Rudyard Kipling – Tommy – poem

I went into a public-house to get a point of beer the publican yup and says we serve no redcoats here the girls behind the bar they laughed and giggled fit to die I ops into the street again and to myself says I always Tommy this and Tommy that and Tommy go away but it's a thank you mr. Atkins when the band begins to play the band begins to play my boys the band begins to play oh it's Thank You mr. Atkins when the band begins to play I went into a theater as sober as could be they gave a drunk civilian room but hadn't none for me they sent me to the gallery around the musicals but when it comes to fighting noir they'll shove me in the stools but it's Tommy they said Tommy that and Tommy wait outside but it's special train for Atkins when the troopers on the tide the troop ships on the tide my boys the troop ships on the tide oh it's special train for Atkins when the troopers on the tide yes making motor uniforms that guard you while you sleep is cheaper than them uniforms and their starvation cheap and hustling drunken soldiers when they're going large a bit is five times better business than parading in full King then is Tommy decent Tommy there and Tommy how's your soul but it's thin red line of Eros when the drums begin to roll the drums begin to roll my boys the drums begin to roll oh it's thin red line of Eros when the drums begin to roll we are now thin ready arrows nor we aren't no blaggards – but single men in barracks both remarkable like you and if sometimes our conduct isn't all your fancy paints why single men in barracks don't grow into plaster saints while its tummy this and Tommy their and Tommy fall behind but it's pleased to walk in front sir when there's trouble in the wind when there's trouble in the wind my boys there's trouble in the wind oh it's pleased to walk in front sir when there's trouble in the wind you talk of better food for us and schools and fires and all will wait for extra rations if you treat us rational don't mess about the cook room slops but prove it to our face the widow's uniform is not the soldier man's disgrace for its Tommy this and Tommy that and chuck him out the brute but it's savior of his country when the guns begin to shoot and it's Tommy this and Tommy that and anything you please and Tommy ain't a bloomin fool you bet that Tommy seeds

49 thoughts on “Rudyard Kipling – Tommy – poem

  1. Many years ago, when mum had to go into a nursing home, my sister and I found a folder of our dad's father's wartime memoirs – and he quoted this poem – just enough to find it on line. He survived the trenches of the first world war in France, and ended the second world war as a major. Survived a troop ship sinking by torpedo and saw the U-boat captain that sank them but I read later had disobeyed direct orders to shoot the men in the boats. My grandfather described him with hate and yet he was is a lot of trouble for not killing them (total of 1 man died from the whole ship). As far as I can remember my grandfather was a scary, old, bitter man with an eye patch. A former boxer and perhaps a bully to our dad. But to hear this poem and to see him quoting it so sadly put the man into perspective a little. If those bloody wars hadn't happened I can't help wondering how different our older generations would have been.

  2. And history repeats itself! As we're being treated now,the same!

  3. Don't you just think about Tommy Robinson with this poem?!

  4. exterminate civilians, yeah I know it doesn't make sense but its better than they deserve. TOMMY SEES

  5. I thought of this poem when it was announced today that Trump is taking away medical care from half a million veterans.

  6. I live near Edward Air Force Base, California.  The service men and service women are heroes!

  7. The irrational disrespect that soldiers have received from civilian populations throughout history has always baffled me. I mean, I've never done military service myself but I know enough to show gratitude to those who have sacrificed portions of their lives, or even their lives entirely to the defense of my way of life.. that's the least I owe them.

  8. I wonder how a lot of families  would feel if they had a family member with P.T.S.D. . My family is having a hard time with my illness.

  9. This poem always reminds me of the time I came I came home from Bosnia and landed at RAF Lynham. On the way back to camp we stopped at the nearest town (Wooton Bassett) so I could get some money out of the cash machine. Whilst withdrawing the money I got spat on by a woman who called me a "squaddie c***!"

  10. That's why no one should join and serve the State, especially if the human element in that State is made up of a bunch of Jacobin Marxist bastards like Britain and the U.S. Better to stay home and create a home brigade or militia to protect you and your own. This poem speaks the truth of all veterans throughout all of history. It continues today, e.g. Sergeant Alexander Blackman of the Royal Marines, and the reduced benefits and problems obtaining them for U.S. military.

