The Sons of the Suburbs

The sons of the suburbs were carefully bred 
And quite unaccustomed to strife;
The lessons they learned in the books they had read 
Had taught them the value of life.
From Erith to Ealing they cherished a feeling 
That battle and slaughter were sin;
From Hendon to Tooting they didn't like shooting 
And did not intend to begin.
If the clergyman's daughter drinks nothing but water 
She's certain to finish on gin  

The tribes of the Teutons were otherwise trained,
And accustomed to bloodshed from birth.
Their ministers preached and their masters maintained 
That they had only one duty on earth,
And what they were for was sanguineous war 
The rest didn't matter a damn.
Being also intent on culture, they went 
For the voters of Wanstead and Ham;
But reading the name on the tin of the same 
Doesn't give you the taste of the jam. 

The sons of the suburbs were firm but polite;
Each rose in his place with a gun 
And a live bayonet to express his regret 
At the actions of Herman the Hun.
It likewise appears they flung bombs round his ears,
Which caused a percentage of slain,
And finding it sport, I regret to report,
They did it again and again.
If the wife of the vicar never touched liquor, 
Look out when she finds the champagne.  

The sons of the suburbs awoke to the fact 
That fighting has points of its own,
As giving a spice their existence had lacked 
So they rarely left Herman alone.
They were young it was true, and the business was new,
But youth is the key to all arts, 
That's why a beginner's so often a winner 
At capturing trenches or hearts. 
If the churchwarden's wife never danced in her life 
She'll kick off your hat when she starts. 

There are things in the breast of mankind which are best 
In darkness and secrecy hid; 
For you never can tell, when you've opened a hell, 
How soon you can put back the lid.
Now Herman's annoyed with East Finchley and Croyd- 
On, Penge, Tottenham, Bromley and Kew.
It wasn't their fault they commited assault 
But the rest, I'll leave it to you.
If you and your friend never go on a bend 
It's Bow-street and gaol when you do.