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Just before the battle, mother,
I was drinking mountain dew
When I saw the Yankees marching,
To the rear I quickly flew,
Where the stragglers were a flying,
Thinking of their homes and wives
'Twas not the Yanks we feared, dear mother,
But our own dear precious lives.

Fare well, mother, for you'll never,
See my name among the slain,
For if I can only 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 should be okay.
Discretion's the better part of valour,
At least that's what I've heard you say,
And he who loves his life. dear mother,
Won't fight if he can run away.