My brother Andy said, that for a soldier he would go,
So great excitement came upon the house of McElroe.
My father sold a bog-hole to equip him for the war.
And my mother sold the cushions of her Sunday jaunting car.
And when brave Andy reach'd the front, 'twas furious
work he made,
They appointed him a private in the Crocodile Brigade.
The sound of Andy's battle cry struck terror thro' the foe.
His foot was on the desert and his name was McElroe.
At least that's what the letter said that came across the foam.
To Andy's anxious relatives awaiting him at home.
The papers say he ran away before he met the foe.
But that was quite unlike the style of Andy McElroe.

One morning brave Lord Wolseley for a battle felt inclined;
But all could see the general had something on his mind;
Sez he, 'My staff, 'twere dangerous to face yon deadly foe,
Unless we're sure that quite prepared is Andy McElroe.'
Then Andy cried, 'I'm here, my lord, and ready for the fray,'
'Advance then,' cried Lord Wolseley, 'and let every trumpet bray.'
Then England, Ireland, Scotland, rolled together on the foe,
But far ahead of everyone rushed Andy McElroe.
At least, that's what the letter said that came across the foam
To Andy's anxious relatives, awaiting him at home.
The government despatches had another tale- but no!
We won't believe a word against brave Andy McElroe.

The Mahdi had gone up a tree, a spyglass in his eye,
To see his Paynim chivalry the northern prowess try;
But soon he saw a form of dread, and cried in tones of woe,
'Be jabers let me out of this - there's Andy McElroe.'
Then down he hurried from his tree, and straight away he ran,
To keep appointments, as he said, in distant Kordofan,
And fled those Arab soldiery like sand siroccos blow,
Pursued (with much profanity) by Andy McElroe.
At least, that's what he told us when returning o'er the foam
To greet his anxious relatives, awaiting him at home.
So sing the song of triumph, and let all your bumpers flow,
In honour of our countryman, brave Andrew McElroe.


About William Percy French


William Percy French was the son of a landlord and a clergyman's daughter. He studied engineering at Trinity College, where he spent a lot of time in song writing, dramatics, banjo playing and watercolour painting. After graduation he was on the verge of emigrating to Canada, but was appointed to a post in a government drainage scheme in Cavan. He was a self-styled 'Inspector of Drains' for seven years. In 1891, his first wife, Ettie, died in childbirth, as did his baby daughter. he toured the country on his bicycle with a box of paints, painting and performing. He developed... Read more...

Poet of the day

Jessie Pope was an English poet, writer and journalist, who remains best known for her patriotic motivational poems published during World War I. Wilfred OwenSiegfried Sassoon has grown.

Early Career

Born in Leicester, she was educated at North London Collegiate School. She was a regular contributor to Punch, The Daily...
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Poem of the day


Pour tous ― elle excepté ― ma vie a son mystère :
Un amour éternel depuis longtemps conçu.
Mon cœur en débordait ; pourtant j'ai dû le taire :
Nul profane ici-bas n'en a jamais rien su.

À distance je vis, discret, inaperçu ;
On me...
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