On the Road to Mandalay

(1907)

"On the Road to Mandalay" is a song by Oley Speaks with words by Rudyard Kipling. The song was incredibly popular when it was published.

On the Road to Mandalay
by Rudyard Kipling


By the old Moulmein Pagoda lookin' eastward to the sea,
\tThere's a Burma girl a-settin' and I know she thinks of me.
For the wind is in the palm-trees, and the temple bells they say,
"Come you back, you British soldier, come you back to Mandalay."
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay.
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin' fishes play,
And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'crost the bay.


'er petticoat was yaller, an 'er little cap was green,
An' 'er name was Supiyawlat, jes' the same as Theebaw's queen,
An' I seed her first a-smokin' of a whackin' white cheroot,
An' a-wastin' Christian kisses on a 'eathen idol's foot.
Bloomin' idol made o' mud,
What they called the great Gawd Budd,
Plucky lot she cared for idols when I kissed her where she stood
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin' fishes play,
And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'crost the bay.


Ship me somewheres east of Suez where the best is like the worst,
Where there aren't no Ten Commandments, an' a man can raise a thirst,
For the temple bells are callin' and it's there that I would be,
By the old Moulmein Pagoda lookin' lazy at the sea.
Come you back to Mandalay,
Where the old Flotilla lay.
Can't you 'ear their paddles chunkin' from Rangoon to Mandalay?
On the road to Mandalay,
Where the flyin' fishes play,
And the dawn comes up like thunder out of China 'crost the bay.


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