Swinging the Lead by A. B. "Banjo" Paterson

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Said the soldier to the Surgeon, "I've got noises in me head
And a kind o' filled up feeling after every time I'm fed;
I can sleep all night on picket, but I can't sleep in my bed".
   And the Surgeon said,
   "That's Lead!"

Said the soldier to the Surgeon, "Do you think they'll send me back?
For I really ain't adapted to be carrying a pack
Though I've humped a case of whisky half a mile upon my back".
   And the Surgeon said,
   "That's Lead!"

"And my legs have swelled up cruel, I can hardly walk at all,
But when the Taubes come over you should see me start to crawl;
When we're sprinting for the dugout, I can easy beat 'em all".
  And the Surgeon said,
   "That's Lead!"

So they sent him to the trenches where he landed safe and sound,
And he drew his ammunition, just about two fifty round:
"Oh Sergeant, what's this heavy stuff I've got to hump around?"
   And the Sergeant said,
   "That's Lead!"

First published in The Kia-Ora Coo-ee, 15 April 1918;
and later in
Song of the Pen, A.B. (Banjo) Paterson: Complete Works 1901-1941 compiled by Rosamund Campbell and Philippa Harvie, 1983;
A Vision Splendid: The Complete Poetry of A.B. 'Banjo' Paterson by A.B. Paterson, 1990;
A. B. "Banjo" Paterson: Bush Ballads, Poems, Stories and Journalism edited by Clement Semmler, 1992;
The Collected Verse of Bamjo Paterson by edited by Clement Semmler, 1993; and
From Gallipoli to Gaza: The Desert Poets of World War One by Jill Hamilton, 2003.

Author reference sites: Austlit, Australian Dictionary of Biography, Australian Poetry Library

See also.

Note: "swinging the lead" is an Australian term for malingering.

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