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1803 Christmas Day

Christmas Day at the RMA
'Twas Christmas Day at the RMA
The merriest day of the year
The children and their tutors
Were all assembled here.

The Cook began to ladle soup
In pewter plates so bright
"My goodness" cried  the Commandant
It looks and tastes like Brown Windsor.

The Quartermaster Sergeant rose
And prepared to carve the duck
He said: "Who wants a parson's nose?"
And the children screamed: "You have it sir."

In came the Christmas pudding
When a voice that shattered glass
Said: "We don't want your Christmas pudding
So stick it with the rest of the unwanted presents"

"This pudding," said the Band master
"Is solid, hard and thick
"How am I going to cut it?"
 The surgeon cried: "Use your baton sir"

Mince pie with custard sauce was next
And each received a bit
Said one boy, "The mince pie's nice
But the custard tastes just like my mother used to make"

The Chaplain brought his bible
And read out little bits
Said the Porter Sergeant at the back
"This man gets on very well with everybody"

The knitting mistress then began
To hand out Christmas parcels
The children tore the wrappers off
And began to wipe their eyes, which were full of tears.

The  master tailor rose to speak
But just before he started
The matron, who was fifteen stone,
Gave three loud cheers and nearly choked herself

And all the Masters then began
To pull their Christmas crackers
One tutor held his too low down
And blew off both his paper hat and that of the man next to him.

The laundress asked the Chaplain
To entertain his flock
He said: "What would you like to see?"
"Let's see your conjuring tricks”, they cried,” they're always worth watching".

"Your reverence may I be excused?"
Said one benign old chap,
"I don't like conjuring tricks
"I'd sooner have a carol or two around the fire"  

So 'Play up Dukies' the assembly sang,
A song so easily mastered.
The Head nurse cried, with tear-filled eye
They're just a pack of divine kids, I love them all,
     especially that ingrate on table 48, who hails from the Town of Northampton

And so they sang in lusty voice 
Which shook the building walls
"Merry Christmas!" cried the Commandant
And the children shouted: "Best of luck to you as well sir!"



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