"Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit-Bag 

and Smile, Smile, Smile"

Words by George Asaf, 1880-1951
[pseud. for George Henry Powell]
Music by Felix Powell, 18??-1942

Published 1915 London

Vide Press-- “What is best described as a Philosophy Song, is
now being sung --and whistled by the troops as they march along.
We believe that it will become overwhelmingly popular”

This song did become quite popular, actually becoming a national blockbuster that boosted  British morale as it sagged at the face incredible casualties. From 1914 to 1918 the British Empire suffered  908,371 battle deaths and 2,090,212 wounded.--S.W.


Above British troops move into action near Arras, France.during the great Somme offensive.

MIDI file courtesy Benjamin Tubb

Verse1:

Private Perks is a funny little codger
With a smile a funny smile.
Five feet none, he’s and artful little dodger
With a smile a funny smile.
Flush or broke he’ll have his little joke,
He can’t be suppress’d.
All the other fellows have to grin
When he gets this off his chest, Hi!

CHORUS [sung twice after each verse]
Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile,
While you’ve a lucifer to light your fag,
Smile, boys, that’s the style.
What’s the use of worrying?
It never was worth while, so
Pack up your troubles in your old kit-bag,
And smile, smile, smile.


Verse 2:

Private Perks went a-marching into Flanders
With his smile his funny smile.
He was lov’d by the privates and commanders
For his smile his funny smile.
When a throng of Bosches came along
With a mighty swing,
Perks yell’d out, “This little bunch is mine!
Keep your heads down, boys and sing, Hi!

Verse 3:

Private Perks he came back from Bosche-shooting
With his smile his funny smile.
Round his home he then set about recruiting
With his smile his funny smile.
He told all his pals, the short, the tall,
What a time he’d had;
And as each enlisted like a man
Private Perks said ‘Now my lad,’ Hi!

For more music of the 19th and 20th Centuries, visit http://pdmusic.org/


Missourians of the First World War

Home: "Time Portal to Old St. Louis"

Sept. 1, 2001 Scott K. Williams, Florissant, Mo. USA