Throughout our history, Americans have answered the call to arms to defend our country and to fight for freedom and liberty.  History has shown that as soon as the conflict had passed, those who served so valiantly were soon forgotten.  They become important again when another threat appears.  This forgotten soldier theme was expressed a century ago by the famous British author and poet, Rudyard Kipling. Tommy Adkins is a British equivalent to America's John Smith - a typical soldier.

Tommy
by Rudyard Kipling
I went into a public house to get a pint of cheer.
The owner up and says, "We serve no Red Coats here".
The girls behind the bar, they laughed and giggled fit to die.
I'm out into the street again and to myself says I;

 O it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, an Tommy go away.
 But it's "Thank you mister Adkins", when the band begins to play.
 The band begins to play my boys, the band begins to play.
 O it's "Thank you mister Adkins, when the band begins to play.

Yes, making mock of uniforms that guard you while you sleep.
Is cheaper than them uniforms, and they are starving cheap.
An hustlin drunken soldiers when they're going large a bit.
Is five times better than parading in full kit.

 Then it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and "Tommy, own your soul"?
 But it's "thin red line of heroes, when the drums begin to roll.
 The drums begin to roll, by boys, the drums begin to roll.
 O it's "thin red line of heroes" when the drums begin to roll.

We aren't no thin red heroes, nor we aren't no back guards too.
But single men in barracks, most remarkably like you.
And if sometimes our conduct ain't all you fancy paints.
Why, single men in barracks don's grow into plaster saints.

 While it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and Tommy fall be'end.
 But it's "Please to walk in front, sir, when there's trouble in the wind.
 There's trouble in the wind, by boys, there's trouble in the wind.
 O it's "Please to walk in front, sir", when there's trouble in the wind.

You talk better food for us, and schools, and fires, and all.
We'll wait for extra rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook room slops, but prove it to our face.
The widow's uniform is not the soldier's disgrace.

 For it's Tommy this, and Tommy that, and "chunk him out, the bruit".
 But it's "Savior of this country" when the guns begin to shoot.
 And it's Tommy this and Tommy that, and anytime you please.
 And Tommy ain't  a blooming fool  - you bet that Tommy sees.
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