Songs of Jamaica (1912)

Reveille Soun’in’

REVEILLE! de reveille soun’,
Depôt p’liceman mus’ wake up;[1]
Some mus’ dress fe go to town,
Some to Parade fe shake-up.[2]

You lazy ones can lay down still,
We have no time fe dat;
De wake-ups[3] comin’ roun’, an’ you’ll
Jump as you feel de cat.

For soon de half pas’ dress[4] will blow
Fe we to go a-drillin’;
De time is bery short, an’ so
We mus’ be quick an’ willin’.

A marnin’ bade is sweet fe true,[5]
But we mus’ quick fe done;
It col’ dough,[6] so it’s only few
Can stan’ it how it bu’n.[7]

‘Tis quarter warnin’[8] soun’in’ now,
Our arms mus’ clean an’ soun’;
We will ketch ‘port[9] ef we allow
A speck fe lodge aroun’.

Tip[10] blow yet? good Lard! hear” fall in,”
Must double ‘pon de grass;
I didn’ know de las’ call be’n
Deh blow on us so fas’.

  1. Read thus: De-pilt p'lice — man mus' — wake up
  2. Drill
  3. The sergeant with his cane
  4. The 5.30 bugle
  5. A morning bathe is very, very delicious
  6. It's cold though
  7. Can stand the burning, i.e., the chill
  8. The 5.45 bugle
  9. Get reported
  10. A short sharp bugle-call, to summon the men before the 'fall in.'


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This work (Poems by Claude McKay by Claude McKay) is free of known copyright restrictions.