Abdul Abulbul Ameer
Abdul Abulbul Ameer
1The sons of the Prophet are brave men and bold
2And quite unaccustomed to fear
3But the bravest by far in the ranks of the Shah
4Was Abdul Abulbul Ameer.
5If you wanted a man to encourage the van
6Or shout ‘Hip Hooray’ in the rear
7Or storm a redoubt, you had only to shout
8For Abdul Abulbul Ameer.
9Now the heroes were many and well-known to fame
10In the troops that were led by the Czar
11But the bravest of these, whom no man could appease
12Of Ivan Skivinsky Skivar.
13He could imitate most, play Poker and Pool
14And perform on the swinging guitar.
15In fact, quite the cream of the Muscovite team
16Was Ivan Skivinsky Skivar.
17One day this bold Russian he shouldered his gun
18And donned his most truculent sneer
19Down town he did go, where he trod on the toe
20Of Abdul Abulbul Ameer.
21‘Young man’, quote Abdul, ‘Has your life grown so dull
22That you wish to end your career! --
23Vile infidel know, you have trod on the toe
24Of Abdul Abulbul Ameer."
25Said Ivan: ‘My friend, your remarks, in the end
26Will avail you but little, I fear
27For you’ll never survive to repeat them alive,
28Mr. Abdul Abulbul Ameer."
29‘Then take your last look on sunshine and brook
30And send your regrets to the Czar --
31By this, I imply, you are going to die,
32Count Ivan Skivinsky Skivar.’
33Then the bold Mameluke drew his trusty skibook
34With a cry of ‘Allah Akbar’
35And with deadly intent he ferociously went
36For Ivan Skivinsky Skivar.
37They fought through the night, in the pale yellow light
38The din it was heard from afar
39And huge multitudes came, so great was the fame
40Of Abdul and Ivan Skivar.
41As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life
42(In fact, he was shouting ‘Hurra’)
43He felt himself struck by that wily Kalmuck
44Count Ivan Skivinsky Skivar.
45The Sultan drove by in his red-breasted fly
46Expecting the victor to cheer
47But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh
48Of Abdul Abulbul Ameer.
49Czar Petrovitch, too, in his spectacles blue
50Drove up in his new-crested car.
51He arrived just in time to exchange a last line
52With Ivan Skivinsky Skivar.
53A tombstone arose where the Blue Danube flows
54And engraved there in characters clear
55Are: ‘Stranger, pass by, but contribute a sigh
56For Abdul Abulbul Ameer.’
57A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps
58‘Neath the light of the pale polar star.
59And the name that she murmurs, so oft as she weeps
60Is Ivan Skivinsky Skivar.
Best Irish Songs of Percy French ed. Tony Butler (London: Wolfe Publishing Ltd., 1971): 40-42. ML54.6 .F7B4 Robarts Library
RPO poem Editors