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Up at the sharp end

We had a little aerial field
With aerials oh so tall
I never knew how many we had
I never counted them at all
And we'd listen to the comrades
Every hour of every day
And write out little reports
On what they'd had to say
And people there in London
And in Washington as well
Waited every day to see
What we had to tell

We nearly had a little accident
One Saturday afternoon
When our silly civvy worker
Nearly burnt our aerials down
They left their little fires
Right on the noon stroke
Saturday being half day off
So they played their little joke
And nobody stayed behind
To check their fires were out
But the rising smoke later on
Left the guard room in no doubt

Now we were seated in the mess
With a crate of Charlies each
And a couple bottles of lime
Just there in easy reach
When the fire alarm sounded
We all said no blooming way
We aint fighting any fires
At least not on a Saturday
Somebody turned the radio up
For the Jack Jackson show
Burn the camp down if you want ‘
We don't just want to know

 had a little aerial field
Now well and truly on fire
In amongst all the scrub
The flames were rising higher
We heard footfalls on the stairs
The door smashed against the wall
To reveal the orderly sergeant
Who started shouting at us all
He made us go out and fight that fire
Now what do you think of that
And when we returned to the mess
All our blooming beer was flat

I suppose we had to do our duty
But it went beyond all reach
When the old man insisted
On making a thank you speech
And he wandered and he rambled
And all we could think
Was for gosh sake hurry up
We're dying for our drinks
As we stood there impatiently
But thankfully it was not too late
Before we could all get back
To our waiting Charlie crates

Its not we weren't patriotic
But we did think it a bit mean
There were plenty other squaddies
Milling around the scene
They didn't really need us all
And at the end of the day
Some were a little too drunk
And just got in the way
Amazingly we fought it
Ill led and unskilled
And even more amazingly
Not a single one got killed

We saved our little aerial field
Except for a while out there
The land around our aerials
Was brown and scorched and bare
And our readers in America
Like our readers worldwide
Never missed a single report
About the Comrades side
Oh it was tough at the sharp end
But we had no worries or cares
We could cope with cold war vicissitudes
As long as Charlie by the crate was there

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