Open main menu

THE DRUMS

Permission of the Evening Bulletin, Philadelphia

Ere we wonder at his absence, let us tell a little truth
Of the healthy, careless fellow who epitomizes Youth.
We will miss him from the gridiron when the foot ball season comes
For he left his spirit moving to the music of the drums;
For he knows that all the knowledge
He can make his own at college
Will not compensate him wholly for the absence of the drums;
For the rat-tat-tat of drums!
You will miss him from the diamond, the links and tennis court,
Miss the sport.
He's been summoned by the drums!
By the thrilling call of bugles, by the echoing report
Of a cannon fired by Rumor where grim Death is doing sums;
Doing sums with grim precision—
Hell's subtraction and division—
With an abacus of drums;
Not the tiny kettle drums;
Not the snare, or tenor drums;
But the drum fire of the cannon that perpetually strums
With insistent shot and shell
On the tympanum of Hell.
But there's music in the drums!
There is magic in the drums!
There is music, there is magic,
There is fascination tragic
In the drums!


For the drums are telling patriots of wrongs that must be righted;
The drums are droning dirges of the lives the Hun has blighted;
Of the blood that he has spilled;
Of the babies he has killed;
Of the retribution awful that a righteous Lord has willed.
"Boy, we need you!"
Cry the drums.
"Though we bleed you,"
Cry the drums.
"Free the world as we have freed you!"
Cry the drums.
"Boy, you're wanted!"
Cry the drums!
And, undaunted
Here he comes!


Hail Columbia's sons are marching! Rich and poor alike are chums!
They've been welded fast together by the magic of the drums!
By the drums!
By the rat-tat-tat
Of drums!
By the fiat flat
Of drums!
By the glory that's surrounding
Every deed of dogged pounding!
Of the roll of honor sounding!
Of the drums!