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Between You and Me   By: (1870-1950)

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Author of "A Minstrel in France" NEW YORK


This book is dedicated to the Fathers and Mothers of the Boys who went and those who prepared to go.


Say, Mate, don't you figure it's great To think, when the war is all over, And we're thro' with the mud And the spilling of blood, And we're shipped back again to old Dover; When they've paid us our tin And we've blown the lot in, And our very last penny is spent, We'll still have a thought, if that's all we've got: Well, I'm one of the boys who went.

Perhaps, later on, when the wild days are gone And you're settling down for life You've a girl in your eye, you'll ask bye and bye To share up with you as your wife Then, when a few years have flown And you've got "chicks" of your own And you're happy, and snug, and content, Man, it will make your heart glad When they boast of their Dad My Dad He was one of the boys who went.



It's a bonny world, I'm tellin' ye! It was worth saving, and saved it's been, if only you and I and the rest of us that's alive and fit to work and play and do our part will do as we should. I went around the world in yon days when there was war. I saw all manner of men. I saw them live, and fight, and dee. And now I'm back from the other side of the world again. And I'm tellin' ye again that it's a bonny world I've seen, but no so bonny a world as we maun make it you and I. So let us speer a wee, and I'll be trying to tell you what I think, and what I've seen.

There'll be those going up and doon the land preaching against everything that is, and talking of all that should be. There'll be others who'll say that all is well, and that the man that wants to make a change is no better than Trotzky or a Hun. There'll be those who'll be wantin' me to let a Soviet tell me what songs to sing to ye, and what the pattern of my kilts should be. But what have such folk to say to you and me, plain folk that we are, with our work to do, and the wife and the bairns to be thinkin' of when it comes time to tak' our ease and rest? Nothin', I say, and I'll e'en say it again and again before I'm done.

The day of the plain man has come again. The world belongs to us. We made it. It was plain men who fought the war who deed and bled and suffered in France, and Gallipoli and everywhere where men went about the business of the war. And it's plain men who have come home to Britain, and America, to Australia and Canada and all the other places that sent their sons out to fight for humanity. They maun fight for humanity still, for that fight is not won, deed, and it's no more than made a fair beginning.

Your profiteer is no plain man. Nor is your agitator. They are set up against you and me, and all the other plain men and women who maun make a living and tak' care of those that are near and dear to them. Some of us plain folk have more than others of us, maybe, but there'll be no envy among us for a' that. We maun stand together, and we shall. I'm as sure of that as I'm sure that God has charged himself with the care of this world and all who dwell in it.

I maun talk more about myself than I richt like to do if I'm to make you see how I'm feeling and thinking aboot all the things that are loose wi' the world to day. For, after all, it's himself a man knows better than anyone else, and if I've ideas about life and the world it's from the way life's dealt with me that I've learned them. I've no done so badly for myself and my ain, if I do say it. And that's why, maybe, I've small patience with them that's busy always saying the plain man has no chance these days.

Do you ken how I made my start? Are ye thinkin', maybe, that I'd a faither to send me to college and gie me masters to teach me to sing my songs, and to play the piano? Man, ye'd be wrong, an' ye thought so! My faither deed, puir man, when I was but a bairn of eleven he was but thirty twa himself... Continue reading book >>

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