Dora Sigerson Shorter
A CHILD'S SONG
[WRITTEN FOR KATHLEEN]
I wish I had a soldier, a soldier, a soldier,
I wish I had a soldier to fight for love of me
Marie has a soldier, a soldier, a soldier,
Marie has a soldier, a gallant man is he.
I wish I had a bright flag, a gay flag, a dear flag,
I would love a fair flag to fly in liberty,
Gretchen has a big flag, a brave flag, a strong flag,
Gretchen has a fine flag that floats all high and free.
I wish I had a small ship, a strong ship, a good ship,
I would love a trim ship to sail upon the sea.
Johnny has a big ship, a grey ship, a grand ship,
Johnny took my small ship with all his big navie.
I wish I had a penny, a penny, a penny,
I wish I had a penny that all belonged to me,
I would build a fair house, a great house, a strong house,
I would make one grand house for all the world to see.
But Johnny stole my penny, my penny, my penny,
And Johnny took my bright flag that floated fair and free,
Then Johnny had my small ship, my trim ship, my good ship,
And Johnny broke my soldier that fought for liberty.
Now John would be my soldier, my soldier, my soldier,
But John he is a greedy boy, a selfish boy is he;
And Johnny beats the wee ones, the small ones, the weak ones,
He takes their playthings from them in the name of liberty.
When Johnny gets a whacking, a whacking, a whacking,
When Johnny gets a whacking, I think he'll let me be,
And I shall have my penny, my penny, my penny,
And I shall buy a bright flag to wave in victory.
Dora Sigerson Shorter's Other Poems
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