Banjo Paterson

(17 February 1864 – 5 February 1941 / New South Wales)

Commandeering - Poem by Banjo Paterson

Our hero was a Tommy with a conscience free from care,
And such an open countenance that when he breathed the air
He mopped up all the atmosphere -- so little went to spare
You could hardly say he breathed, he "commandeered" it.
For nowadays you'll notice when a man is "on the make",
And other people's property is anxious for to take,
We never use such words as "steal", or "collar", "pinch", or "shake".
No, the fashion is to say we "commandeered" it.

And our simple-minded hero used to grumble at his lot,
Said he, "This commandeerin's just a little bit too hot,
A fellow has to carry every blooming thing he's got;
Whatever he puts down they'll commandeer it."

So after much anxiety our simple-minded elf
He thought he'd do a little commandeering for himself,
And the first thing that he'd noticed was a bottle on a shelf
In a cottage, so he thought he'd commandeer it.

"What ho!" says he, "a bottle, and, by George, it's full of beer,
And no commanding officer to come and interfere.
Here's my own blooming health," says he, "I'm on the commandeer."
And without another word he commandeered it.

On his subsequent proceedings we must draw a little veil,
For the Boers had left some sheep dip in that bottle labelled "Ale";
But the doctor said he's shift it -- if all other methods fail,
We must use the stomach pump and commandeer it.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, January 1, 2004



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