The European Tribune is a forum for thoughtful dialogue of European and international issues. You are invited to post comments and your own articles.
Please REGISTER to post.
As I was walking down the road
A feeling fine and larky-oh
A recruit'en sergeant came up-a-ta me
Says he, you'd look fine in khaki-oh
For the King he is in need of men
Come read this proclamation-oh
A life in Flanders for you then
Would be a fine vacation-oh
That may be so says I to him
But tella me sergeant dearie-oh
If I had a pack stuck upon me back
Would I look fine and cheerie-oh
For they'd have you train and drill until
They had you one of the Frenchies-oh
It may be warm in Flanders
But it's draughty in the trenches-oh
The sergeant smiled and winked his eye
His smile was most provoking-oh
He twiddled and twirled his wee mustache
Says he, I know you're only joking-oh
For the sandbags are so warm and high
The wind you won't feel blowing-oh
Well I winked at a cailin passing by
Says I, what if it's snowing-oh
Come rain or hail or wind or snow
I'm not going out to Flanders-oh
There's fighting in Dublin to be done
Let your sergeants and your commanders go
Let Englishmen fight English wars
It's nearly time they started-oh
I saluted the sergeant a very good night
And there and then we parted-oh
Back in the mid-eighties I took 30 days leave before I transferred from the 82nd Airborne Division to John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and Schools Special Forces Qualification Course. I had no idea what to do on leave but seeing a movie, "The Eye of The Needle" filmed in Britain prompted me to take an Airforce transport to RAF Lakenheath and tour Britain with a backpack.
I first went to Aldershot and partied with some Paras, being an American para cousin myself. I almost got into a brawl that I didn't really understand and the closest I came to being called a Feinian Bastard as I am Catholic and I really didn't understand how or why that question came up in conversation.
It came up from a Para from Northern Ireland, who then asked me if I was a member of NORAID. I replied, in soldier bravado, "Hell no, those are Air Force weenies". He then got incensed.
The problem came from my misunderstanding of his accent; I thought he meant NORAD, the Air Force missile tracking unit under Colorado Mountain that tracks missile launches from the old Soviet Union, an air-conditioned office job.
Luckily, the situation was diffused by an English Para who went on about hospitality and foreigners.
The rest of the leave was most memorable. I ended up as a guest at the Prince Charles Barracks in Aberdeen Scotland courtesy of the 22nd Para (Territorial) through a RSM in Aldershot. All I had to pay for was booze and food, they put me up. Which was a good thing because my booze bill pretty much broke my savings, I mean, after all, I WAS in the pubs with Paras.
"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte!
Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 7 2 comments
by Oui - Feb 4 45 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 2 8 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 26 3 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 31 3 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 22 3 comments
by Cat - Jan 25 63 comments
by Oui - Jan 9 21 comments
by Oui - Feb 7
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 72 comments
by Oui - Feb 445 comments
by Oui - Feb 315 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Feb 28 comments
by Oui - Feb 2112 comments
by Oui - Feb 16 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 313 comments
by gmoke - Jan 29
by Oui - Jan 2736 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 263 comments
by Cat - Jan 2563 comments
by Frank Schnittger - Jan 223 comments
by Oui - Jan 2110 comments
by Oui - Jan 21
by Oui - Jan 20
by gmoke - Jan 20
by Oui - Jan 1841 comments
by Oui - Jan 1591 comments
by Oui - Jan 145 comments