—— folk family and jam

Ghost army of Korea

Ghost Army of Korea

RA, Western, 2008

Just below the Manchurian border
Korea's the name of the spot
We're due to be spending our time here
In the land that God forgot.
Down with the snakes and the lizards,
Down where a swaddie is blue,
Right in the middle of nowhere,
And thousands of miles from you.
We sweat and we freeze and we shiver.
It's more than a man can bear.
We're not a bunch of convicts
We're only doing our share.
We're soldiers in the army,
Earning our measly pay,
Guarding all the millionaires
For four lousy shillings a day.
Living with photos and mem'ries,
Thinking sometimes of our gals.
Hoping that while we have been away,
They have not married our pals.
Few people know what we are doing,
And nobody gives a damn.
Although we are almost forgotten,
We belong to the khaki clan.
The good times we've had in the army,
And the good times we have missed,
Here's hoping the army don't get you
So for God's sake don't go and enlist-
And when we arrive up in heaven,
St. Peter will surely tell,
"They've just come back from Korea, dear God
They've been serving their time in hell."

From Ewan MacColl Barrack Room Ballads (1956?)

A swaddie is a common soldier
Probably derived from a song from the Spanish American war - all wars are much the same for the common soldier - and the tune froim Botany Bay