Folk and Traditional Song Lyrics:
I Dont Want to Go to War

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I Don't Want to Go to War

I Don't Want to Go to War
(Words by Edward Madden; music by Henry I. Marshall, 1914.)

Goodness Mercy! Listen, Percy!
Hear the bugles call!
Find a place to crawl,
From the cannon ball.
I'm so nervous, Lord preserve us!
Must we volunteer?
I'll keep in the rear.
I'll wave the flag and cheer,
"Hooray! Go 'way! Come back some other day!"

I don't want to go to war!
I think bullets are a bore!
If I must fight, I'll scratch and bite,
And pull their hair with all my might.
I'll blow out the campfire's gleam.
Like an eagle I'll just scream!

My father named me Howard;
I'm so glad that I'm a coward.
I don't want to go to war!
Let them holler, "How he flies!"
Instead of saying, "Here he lies."
I don't want to go to war!
I met Theodore Roosevelt.
He said, "You could not lick a smelt!"
So I don't want to go to war!

Shades of Pharaoh! Think of aero-
Planing in the sky!
Dropping from on high,
Bonbons in your eye!
Flags are pretty, what a pity
They should be shot at.
Heavens, what was that?
A bullet through my hat!
That's why, "Goodbye!"
Shall be my battle cry.

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E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III