General Discussion
 Topics of or related to poetry. 

eMule -> The Poetry Archive -> Forums -> General Discussion

Goto Thread: PreviousNext
Goto: Forum ListMessage ListNew TopicSearchLog In
Sam Small songs
Posted by: Pam Adams (134.71.192.---)
Date: October 16, 2003 03:15PM

Came across these today.


Sam Small
By Stanley Holloway

It occurred on the evening before Waterloo,
And t'troops were lined up on parade,
The Sergeant inspecting 'em he were a terror,
Of whom every man was afraid

All excepting one man who was in the front rank,
A man by the name of Sam Small,
And 'im and the Sergeant were both 'daggers drawn',
They thought nowt of each other at all

As Sergeant walked past he were swinging his arms,
And he happened to brush against Sam,
And knocking his musket clean out of his hand,
It fell to the ground with a slam

'Pick it up' said t'Sergeant, abrupt like but cool,
But Sam with a shake of his head,
'Seeing as tha' knocked it out of me hand,
P'raps tha'll pick the thing up instead.

'Sam, Sam, pick up thy musket,'
The Sergeant exclaimed with a roar,
Sam said 'Tha knocked it down, reet! then tha'll pick it up,
Or it'll stay where it is on't floor

The sound of high words very soon reached the ears,
Of an Officer, Lieutenant Bird,
Who says to the Sergeant, 'Now what's all this ere?'
And the Sergeant told what had occurred.

'Sam, Sam, pick up thy musket'
Lieutenant exclaimed with some heat,
Sam said, 'He knocked it down reet! Then he'll pick it up,
Or it stays where it is, at me feet

It caused quite a stir when the Captain arrived,
To find out the cause of the trouble,
And every man there, all except Sam,
Was full of excitement and bubble

'Sam, Sam, pick up thy musket',
Said Captain for strictness renowned,
Sam said 'He knocked it doon, Reet! so he'll pick it up,
Or it stays where it is on't ground

The same thing occurred when the Major and Colonel,
Both tried to get Sam to see sense,
But when Old Duke o' Wellington came into view,
Well the excitement was really quite tense

Up rode the Duke on a loverly white 'orse,
To find out the cause of the bother,
He looked at the musket and then at Old Sam,
And he talked to Old Sam like a brother

'Sam, Sam, pick up thy musket'
The Duke said as quiet as could be,
'Sam, Sam pick up thi musket,
Coom on lad, just to please me

'Alright Duke,' said Old Sam, 'just for thee I'll oblige,
And to show thee I meant no offence',
So Sam picked it up, 'Gradely, lad' said the Duke,
'Right-o boys... let battle commence.'


Sam's Pudden
by Marriott Edgar

It was Christmas Day in the trenches
In Spain in t'Peninsular War,
And Sam Small were cleaning his musket
A thing as he'd ne'er done before.

They'd had 'em inspected that morning
And Sam had got into disgrace,
For when t'Sergeant had looked down t'barrel
A sparrow flew out in his face.

The sergeant reported the matter
To Lieutenant Bird then and there.
Said t'Lieutenant "How very disgusting
The Duke must be told of this 'ere."

The Duke were upset when he heard it.
He said, "I'm astonished, I am"
I must make a most drastic example:
There'll be no Christmas pudding for Sam."

When Sam were informed of 'is sentence
Surprise rooted 'im to the spot.
'Twas much worse than he had expected,
He thought as he'd only be shot.

And so he sat cleaning 'is musket
And polishing t'barrel and butt.
While the pudding his mother had sent him,
Lay there on t'grass at 'is foot.

Now the front line that Sam's lot were holding
Ran all round a town: Badajoz.
Where the Frenchies 'ad put up a bastion
And ooh... what a bastion it was.

They pounded away all the morning
With canister, grapeshot and ball.
But the face of the bastion defied 'em,
They made no impression at all.

They started again after dinner
Bombarding as hard as they could.
And the Duke brought his own private cannon
But that weren't a ha'pence o' good.

The Duke said, "Sam, put down thy musket
And help me lay this gun real true."
Sam answered, "You'd best ask your favours
From them as you give pudding to."

The Duke looked at Sam so reproachful
"And don't take it that way," said he.
"Us Generals have got to be ruthless
It hurts me more than it did thee."

