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Hot Digitty Dog Analysis

Author: poem of Robert Service Type: poem Views: 2

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Hot digitty dog! Now, ain't it queer,

I've been abroad for over a year;

Seen a helluva lot since then,

Killed, I reckon, a dozen men;

Six was doubtful, but six was sure,

Three in Normandy, three in the Ruhr.

Four I got with a hand grenade,

Two I shot in a midnight raid:

Oh, I ain't sorry, except perhaps

To think that my jerries wasn't japs.

Hot digitty dog! Now ain't it tough;

I oughta be handed hero stuff -

Bands and banquets, and flags and flowers,

Speeches, peaches, confetti showers;

"Welcome back to the old home town,

Colour Sargent Josephus Brown.

Fought like a tiger, one of our best,

Medals and ribands on his chest.

cheers for a warrior, fresh from the fight . . ."

Sure I'd 'a got 'em - - had I been white.

Hot digitty dog! It's jist too bad,

Gittin' home an' nobody gald;

Sneakin' into the Owl Drug Store

Nobody knowin' me any more;

Admirin' my uniform fine and fit -

Say, I've certainly changed a bit

From the lanky lad who used to croon

To a battered banjo in Shay's Saloon;

From the no-good nigger who runned away

After stickin' his knife into ol' man Shay.

They's a lynched me, for he was white,

But he raped my sister one Sunday night;

So I did what a proper man should do,

And I sunk his body deep in the slough.

Oh, he taunted me to my dark disgrace,

Called me a nigger, spat in my face;

So I buried my jack-knife in his heart,

Laughin' to see the hot blood start;

Laughin' still, though it's long ago,

And nobody's ever a-gonna know.

Nobody's ever a-gonna tell

How Ol' Man Shay went straight to hell;

nobody's gonna make me confess -

And what is a killin' more or less.

My skin may be black, but by Christ! I fight;

I've slain a dozen, and each was white,

And none of 'em ever did me no harm,

And my conscience is clear - I've no alarm;

So I'll go where I sank Ol' Man Shay in the bog,

And spit in the water . . . Hot digitty dog!


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