The Flower of Eton


I'm General Sir Douglas William Haig

And I have to decide

Who lives or who dies

As I send them forth, wave after wave.

Because that's the way

The game is played.

I've hundreds of thousands of men

But I'm pretty damn sure

There ought to be more

Young men that the country could send :

There's -

The flower of Eton 

The dregs of Wales

The cream of Scotland

And boys from the Dales

Grocers from Birmingham

Gypsies from Kent

Miners from Nottingham

Shepherds from Gwent

Lice-ridden Londoners

Blue-bloods from Bath

Small Liverpudlians

And the scum of Belfast

They must stay in formation

Must walk, not run,

Till the order is given, to charge

I wish I could be there

And share their elation

As they follow the rolling barrage

Then the Germans will feel, cold British steel

They don't like it up 'em, The Hun !

But I'm Douglas William, General Haig

And I have to stay

Out of harm's way

Here in the rear where my plans are laid

I'm Sir Douglas William, now Field-Marshall Haig

I sincerely regret

That others have paid

In full for whatever mistakes that I've made

But that is the way

The game is played.

© nigel hallworth 2014