Somme, The First Day by Michael Parris

Poor bloody Infantry, is the moniker we got.
Sat in trench, for duration, an army left to rot.
But this is the big one, all the ducks in a row.
Brass hats are right bullish, this one is the show.

Our poilu friends the French, are really under cosh.
Their line is weak and looking bad, under boot of Bosche.
Our push will help relieve them, so the chatter goes.
We’ll do our bit, we’ll have a go, we’ve got to try God knows.

After the bombardment, we’re up there with the lark.
Over the top you go boys, a wee walk in the park.
In Berlin by Christmas, we had heard it all before.
But this one’s going to break them, this will end the war.

Nine VC’s by teatime, for action, a’fore the Hun.
The first was earned at breakfast, before it all begun.
Some Tommy dropped a Mills bomb, Annie McFadzean lost a son.
Young William leapt upon it, for him the day was done.
The guns of Balaclava, with purple ribbon proclaim.
Of deeds so brave and selfless, “For Valour”, is the name.

O seven twenty, that’s how Army do the time.
Hawthorn Ridge exploded, the first almighty mine.
Don’t even wait for echo, still ringing in our ears.
Over top, kick some arse, or we’ll all be here for years.

Not twenty paces had we made, before we start to drop.
Dead Jerries shooting at us? Oh God we’re for the chop.
All around us men are falling, can’t stop we must press on.
Perhaps he’s caught a Blighty one, he’ll end the day in song.

Sixty thousand telegrams sent.
Sixty thousand broken hearted.
Sixty thousand telegrams sent.
We’re back just where we started.

© Michael Parris 2018