Under Fire: Just Before the Battle Mother?

While the majority of Civil War soldiers bravely stood their first experiences under fire, there were always those few looking for a quick retreat. A musical parody on the solemn tune “Just Before the Battle, Mother” poked threatening fun at the skedaddlers from a fight.

Just before the battle, mother,
I am drinking mountain dew.
When I see the “Yankees” marching,
To the rear I quickly flew.
Where the stragglers were flying,
Thinking of their homes and wives;
‘Twas not the “Yanks” we feared dear mother,
But our own dear precious lives.

Farewell, mother ! For you’ll never
See my name among the slain.
For if I only can skedaddle,
Dear mother, I’ll come home again.

I hear the bugle sounding, mother,
My soul is eager for the fray.
I guess I’ll hide behind some cover ;
And then I shall be OK.
Discretion’s the better part of valor,
At least I’ve often heard you say ;
And he who loves his life, dear mother,
Won’t fight if he can run away.

Farewell, mother! For you’ll never
See my name among the slain.
For if I only can skedaddle,
Dear mother, I’ll come home again.

Here’s the musical version of the parody:

 

This entry was posted in Common Soldier and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!