Friday, May 08, 2009

Repressed Memories

Just out of curiosity, I decided to take Words suggestion and google the phrase "Buck up, little soldier" to see if it came from some place legitimate or if I'd made it up. Right away I found this poem:



Carry On

It’s easy to fight when everything’s right,
And you’re mad with the thrill and the glory;
It’s easy to cheer when victory’s near,
And wallow in fields that are gory.
It’s a different song when everything’s wrong,
When you’re feeling infernally mortal;
When it’s ten against one, and hope there is none,
Buck up, little soldier, and chortle:

Carry on! Carry on!
There isn’t much punch in your blow.
You’re glaring and staring and hitting out blind;
You’re muddy and bloody, but never you mind.
Carry on! Carry on!
You haven’t the ghost of a show.
It’s looking like death, but while you’ve a breath,
Carry on, my son! Carry on!

And so in the strife of the battle of life
It’s easy to fight when you’re winning;
It’s easy to slave, and starve and be brave,
When the dawn of success is beginning.
But the man who can meet despair and defeat
With a cheer, there’s the man of God’s choosing;
The man who can fight to Heaven’s own height
Is the man who can fight when he’s losing.

Carry on! Carry on!
Things never were looming so black.
But show that you haven’t a cowardly streak,
And though you’re unlucky you never are week.

Carry on! Carry on!
Brace up for another attack.
It’s looking like hell, but -- you never can tell:
Carry on, old man! Carry on!

There are some who drift out in the deserts of doubt,
And some who in brutishness wallow;
There are others, I know, who in piety go
Because of a Heaven to follow.
But to labour with zest, and to give of your best,
For the sweetness and joy of the giving;
To help folks along with a hand and a song;
Why, there’s the real sunshine of living.

Carry on! Carry on!
Fight the good fight and true;
Believe in your mission, greet life with a cheer;
There’s big work to do, and that’s why you are here.
Carry on! Carry on!
Let the world be the better for you;
And at last when you die, let this be your cry:
CARRY ON, MY SOUL! CARRY ON!

Robert W Serviceman



As soon as I read the first line, bells went off in my brain and I remembered that my dad had a framed copy of this poem hanging in the bathroom when I was a kid. Duh!

I don't know why I'd forgotten about it. My brother and I used to say that to each other all the time in our daily verbal abuse.

"Hey, guess what? Jesus hates your guts."

"That's okay, I'm still gonna greet life with a cheer. Jesus can just kiss my rear."

"That's right, buck up little soldier. Even though you're so stupid you make Jesus, and every other guy who sees you want to puke. Carry on anyway. Carry on, I say!"

"Yeah, I labor with zest and give of my best and you should too. Even though you are a balding dwarf elf who will die a virgin. Carry on! Carry on! "

"I may be unlucky, but I am never weak. I will carry on, though my sister is a freak. With a face that makes the angels shriek. Carry on!"

"Very good little soldier, fight the good fight and true. Though you look like a turtle and smell like a zoo. Damn, Jesus really must hate the heck out of you. Carry on!"


"Okay, who said the D word?!" my dad would shout. "I heard it! Both of you go to your rooms right now!"

How could I have forgotten that poem? It's probably had at least as big an influence on my own poetry as Dr. Seuss. I also liked the one that went "This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one's mine..."

Jeez. No wonder I'm so bucked up.

23 comments:

diane said...

I have a very short attention span, so I didn't read it. Buck up, little soldier, I'm sure Jesus will forgive me.

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Hey! I do the "This is my rifle" poem everytime I go to the bathroom!! Are you sure that was the original Buck Up, little soldior poem???

Prunella Jones said...

Don't be so sure. ADD is proof of God's hatred you know. That's what I heard anyway.

Prunella Jones said...

Ron - I'm not sure, actually. It may have been part of a filthy limerick.

Greta said...

Lol. What a great poem for the shitter!

I believe in my mission when I'm in there too.

Fancy Schmancy said...

At least you had reading material in the bathroom, right?

words...words...words... said...

I was mentioned in Pru Jones' blog! I think I just got 50% cooler.

Phat Mama said...

"Okay, who said the D word?!" my dad would shout. "I heard it! Both of you go to your rooms right now!"


That so sounds like me when the kids were little. Now.. I sigh and mutter, "Can you both just leave the Mother off of Fucker, please?"

Lostinspace said...

Isn't that the long version of "Life's a bitch and then you die"?

Prunella Jones said...

Pretty much, but with some rugged patriotism thrown in! Hooohaaa!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

LOL at Phat Mama!

I'll bet you and your brother were Jedi Masters at the Sibling Insult Institute.

Honorary Doctors too.

Prunella Jones said...

Aw, Phat Mama, you gotta remember that the word "Mother" adds so much enhancement to "Fucker."

And Candy, wiser than Yoda when it comes to verbal taunting, my brother and I are.

xl said...

I've always found comfort and inspiration from:

This is my rifle,
This is my gun,
This is for fighting,
This is for fun.

Nikki - - Monomestile - - said...

love it! I actually read that whole thing and I'm so proud of myself.

Good poem, for real.

Eric said...

lol, Dr. Seuss influence...

diane said...

God could never hate me, because I am filled with love. He gave me ADD personally, but I can't remember why.

Lulu LaBonne said...

I loved this post, how intellectual your household was though - my brother and I just used blunt instruments on each other

Girl Interrupted said...

Hahaha ... Pru, I swear, you could blog about nothing else but you and your brother's verbal taunting for the rest of your days and I would NEVER get tired of it!

Evil Superman said...

All this time I thought you meant it in a good way.

Cheasty said...

Ha! I remember that poem too, but it was in my orthodontist's office. I always thought it was a little patronizing to tell 13 year olds with headgear to buck up, little soldier, but what are you gonna do. It was better than the poster of a kitten hanging from a tree branch that said, "Hang in there!"

Warped Mind of Ron said...

Check out my post today. You'll be proud of me :)

~E said...

You and your brother are my heroes.

You guys bring a whole 'nother level to throwing insults at each other.

BRAVO!

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