American Old Time Song Lyrics: 09 Calibre Fifty Four

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 9

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By Will Carleton.

"Say, General, say!" the courier said,
(A boy of thirteen years),
"Our regiment's scant of powder and lead;
Most out, the Colonel fears.
The men, they have held the ground, while I
This message swiftly bore,
Be quick, and send 'em a fresh supply!
It's calibre fifty-four."

"Now you are young." the General said,
"To run so stern a race;
Some older man might come instead.
Through such a dangerous place."
"They couldn't be spared," the boy began;
"I'm youngest of the corps;
And so-but, say, be quick old man!
It's calibre fifty-four."

"Now you are hurt," the General said,
"There's blood here on your breast.
Go back to the rear and take my bed,
And have some needful rest."
"Not much! " said the boy, with half-hid sneer;
"I can't be spared no more;
My regiment's nowhere nigh the rear­It's calibre fifty-four."

"But where's your horse? " the General said,
"Afoot you can not be? "
"Oh, a cannon ball tore off his head,
And didn't come far from me;
And bullets warbled around, you bet,
(One through my right arm tore);
But I'm a horse, and a colt to let!
I'm calibre fifty-four."

"Your parents, boy?" the General said,
"Where are they?-dead, it seems."
"Oh, they are what the world calls dead,
But come to me in dreams;
They tell me to be brave alway,
As father was before;
Then mother kisses me-but say!
It's a calibre fifty-four."

"They'll soon be there," the General said,
"Those cartridges you claim;
My staff's best horse you'll ride, instead
Of that on which you came."
Away the boy, his spurs sharp set,
Across the field of gore,
Still shouting back, " Nov don't forget!
It's calibre fifty-four."-Harper's Weekly.
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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III