The Spirit

Original Text: 
"Woodbine Willy" [Rev. G. A. Studdert-Kennedy], Rough Rhymes of a Padre (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1919): 56-57. 1919/5/85 Cambridge University Library
1When there ain't no gal to kiss you,
2And the postman seems to miss you,
4          Carry on.
5When ye've got an empty belly,
7And you're shivering like a jelly,
8          Carry on.
10And the sergeant's done the rum in,
11And there ain't no rations comin',
12          Carry on.
13When the world is red and reeking,
14And the shrapnel shells are shrieking,
15And your blood is slowly leaking,
16          Carry on.
17When the broken battered trenches,
18Are like the bloody butchers' benches,
19And the air is thick with stenches,
20          Carry on.
21Carry on,
22     Though your pals are pale and wan,
23     And the hope of life is gone,
24               Carry on.
25     For to do more than you can,
26     Is to be a British man,
28               Carry on.


3] fags: cigarettes. Back to Line
6] bulley: pickled or tinned beef (OED, "bully," sb. 5). Back to Line
9] Boche: Germans. Back to Line
27] "also ran": a racehorse that did not finish "in the money." Back to Line
Publication Start Year: 
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: