The 1930's

 

We have no record of the origin of this poem except that it was found amongst a group of photographs known to us as "The Kuncken Collection"  - a collection of images and papers of a soldier posted to Fort Drum during the early 1930's. Whether he collected it, or wrote it, we have no way of knowing.  For the historically challenged, President Hoover was a one-term Republican president, holding office from 1929 to 1933. The line about "our pay" is repeated in the original version.

 

A SOLDIER'S PRAYER

 

Now I lay me down to sleep,

I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

And may no other soldier take

My shoes or socks before I wake.

 

O Lord, please guide me in my slumbers,

And keep my coat upon its number,

Grant that peg nor guide rope break,

To let my tent down ere I wake.

 

Lord keep me safely in thy sight,

And let no fire-drills come tonight

And in the morning let me wake

Breathing the scent of sirloin steak.

 

Lord keep me from all work or drills,

When I am sick save me from pills,

And if I should break an arm of mine,

Grant it be free of Iodine.

 

Show me the way to a feather bed,

For there I long to lay my head,

Far away from all camp scenes,

And far from the scent of half-baked beans.

 

Take me back into the land

Where I can walk without a band.

Where no loud rageous bugles blow,

And where the women wash the clothes.

 

Our Father who art in Washington,

Hoover be thy name,

Our pay comes in very small sums,

Our pay comes in very small sums,

Our clothes won't hang together.

Give us this day our daily beans,

And forgive us for asking for our discharges,

As we forgive those that keep them from us,'Keep us not in the Army.

But deliver us to God's Country,

And our Homes forever, Amen.

 

 

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