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British War Poetry in the Age of Romanticism 1793-1815, by Betty T. Bennet, Edited by Orianne Smith

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1804.14
Ca N'ira Pas
A Sequel to Ca Ira
[1]
“Mr Dibden”
[Charles Dibden] [2]
The Anti-Gallican (1804), p. 304

Monseiur, mon general, first Consul,
    I vill not tell no lie;
I come de English Jonny Bull
    And all his trick to spy.

First, ven I get from sea-sick free,
    Just after Dover cliff,
I spy, vat I have never see,
    One charmant piece rost bif.

    Ta ra la, la, la,
    Arrette ton bras
    Ca n'ira pas, ca n'ira pas—Ma foi
                 ca n'ira pas!

I spy von people grand, so good
    The lamb is no so mild
If unprovoke—put up his blood—
    The tygers no so wild.

I spy the men so bold advance,
    For honour risk is lifes,
And, vat I never spy in France,
    The women all good vifes.

    Ta, ra, la, la, la,
    Arrette ton bras,
    Ca n'ira pas, ca n'ira pas—Soyez sur
                 ca n'ira pas!

We say the English dog is spawn
    De mastiff—dat is right;
For, though like us he never fawn,
    Upon my soul he bite.

That all your scheme will be forsake
    I know by what I've spied;
So, as you'll not the lion take,
    You must not sell his hide.

    Ta, ra, la, la, la,
    Arrette ton bras,
    Ca n'ira pas, ca n'ira pas—Mon dieu,
                 ca n'ira pas!

They glory have not moche to seek,
    For freedom haf soche charms?
Tout la'Canaille, in bout six week,
    Are hero all in arms.

You must not tink you can prevail!
    They're fortified all parts;
And, if you come, you'll have to scale
    A wall of English hearts.

    Ta, ra, la, la, la,
    Arrette ton bras,
    Ca n'ira pas, ca n'ira pas—Grand
                 dieu, ca n'ira pas!

Thus, my commission to fulfill,
    I spy vat vill be found;
One half your army vill be kill,
    T'other vill be drown'd.

So, if in France he's all go mad,
    He may expect to come;
If in his vit, he would be glad,
    Better to stay at home.

    Ta, ra, la, la, la,
    Arrette ton bras,
    Ca n'ira pas, ca n'ira pas—Oh! diable,
                 ca n'ira pas!

British Press


Notes

1. The poem is a comic "sequel" to the popular Revolutionary song Ca Ira.

2. Charles Dibden: dramatist and prolix song-writer. He wrote novels and many naval songs. According to the DNB: "he brought more men into the navy in war time than all the press-gangs could" (V, 910-911).

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Published @ RC

September 2004

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