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War Song

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis 1876 (Auburn) – 1938 (Melbourne)

Sing a song o' Hempire
Mother's took a fit,
Nasty Germans buildin' ships,
An' never mentioned it.
Buildin' beastly warships,
Quite a tidy few;
Mother's got an awful start
Baby's got it too.

The King was in the Customs House,
But couldn't find a penny ;
The Lords were at their country seats
And didn't offer any;
A millyun paupers mooned about
With nothin' much to eat,
When down comes Australyer
With a Dreadnought fer the fleet.
Sing a song o' Warships,
'Orrid ole Bulow,
Layin' down 'is Dreadnoughts
An' didn't let us know
Didn't advertise it,
Till the Cablegram
Spread the awful tidings
An' the Empire shouted, 'Damn!'

Sing a song o' Hempire,
Mother's up a tree;
But the Melbourne Stock exchange
'As swore to set 'er free.
Does the German caitiff
Build upon the sly?
Then seventeen suburban may'rs
Will know the reason why!

Seventeen suburban may'rs
Of the Bulldog Breed
Fly to succor Hingland
In her hour of need.
What of 'Constant Reader'?
'Pro Bono Publico'?
Will 'Subscriber' see old Hingland
Flabbergasted? No!!

A reeiy, trooly battleship,
  With guns an' things galore,
And splendid sails of calico
From MacMillan's store
The Stock Exchange will float it
On a sea of gush.
Wot's two millyun quid to us?
We don't care a rush!

(But - whisper - little mother,
If, later on, some day,
We want ter sorter float a loan,
To 'elp us on our way
Borrer of it back, like
After wot 'as passed,
Don't you go an' crool our pitch,
Like you did the last.)

Sing a song o' Britain's fleet
('Ow the Tories raged!)
That's goin' to guard Australyer
(If not otherwise engaged).
Sing of 'Umpty Dumpty
 'Im that 'ad the fall.
Rob Australian Peter
To pay old Hinglish Paul.

Sing o' topsy-turvey;
Sing of inside-out,
Of back-to-front and upside-down
An' t'other way about.
Spend ten bloomin' millyun,
Buy yer ships galore,
An' send them all to Hingland
To guard Australyer's shore.

Sing a song o' Hempire!
We've got ter guard 'the heart.'
If it gets a limb lopped off,
That ain't a vital part.
Learn ter think Imperially
Shriek with courage grim
Fer 'the heart' must be protected
Tho' it's tough if we're the limb.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

1:59 min read

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis

Clarence Michael James Stanislaus Dennis, better known as C. J. Dennis, was an Australian poet known for his humorous poems, especially "The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke", published in the early 20th century. Though Dennis's work is less well known today, his 1915 publication of The Sentimental Bloke sold 65,000 copies in its first year, and by 1917 he was the most prosperous poet in Australian history. Together with Banjo Paterson and Henry Lawson, both of whom he had collaborated with, he is often considered among Australia's three most famous poets. While attributed to Lawson by 1911, Dennis later claimed he himself was the 'laureate of the larrikin'. When he died at the age of 61, the Prime Minister of Australia Joseph Lyons suggested he was destined to be remembered as the 'Australian Robert Burns'. more…

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