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The Dreadnoughts - The Cruel Wars lyrics

A recruiting sergeant came our way
From an inn near town at the close of day
He said my Johnny you're a fine young man
Would you like to march along behind a military band,
With a scarlet coat and a fine cocked hat,
And a musket at your shoulder,
The shilling he took and he kissed the book,
Oh poor Johnny what'll happen to ya?

The recruiting sergeant marched away
From the Inn near town at the break of day,
Johnny came too with half a ring
He was off to be a soldier to go fighting for the King
In a far off war in a far off land
To face the foreign soldier,
But how will you fare when there's lead in the air,
Oh poor Johnny what'll happen to ya?

Well the sun rose high on a barren land
Where the thin red line made a military stand,
There was sling shot, chain shot, grape shot too,
Swords and bayonets thrusting through,
Poor Johnny fell but the day was won
And the King is grateful to ya
But your soldiering's done and they're sending you home,
Oh poor Johnny what'll happen to ya?

They said he was a hero and not to grieve
For the two ruined legs and the empty sleeves,
They took him home and they set him down
With a military pension and a medal from the crown.
But you haven't an arm, you haven't a leg,
The enemy nearly slew ya,
You'll have to go out on the streets to beg,
Oh poor Johnny what'll happen to ya?

A recruiting sergeant came our way
From the inn near town at the close of day
He said my Johnny you're a fine young man
Would you like to march along behind a military band,
With a scarlet coat and a fine cocked hat,
And a musket at your shoulder,
The shilling he took and he kissed the book,
Oh poor Johnny what will happen to ya?

O Polly love, O Polly, the route has now begun,
And we must go a-marching to the beating of a drum,
Come dress yourself all in your best and come along with me,
I'll take you to the cruel wars in High Germany.

O Harry, dearest Harry, mind well what I do say,
My feet they are so tender and I cannot march away,
Besides, my dearest Harry, I am with child by thee,
Not fitted for the cruel wars in High Germany.

I'll buy you a horse, my love, and on it you shall ride,
And all of my delight shall be walking at your side.
We'll stop at every alehouse and drink when we are dry,
Be true to one another, get married by and by

O cursed be the cruel wars, that ever they should rise,
And out of marry England, press many a man likewise
They took her Harry from her, likewise her brothers three,
And sent them to the cruel wars in High Germany.