The Girl I Left Behind Me

Jill Pidd from Yorkshire: On Autumn Harvest ah010: Old Songs & Bothy Ballads: Hurrah Boys Hurrah! Live from the Fife Traditional Singing Festival May 2010.

A music hall song from the time of the 1914/18 war.

1: When first I made my mind up that a soldier I would be,
The girl that I was going with came round and says to me,
"I've had me picture taken, but if we are to part,
Promise me you'll always wear me photo next to your heart."
She hung a locket round me neck and her ruby lips I kissed,
Borrowed the fare to Aldershot and off I went to 'list,

And with the photo of the gal I left behind me,
I went to join the army full of glee,
Someone came up to remind me,
That the doctor wanted to examine me.
When the doctor found the locket next to me heart he says to me,
"Whose photograph is this here that I find,
Is this the captain's bulldog?" I says, "No sir, if you please sir,
It's the photo of the girl I left behind.

2: I never shall forget the day I first came under fire,
I was looking at the photo of the girl that I admire,
I thought her lovely face would encourage me to go,
And fight like Britishers should do when going to meet the foe.
The General said, "We're cornered boys! Fight like Hell, we must!"
I kissed the photograph and then you couldn't see me for dust.

And with the photo of the gal I left behind me,
I dashed into the middle of the fray,
Someone says, "The ammunition's gone boys,
I'm afraid we shall have a losing day.
He says, "The ammunition's gone, whatever shall we do?"
I shouted to the General, "Never mind!
I'll rush among the enemy and frighten them to death,
With a photo of the girl I left behind."

c p 2011 Autumn Harvest : www.springthyme.co.uk