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The Hungry Army

anonimo
Lingua: Inglese



[metà 800?]
Nella seconda strofa di questa curiosa “Barrack Song” c’è un riferimento geografico preciso, quello a Ballarat, località nello Stato australiano di Victoria. Per il resto, la canzone potrebbe avere anche un’altra origine (e infatti con lo stesso titolo esiste almeno un’altra ballata, questa volta irlandese, ambientata durante la guerra di Crimea) ed essere stata adattata in Australia quando a metà 800, durante la grande corsa all’oro, le truppe coloniali furono frequentemente impegnate per reprimere i disordini causati dai cercatori che rifiutavano il pagamento delle tasse governative. Celebre la “Eureka Stockade” (decine di morti) che ebbe luogo proprio a Ballarat nel 1854.

When I was young and in me prime
I thought I’d go and join the line,
And as a soldier cut a shine,
In a lot called the hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

Said the sergeant, "You are just the chap",
And placed a knapsack on my back.
Then sent me off to Ballarat,
To fight in the hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

Now I went out to drill one day,
The wind was rather strong that way;
In fact it blew the lot away,
This glorious hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

I've got a medal as you see,
The workhouse presented it to me,
For hanging fast to a rotten tree,
When the wind took the hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

They cut me hair with a knife and fork,
And curled it with a cabbage stalk;
They fed me up on cabbage broth,
To fight in the hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

They served it out in a large tin can,
A teaspoonful to every man;
I got so fat I could not stand,
To fight in the hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

They sent me out to drill recruits,
But they kicked me with their hob-nailed boots;
Oh, take, oh, take away these brutes'
Of this glorious hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

So now, kind friends, I must be off.
I think I smell the mutton broth.
Here comes General Howl and Scoff,
The head of the hungry army.

Sound the bugle, blow the horn.
Fight for glory, night and morn.
Hungry soldiers, ragged and torn,
Just returned from the army.

inviata da Bernart Bartleby - 8/1/2018 - 08:53



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