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The Willing Conscript
Oh sergeant, I'm a draftee and I've just arrived in camp
I've come to wear the uniform and join the martial tramp
And I want to do my duty, but one thing I do implore
You must give me lessons, sergeant, for I've never killed before
To do my job obediently is all that I desire
To learn my weapon thoroughly and how to aim and fire
To learn to kill the enemy and how to slaughter more
Oh I'll need instructions, Sergeant, for I've never killed before
Now there are rumors in the camp about our enemy
They say that when you see him, he looks just like you and me
But you deny it, Sergeant, and you're a man of war
So you must give me lessons, for I've never killed before
Now there are several lessons that I have not mastered yet
I haven't got the hang of how to use the bayonet
If he doesn't die at once, am I to stick him with it more?
Oh I hope you will be patient, for I've never killed before
And the hand grenade is something that I just don't understand
You've got to throw it quickly or you're apt to lose your hand
Does it blow a man to pieces with its wicked muffled roar?
Oh I've got so much to learn because I've never killed before
Well I want to thank you, Sergeant, for the help you've been to
You've taught me how to kill and how to hate the enemy
And I know that I'll be ready, when they march me off to war
And I know that it won't matter that I've never killed before
Copyright Cherry Lane Music Publishing Co., Inc.
sung by Paxton Ain't It News and Newport 63 Broadside
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