To Thomas Atkins

(Prelude to Barrack-Room Ballads)

I have made for you a song, 
And it may be right or wrong, 
But only you can tell me if it's true. 
I have tried for to explain 
Both your pleasure and your pain, 
And, Thomas, here's my best respects to you!  

O there'll surely come a day 
When they'll give you all your pay, 
And treat you as a Christian ought to do; 
So, until that day comes round,
Heaven keep you safe and sound, 
And, Thomas, here's my best respects to you!