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The Old Squire
The Old Squire 
 

Western Mail, Thursday 20 April 1933, page 2

The Old Squire.

Does the mind of the digger ever go back to the old chants which were so much the vogue in the A.I.F.? One of the best was-known as "The Old Squire."

It was usually begun in billets or camp when "lights out" had gone, and men were just settling down to sleep. Then a deep sepulchral voice from the darkness would aver: "The old squire has been foully murdered," to which a chorus of willing voices would answer a long drawn-out "Shame."

"Yes, and they blame me, his innocent son Jack, for the crime," would come from the interlocutor followed by a double cry of "Shame!" from the chorus.

"But never mind, it is my daughter's wedding day, and a thousand pounds I'll give away!" "Hooray-Hooray," from the chorus, now full-voiced.

The chanter now wavers in his generosity: "On second thoughts I think it best, to hide the money in the old oak chest." A deep, slow, groaning answer from the audience: "You lousy old _!" And so to sleep.

With slight variations this was enduringly popular, throughout the whole of the A.I.F. and no respectable concert party ever thought of omitting reference to "The Old Squire."