Sam sniffed at these words kind of skeptic,
Then looked down the Duke's private gun.
And said "We'd best put in two charges,
We'll never bust bastion with one."

He tipped t'cannonball out of t'muzzle
He took out the wadding and all.
He filled t'barrel chock full o' powder,
Then picked up and put back the ball.

He took a good aim at the bastion
Then said "Right-o, Duke, let her fly."
The cannon nigh jumped off its trunnions,
And up went the bastion, sky high.

The Duke, he weren't 'alf elated
He danced around t'trench full o' glee.
And said, "Sam, for this gallant action
You can hot up your pudding for tea.'

Sam looked 'round to pick up his pudding
But it weren't there - nowhere about.
In t'place where he thought he had left it,
Lay the cannonball he'd just tipped out.

Sam saw in a flash what'd happened:
By an unprecedented mishap
The pudding his mother had sent him
Had blown Badajoz off t'map.

That's why Grenadiers wear to this moment
A badge which they think's a grenade.
But they're wrong... it's a brass reproduction
Of the pudding Sam's mother once made.

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: JP (
Date: October 16, 2003 03:46PM

Thanks for the memories. It's been ages since I last heard these. My mother was always so fond of saying 'Sam, Sam, pick up thi musket' when she wanted us to do something.


Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Jack? (
Date: October 16, 2003 03:50PM


Never heard of Sam before. This is good stuff. Very 'Kiplingesque'.



Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Tigermonkey (
Date: October 16, 2003 04:10PM

If you're a fan of Sam Small, Albert etc, then check out [] /> Huge range of mainly British, mainly humorous verse and some classic monologues. I've wasted many a happy hour browsing!

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: October 16, 2003 05:41PM

I grew up listening to a record of STANLEY HOLLOWAY singing and reciting things, including "Sam's Christmas Pudding."

I remember when I didn't know what a bastion was, and I was too shy to ask.

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Talia (216.117.98.---)
Date: October 16, 2003 05:46PM

What is a bastion?

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Chesil (
Date: October 16, 2003 06:14PM

I have a Stanley Holloway CD that includes several Sam Small monologues!

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Marian-NYC (
Date: October 16, 2003 07:05PM

... the Frenchies 'ad put up a bastion
And ooh... what a bastion it was.

Talia asked: "What is a bastion?"

A. A café with a liquor license and a dessert cart.
B. Fortress, fortification, stronghold.
C. A device for helping chickens cross the road.
D. I'll explain it to you when you're older.

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: -Les- (
Date: October 17, 2003 02:24AM

Talia if all else fails, look it up.

[] />


Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Henry (195.8.171.---)
Date: October 17, 2003 09:46AM

Sam Small started a cottage industry producing monologues for Stanley Holloway. The songwriters R. P. Weston and Bert Lee, as well as Mabel Constanduros, Michael Hogan and Ashley Sterne, also contributed pieces. Marriot Edgar (known as George) was a step brother to Edgar Wallace.

I've got to write a review (by this evening!) of a concert by the wonderful singer John Tams, who was musical director for several Bill Bryden productions at the National Theatre. He has taken to interrupting his songs with a recitation of Sam's Christmas Pudding, greatly relishing the line "And ooh what a bastion it was."

Don't overlook Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom and young Albert, their son.

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: October 17, 2003 10:57AM

D. I'll explain it to you when you're older.

Is that the no good, rotten dirty bastion?

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Chesil (
Date: October 17, 2003 11:02AM

Henry, Albert was a childhood favorite of mine. My uncle was a real Lancastrian and on Sunday mornings would recite the various Albert stories to an entranced nephew. He was a road worker, a poorly educated man but he inspired a lifelong love of poetry in me.

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Linda (
Date: October 20, 2003 06:28PM

Dirty, rotten. Rotten, dirty doesn't sound right.

How do we decide on the order of adjectives?

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Hugh Clary (
Date: October 20, 2003 06:51PM

It depends on where one places the comma, my view.

Re: Sam Small songs
Posted by: Chesil (
Date: October 20, 2003 07:09PM

I have this sudden theory that long vowel sounds sound better in front of short vowel sounds. Of course, I have no evidence at all to back it up so I could easily be wrong!

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This poetry forum at powered by Phorum.