Songs & Poems by SoSkAn Members
The Tale of Kirby Hall
I went to Kirby and I had a good time,
Hence I retell it in music and rhyme,
The Armies they fought on a hill steep as Bath,
And in the evening they drank and shared many a laugh.
And it's no, nay, never,
No, nay, never, no more,
Do you see a dead Yankee
No never, no more.
I joined the Confederates, and I drank with the best,
And the stories they told I thought only in jest.
Then I fought in the battle and I found they'd not lied,
We shot many Yanks and just six of them died.
Our muskets were useless, they were bullet proof,
So come on you Yankees and tell us the truth,
What made you invulnerable to our shots?
What fiendish armour is it that you've got?
Massed ranks of grey were strewn over the field,
For they had no such armour to use as a shield.
But you must have lost it and have it no more,
'Cos when we were at Isleworth you died by the score.
Tune: Wild Rover
Bertie the Beer Monkey
A multitude of ghostly forms,
Have gathered with the dawn
Endless lines of Blue and Grey,
Stand silent and forlorn.
From their ranks, a gentle breeze
The mists, do clear away
To show their uniforms, once new
Now blooded, tattered and frayed.
NOW battle flags stand side by side,
No more are they opposed
Inter-mingled Blues and Greys
Make up their silent rows.
Their ashen faces, stare across
The fast flowing river of time
And with ONE voice, they cry aloud
The BLAME was never mine.
In death, we are American,
And so we were before
The politicians had their way
And started off a war.
We call upon the LIVING now,
To, exonerate the DEAD
We gave all, that was asked of us
Let nothing more be said.
Let our Glorious Battle Flags,
Stand proud for ALL to See
Honour and respect them
And you honour me.
Let our Glorious Battle Flags,
Read deeply into LINCOLN's words,
In his GETTYSBURG ADDRESS
Then, hand on heart, take an Oath,
To let this matter Rest.
I want to join the Army,
So what! I hear you say.
But this lot were not, just ANY army,
This lot, were dressed in Gray.
These fell's all had Muskets!
And some of the women too!
And dirty, great long bayonets
As could run a body through.
I done got introduction,
To m'comrades one by one.
After every kind of greetin'
I joined in...to 'ave some fun.
But I didn't 'ave an inkling,
Of what was now in store....
They marched me, up and down a field
Until m'feet we're sore!
The number they was shoutin'
Were numbers one and two
But just. ..what that was all about
I hadn't got a clue.
Well m'day progressed with fumbling
And tumbling around
And come the flippin' afternoon
Sprawling on the ground.
No-one, 'ad done gone told me,
As.... I was gonna die!
That I'd be wounded once or twice!
But that, was by the by.
I wasn't issued a Musket!
They went and gave me a stick!
Although it looked like a Musket
It darn didn't even go click!
Well they marched me off to battle,
To the base of this dirty great bill!
There...up on the ridge, I could see 'em,
The Union lads...ready and still.
We were lined up in battle formation,
And the Officers statted to shout,
The idea it seems was to climb to the ridge
And put all them 'Union' to rout.
BANG! Went a bloody great cannon
And I darn near leapt from m'skin.
Then catne the volleying musket fire
And thus did the hattie' begin.
We' moved up a good fifty paces
But m'legs 'ad a mind of their own
And in the midst of smoke and shot
I found m'self alone!
Then all of a sudden, hands made a grab
And whipi'ed me back up on m'feet,
'Come on ol' mate...keep it movin
I must have looked white as a sheet!
The smoke and the noise was horrendous,
As the grey ranks were nearing the top
And then those 'beautiful' orders
Cor' ...I dropped, with the greatest of pleasure
With me bean pumping near fit to burst
And m'leg muscles aching all over
But m'ankles were feelin' the worst.
Come the dead getting up from their dying!
And the wounded, all now good as new,
The fighting men of both armies
Trooped off, to down a nice brew.
Well now I'm a pan of this Army
Ain't nothin', can tear me away.
I'll fight an' die with the' best of them
It's great fun at the end of the day!
Both poems by John Russell - 1st ArkansasVolunteer Infantry Regiment, SoSkAn.