eton Boating Song, a popular English University song.

Screw Guns is here performed by the Royal Artillery Band



Lyrics:

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.

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
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.

They sends us along where the roads are, but mostly we goes where they ain't:
We'd climb up the side of a sign-board an' trust to the stick o' the paint:
We've chivied the Naga an' Looshai, we've give the Afreedeeman fits,
For we fancies ourselves at two thousand, we guns that are built in two bits.

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
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.

If a man doesn't work, why, we drills 'im an' teaches 'im 'ow to behave;
If a beggar can't march, why, we kills 'im an' rattles 'im into 'is grave.
We've got to stand up to our business an' spring without snatchin' or fuss.
D'you say that you sweat with the field-guns? By God, you must lather with us;

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
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.

Smokin' my pipe on the mountings, sniffin' the mornin' cool,
I climbs in my old brown gaiters along o' my old brown mule.
The monkey can say what our road was -- the wild-goat 'e knows where we passed.
Stand easy, you long-eared old darlin's! Out drag-ropes! With shrapnel! Hold fast.

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
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.



Who would Not Fight for Charlie 


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