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Browned Off

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Browned Off

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Browned Off
(Ewan MacColl)

I used to be a silly chum, as decent as can be,
I used to think a workin' lad had a man's right to be free
But then they made a lousy soldier out of me
And told me I had got to save Democracy.

     Oh I was browned off, browned off, browned off as can be,
     Browned off, browned off, an easy mark, that's me.
     But when this war is over and again I'm free
     There'll be no more trips around the world for me.

They stuck me in a convict suit, they made me cut me hair
They took me civvie shoes away they gave me another pair
Instead of grub they gave me slush and plenty of fresh air
And this was all to help me save Democracy

Now every day I'm on parade long before the dawn
And every day I curse the bloody day that I was born.
But I am just a browned-off soldier, anyone can see
They browned me off to help to save Democracy.

The colonel kicks the major, then the major has a go
He kicks the poor old captain who then kicks the NCO,
And as the kicks get harder, the poor old private, you can see,
Gets kicked to bloody hell to save Democracy.

From British Army Songs, MacColl
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III