Another from the “great-uncle” papers. A long poem entitled, “The Rookies’ Lament,” which appeared in the satire magazine, Judge, on December 22, 1917. It was written by Corporal Samuel Silverstein of the 38th Infantry, stationed at Newport News, Virginia.
No more ham and eggs or grapefruit / When the bugle blows for chow / No more apple pie or dumplings / For we’re in the army now. / For they feed us beans for breakfast / And at noon we have ’em too. / And at night they feed our tummies / With that good old army stew.
No more fizzes, beer, or highballs / When we’ve got an awful thirst / If you’re thinking of enlisting, / Best get used to water first. / For the lid’s on tight all over / And the drilling makes us warm / But we can’t cool off with liquor / ‘Cause we wear the uniform.
No more shirts of silk and linen / We all wear the “O.D.” stuff, / No more night shirts or pajamas / For our pants are good enough. / No more feather ticks or pillows / But we’re glad to thank the Lord / That we’ve got a cot and blanket / When we might just have a board.
For they feed us beans for breakfast / And at noon we have ’em too / And at night they feed our tummies / With that good old army stew. / But we will lick the Kaiser / When the sergeants teach us how / For, hang him, he’s the reason / That we’re in the army now.