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Tarpaulin Jacket

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Tarpaulin Jacket

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Tarpaulin Jacket
(words attributed to G. J. Whyte-Melville (1821-1878);air by Charles Coote)

A tall stalwart lancer lay dying,
And as on his deathbed he lay,
To his friends who around him were sighing,
These last dying words he did say:

cho:      Wrap me up in my tarpaulin jacket

And say a poor buffer lies low;

And six stalwart lancers shall carry me

With steps solemn, mournful and slow.

Had I the wings of a little dove,
Far far away would I fly; I'd fly
Straight for the arms of my true love
And there I would lay me and die.


Then get you two little white tombstones
Put them one at my head and my toe, my toe,
And get you a penknife and scratch there:
"Here lies a poor buffer below."


And get you six brandies and sodas,
And set them all out in a row, a row,
And get you six jolly good fellows
To drink to this buffer below.


And then in the calm of the twilight
When the soft winds are whispering low, so low,
And the darkening shadows are falling,
Sometimes think of this buffer below.

From the Scottish Students Songbook, 1929 edition.
     A highly derivative (Prisoner's Song, Unfortunate Rake), highly
parodied (The Dying Airman, The Dying Skier, even Fiddlers Green) song
that's still current in the armed forces.
Also see DYINGAIR,
Download the song in PDF format Download the song in RTF format for editing etc.

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