Treasure Island

Banjo Paterson

(1864-1941)

The Dry Canteen


There were three soldiers who went to war,
(Chorus) Well why not?
They'd arms and legs and plenty of jaw
(Chorus) All they'd got!
They reckoned the first three years were the works
And anything's yours if you see it first,
Whatever you do take care of your thirst.
(Chorus) Well, why not?

And they made their way to the dry canteen,
(Chorus) Well, why not?
The drinks all tasted of gasoline,
(Chorus) All they'd got!
They handed the orderly bloke a wink,
He made them up a gallon drink,
The sort for turning an elephant pink'
(Chorus) Well, why not!?

There were three horses hanging outside,
(Chorus) Well, why not?
Said they, ‘We'll take the three for a ride."
(Chorus) All they'd got!
They galloped the garrison through and through
The sergeant ran like a kangaroo,
They reckoned the sergeant-major flew.
(Chorus) Well, why not?


The corporal came and gathered ‘em in,
(Chorus) Well, why not
Said he, "Who handed you rum and gin?"
(Chorus) All ye got!
They sorted ‘em out and removed their caps:
"We rum this place to oblige you chaps,
the colonel may shorten your lives, perhaps"
(Chorus) Perhaps not!

The colonel told ‘em, ‘You're due for the clink"
(Chorus) Well, why not?
"For filling yourselves with hinkey pink,"
(Chorus) All ye got!
"But listen, my boys, You're under the whip
and I might perhaps forgive your slip,
If you put me wise where you got that nip"
(Chorus) Well why not.

Submitted: Monday, April 14, 2014

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