"Abdul Abulbul Amir"
Written in 1877 by Percy French, an Irish music hall entertainer. A London publisher ripped him off and printed copies of the song with no author's name listed, so most sources say the authorship of the song is "unknown'" which is a great shame. The setting is the Crimean War in the 1850's. Few people take this song seriously, so I'll suggest that you look carefully for the truths behind the jest. - Bill Steele
Abdul Abulbul Amir The sons of the prophet were hardy and bold, And quite unaccustomed to fear, But the bravest of these was a man, I am told Named Abdul Abulbul Amir. This son of the desert, in battle aroused, Could spit twenty men on his spear. A terrible creature, both sober and soused Was Abdul Abulbul Amir. When they needed a man to encourage the van, Or to harass the foe from the rear, Or to storm a redoubt, they had only to shout For Abdul Abulbul Amir. There are heroes aplenty and men known to fame In the troops that were led by the Czar; But the bravest of these was a man by the name Of Ivan Skavinsky Skivar. He could imitate Irving, play Euchre and pool And perform on the Spanish Guitar. In fact, quite the cream of the Muscovite team Was Ivan Skavinsky Skivar. The ladies all loved him, his rivals were few; He could drink them all under the bar. As gallant or tank, there was no one to rank With Ivan Skavinsky Skivar. One day this bold Russian had shouldered his gun And donned his most truculent sneer Downtown he did go, where he trod on the toe Of Abdul Abulbul Amir "Young man" quoth Bulbul, "has life grown so dull, That you're anxious to end your career? Vile infidel! Know, you have trod on the toe Of Abdul Abulbul Amir." "So take your last look at the sunshine and brook And send your regrets to the Czar; By this I imply you are going to die, Mr. Ivan Skavinsky Skivar." Quoth Ivan, "My friend, your remarks, in the end, Will avail you but little, I fear, For you ne'er will survive to repeat them alive, Mr. Abdul Abulbul Amir!" Then this bold mameluke drew his trusty chibouque With a cry of "Allah Akbar!" And with murderous intent, he ferociously went For Ivan Skavinsky Skivar. They parried and thrust and they side-stepped and cussed 'Till their blood would have filled a great pot. The philologist blokes, who seldom crack jokes, Say that hash was first made on that spot. They fought all that night, 'neath the pale yellow moon; The din, it was heard from afar; And great multitudes came, so great was the fame of Abdul and Ivan Skivar. As Abdul's long knife was extracting the life - In fact, he was shouting "Huzzah!" - - He felt himself struck by that wily Kalmuck, Count Ivan Skavinsky Skivar. The sultan drove by in his red-breasted fly, Expecting the victor to cheer; But he only drew nigh to hear the last sigh Of Abdul Abulbul Amir. Czar Petrovich, too, in his spectacles blue Rode up in his new crested car. He arrived just in time to exchange a last line With Ivan Skavinsky Skivar. A loud-sounding splash from the Danube was heard Resounding o'er meadows afar; It came from the sack fitting close to the back Of Ivan Skavinsky Skivar. There's a tomb rises up where the blue Danube flows; Engraved there in characters clear; "Ah stranger, when passing, please pray for the soul Of Abdul Abulbul Amir." A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps, "Neath the light of the pale polar star; And the name that she murmurs as oft as she weeps Is Ivan Skavinsky Skivar.