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Soldier Song

MISSISSIPPI RIFLES HYMN - 1861
by J. C. RIETTI, PRIVATE,
10TH MISSISSIPPI VOLUNTEER REGIMENT
AIR- THE IRISHMAN SHANTY

Did you ever hear tell of the bold rifle boys,
who lately left Jackson their homes and their joys
who came to this gopher and flea-ridden town
to whip out the yankees and old Harvey Brown

CHORUS- One whack for the boys.

Our Captain’s a merry and gay little lad
His name is “Jim Barr” the same as his Dad’s
From working or drilling he never says stop
But he always goes in for a song dance or hop

One whack for the boys

Our next in command is a youth we call “Serap”
Who is rather too young to be away from his pap;
He is good on the fiddle or at dancing a reel,
But is fit for naught else but to devil Dave Weill

One whack for Serap Daniels

Our second Lieutenant is always on hand
For a game of draw-poker or throwing up sand;
and if neither the one or the other to do
He is for a cock-fight or kneeno or loo

One whack for Nat Barksdale

Our third is a youth who has little to say
And always when wanted gets out of the way
He’s easy, good-natured and fond of a joke
And a very good soldier to eat, drink or smoke

One whack for Griffith

We have a first sergeant, a jolly old brick
Who knows how to doctor the boys who are sick
If they are not present at roll-call or drill
He doubles they duty or gives them a pill

One Whack for Mat Ash

Our second’s a boy who can eat day and night
And always at meal-time he goes in for a “Fite”
While our third is a noisy, frollicksome cuss,
Who sometimes gets tipsy and kicks up a muss,

Chorus- One whack for a “Fite.”

Our fourth is the next who appears on the books,
And is noted for nothing except his good looks;
While the fifth gets as dirty and black as the pots
And wears the same shirt till the tail of it rots.

One whack for the fifth sergeant

Next comes the first corporal lazy and slow,
And double-quick time makes him sweat, puff and blow;
While the next has a bald head as bright as the sun,
And thinks none but privates should carry a gun,

One whack for the boys

So here’s to the officers Sergeants and all,
And here’s to the South may her cause never fall;
And here’s to the Rifles wherever they roam,
And here’s to the Lasses we’ll soon meet at home

One whack for the Lasses.

Rietti Papers, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson

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