  11. lol youd still be living 200 years behind us if it wasnt for us , we united your continent ,of corrupt little states , we buiit you railways , schools univercities , your elite went to oxford and cambridge , we gave you modern medicine , dragged you into the 20th century , we stopped the thugees , stopped sati , educated you , gave you cricket even lol x lifes cheap in india , how many PmS have you assassinated , your still backward , with your child labour ,we gave you tea and other industrys

  12. in the end all of us who served are Tommy Atkins and GI's

  13. Thank you very much! For now it is the best performance of this poem I heard. Is there any other read by him?

  14. O ! then tell me you will try to supress any thing that does not make you look good. India has NO need to look good..It did good without expectations. That was it duty to Humanity….just a little Indian Secret Taste I am giving you. NO need to get Egotistical Praises Ha ! The Most Stupid Fools Forever ! All thru your history YA WANNA LOOK GOOD ! SO YOU DID ! FOR HOW LONG ? EVEN THAT YOU WILL TRY TO MANIPULATE .. .WHERE IS YOUR BRITISH EMPIRE NOW ? YOU DEPEND ON YOUR ONCE COLONY AMERICA

  15. India is very Ancient Country with NO desire to look Good or get brownies points for what it did or gives thru the Centuries. england was even born then. they were running around in pig shit then.
    So the Most Ancient Country had a system…Why were you so Eager everytime to Go There ? why you called India the Jewel of the Crown ? Why does not your Con Queen give back to India the Largest diamond that, England Stole – Land of Thieves – Let IT BE WRITTEN !

  16. So? that still happens. It doesn't make britain uniquely evil or india uniquely good. Everyone has dark things in there past. but britain also has many good things, and there is nothing wrong in being proud of that.

  17. you never mention that some people in the past and present get to rule by breaking moral and ethical Laws. Even the rules of engagement in war. Even when that muslim attack PritiviRaj Chauhan and he the muslim lost. He shan Gori begged for mercy and to spare his life. Raj ministers told not to spare him. But he was granted mercy… the muslim Rat did see mercy as Grace from Allah. But due their underhanding Nature Reattacked at night. Why did you mention this? U not good Being !

  18. sorry, I am not paid to educate…believe what you want or seek truth and don't compromise for lies, false prestige…land, etc.

  19. India before the British got there was owned by the muslim muhgals anyway. Before 1948 it had never been a country.

  20. some statesman (maybe churchill ) said " we only sleep easy in our beds because we have rough ment to do our dirty work "

  21. @MCVPharmacyStudent
    Could have something to do with a century of economic imperialism. It's never gray-haired bureaucrats that bleed. It's boys. Of course, they don't remain innocent, ravaged by visions of violence at night, the pounding of PTSD. For what? Wars to find WMD's that don't exist? A decade-long campaign to find and kill a single man? I can't argue with better pay (and certainly not better retirement), but its very easy to argue with a multi-trillion-dollar war machine

  22. Anyone who has ever worn a uniform and had to deal with snotty uppity civilians can relate to this- no matter the color of the uniform or the insignia on the buttons.

  23. A perfect revelation of the hypocrisy of the public for the fighting man. I ask our servicemen to endure that and educate the public on their value and service in war and peace. I say bring back the draft to make sure all levels of the public especially politicians serve. THEN they might think twice before unleashing the dogs of war.

  24. As a soldier and police officer my love for this poem is bittersweet. "Tommy aint no bloomin fool" you can bet we see!

  25. As a child with my farther would play Kipling around the house. I remember singing Tommy this and Tommy that but never knowing what it was all about. I would mimick parts of the verse. I'm 37 now and discovered kipling again after searching through youtube and finding your video of Tommy. It has taken me by storm, you have inspired me to try my hand at Kipling.

    Life and death are the book ends of life
    Read plenty and live long my friend.

    Kind Regards

  26. Mr.Kipling wrote a poem that told the truth so often. Thanks for posting this.

  27. @lgryffyn Yes, and them some. The poor man's son was killed in France during WW I. It was almost as if he had a preminition of the trajedy to befall him.

  28. @dharma099 – "all you ever spread is your diseases, greed, violence, weapons, war " Purely European traits ,I suppose? Where did the Black death ,which killed 1/2 of Europe,come from?

    What about the Huns,The Mongols,the Seljuk Turks – all peaceful chaps? European? What about the Aryan invaders of India – economic migrants?

    If the many Mughal (those Turks again) and Mahratta rulers weren't so busy fighting each other,the East India Company would never have taken over so much real estate.

  29. I read this poem 30 years ago,
    "Good morning, good morning" the general said
    As the trudged up to Arras with rifle and pack.
    "He's a cheery old card" said Harry to Jack
    But he did for 'em both with his plan of attack.

  30. @dharma099 …yep and pay her people nowt..
    while she gives to the west…hand out begging..
    great nation never fought for freedom…
    but once had it given.. by you know who
    enjoy …i'll smile…

  31. @woodenz

    It is very clear you dont know anything, The small number of Hidden Great Ones do Not show themselves and are NOT Known – they rather, unlike you hollywoods etc., Rather be hidden from public view !
    You are not even in the first class of Kindergarden, woodenz !

  32. @woodenz

    I can always tell a stupido ! you don' have to be smart to have power or rule – just a bully who accumlates weapons ands steal like hell – all land but give the stupid wishy washy bible you don't follow !

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