ABDUL ABULBUL AMIR

ABDUL ABULBUL AMIR
Song
Frank Crumit
F. B. Haviland Pub. Co., New York
Words from the “Book of Navy Songs” (Annapolis: USNA Trident Literary Society) as quoted in S. Spaeth, Read ’em and Weep, pp. 145-147. Additional verses inset from Edgar A. Palmer, ed. G.I. Songs (New York: Sheriden House, 1944).

Although the setting starts with Abdul in the ranks of the Shah, by the end it is the [Ottoman] Sultan who comes to survey the tragedy and the memorial to Abdul is built where the Danube flows while Ivan’s body is committed to the Black Sea.

The sons of the prophet are brave men and bold,
And quite unaccustom’d to fear,
But the bravest by far in the ranks of the Shah
was Abdul Abulbul Amir.

If you wanted a man to encourage the van
Or harass the foe from the rear,
Storm fort or redoubt, you had only to shout
For Abdul Abulbul Amir.

This son of the desert in battle aroused
Could spit twenty men on his spear,
A terrible creature, sober or soused,
Was Abdul, the Bulbul Amir.

Now the heroes were plenty and well known to fame
In the troops that were led by the Czar,
And the bravest of these was a man by the name
Of Ivan Skavinski [or “Petrusky”] Skavar.

He could imitate Irving, player poker and pool [“tell fortune by cards”],
And strum on the Spanish guitar,
In fact quite the cream of the Muscovite team
Was Ivan Skavinski Skavar.

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 Petrovsky 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 Abdul, “has life grown so dull
That you wish to end your career?
Vile infidel, know, you have trod on the toe
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.”

Said 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.”

“So take your last look at sunshine and brook,
And send your regrets to the Czar–
For by this I imply, you are going to die,
Count Ivan Skavinski Skavar.”

“Your murderous threats are to me but a joke,
For my pleasure and pastime is war,
And I’ll tread on your toes wherever I choose,”
Said Ivan Petrofsky Skivar.

Then this bold Mameluke drew his trusty skibouk,
With a cry of “Allah Akhbar,”
And with murderous intent he ferociously went
For Ivan Skavinski Skavar.

But the Russian gave back not a step at attack,
For Ivan had never known fear,
And with quickly aimed gun, put a stop to the fun
Of Abdul, the Bulbul Amir.

They parried and thrust, they sidestepped and cussed,
Of blood they spilled a great part;
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 huge multitudes came, so great was the fame
Of Abdul and Ivan Skavar.

Yet the whistling chibook did like lightning descend
And caught Ivan right over the ear;
But the bayonet of Ivan pressed right through the heart
Of Abdul, the Bulbul Amir.

As Abdul’s long knife was extracting the life,
In fact he was shouting “Huzzah,”
He felt himself struck by that wily Calmuck,
Count Ivan Skavinski Skavar.

The Russian commander spurred thither in haste,
To seek for his favorite hussar,
Lo, pierced through the snoot by the fatal chibook
Lay Ivan Petrofsky 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 Petrovitch, too, in his spectacles blue,
Rode up in his new crested car.
He arrived just in time to exchange a last line
With Ivan Skavinski Skavar.

Then Gotchikoff, Skabekoff, Mentchikoff, too,
Drove up in the Emperor’s car;
But only in time to bid rapid adieu
To Ivan Petrofsky Skivar.

There’s a tomb rises up where the Blue Danube rolls,
And ‘graved there in characters clear,
Are, “Stranger, when passing, oh pray for the soul
Of Abdul Abulbul Amir.”

A splash in the Black Sea one dark moonless night,
Caused ripples to spread wide and far,
It was made by a sack fitting close to the back
Of Ivan Skavinski Skavar.

A Muscovite maiden her lone vigil keeps,
‘Neath the light of the pale polar star,
And the name that she murmurs so oft, as she weeps,
Is Ivan Skavinski Skavar.

Turkey
ABDUL ABULBUL AMIR