"With apologies to Kipling, Fallingbostel Oct 11/44."
If you could save your brew when all around you
Have finished theirs and borrowed more from you
If you can run a racket when they doubt you
But you can make allowance for their rackets too
If you can wait and not get tired of waiting
When someone makes a boob while on parade
Or standing in the cold in their pyjamas
While Hauptmann Mullers weekly search is made
If you can hide when duty stooge is on you
If you can wash your shirt say twice a year
If you can keep your mind on harmless pastimes
And not on dancing, women, wine and beer
If you can listen to another airman
Telling you his crown is on its way
And never breathe a word while he is moaning
While you have got at least three years back pay
If you can say "Wie Gehts" or else "Kartoffel"
Or ask a German if he has a light
Yours is the camp and all that's in it
Here's to your happy future clear and bright.
She's tremendous, she's gigantic, looking trim in every line
She's magnificent colossal, she's yours yet also mine
She's gloriously majestic most refreshing to the eye
She's exciting in her nearness, for we know she's standing by
There'll be several Red Cross nurse lining up beside the quay
With a choice of drinks to choose from, NAAFI beer or NAAFI tea
Its goodbye to Red Cross Parcels, no more vitiminised jam
No more Bully Beef or salmon, no more appetising spam
No more personals for listing cigarettes or censored mail
When the ship called S.S. Kriegie speeds along the homeward trail
No more Roll Calls, no more searches, no more posterns seeking brew
No more blowers outside billets, no more air raids all day through
No more belt-ups, no more 'arbeit' when your stomachs not so good
No more continental sauerkraut, no more scrounging bits of wood
No more visits down to sick bay, no more rackets, no more stew
No more reading propaganda like "The German point of view"
No more bedboards, no more combines, no more overcrowded space
No more cattle trucks to greet us as we move from place to place
No more barbed wire, no more searchlights, no more pine trees all around
No more compounds, no more circuits, when at last we're homeward bound.
The Saga of the Oldest Kriegie
Oh were you out in the grim north east
Way up on the Baltic shore
Where the winter nights are six months long
And the days are even more
Where the bitter blast, a snow toothed fiend
Howls down from the Russian steppes
Where socks get frozen to the feet
And the hands are covered in chappes
Where the great white silence covers all
And the only sound they say
Is the song of the Droski singing his love
In the mountains far away.
That's where the oldest Kriegie lives
A man both seer and hoary
Living on nutty and polar bear soup
The head of this story.
Twas many years ago
Way back in 1940
That the oldest Kriegie in his plane
Embarked upon a sortie.
Twas the sorta sortie a brave man shuns
And the coward runs away from
The kind our hero hoped to Christ
He'd live to draw his pay from.
In the bright moonlight of a summer night
Our hero crossed the sea
He bombed the target and turned for home
But was jumped by a lone M.E.
And then there came a wary time
A time most wondrous tiring
They took him to a Kriegie camp
All ringed about with wiring.
They counted oh they counted him
By day as well as night
Sideway diagonally backwards
But they couldn't get it right.
At last they hit upon a wheeze
That seemed both cute and neat
They fell the Kriegies in again
And counted all their feet.
And when the feet were counted
They divided them by two
But still the answer wasn't right
So they thought of something new.
They went and got excited
And shouted with much zest
But it didn't do them any good
For the Kriegie's weren't impressed.
Then they lined up all the Kriegie's
At a time when most folks sleep
And made them file between two posts
So the Kriegie's baaed like sheep.
And when the count was finished
And they added up the score
They found they'd far more Kriegie's
Than they'd ever had before.
For in a well run Kriegie camp
You may get lots of fun
But no fun quite as popular
As mucking up the Hun.
The prison camp so grim and bare
Within the hated wire
In barracks prisoners drawn and grey
Crouch huddled round the fire
What will the German verdict be?
What will their minds conspire?
Outside the rain in torrents fall
Heavens ripped open wide
Hell! The suspense is terrible
If only we could hide
At last, long blasts, the silence breaks
Thank God! Roll calls inside.