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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Sambo’s Right to be Kilt

By Charles Graham Halpine (1829–1868)

[Life and Adventures, Songs, etc., of Private Miles O’Reilly. 1864.]

SOME tell us ’tis a burnin’ shame

To make the naygers fight;

An’ that the thrade of bein’ kilt

Belongs but to the white:

But as for me, upon my sowl!

So liberal are we here,

I’ll let Sambo be murthered instead of myself,

On every day in the year.

On every day in the year, boys,

And in every hour of the day;

The right to be kilt I’ll divide wid him,

An’ divil a word I’ll say.

In battle’s wild commotion

I shouldn’t at all object

If Sambo’s body should stop a ball

That was comin’ for me direct;

And the prod of a Southern bagnet,

So ginerous are we here,

I’ll resign, and let Sambo take it

On every day in the year.

On every day in the year, boys,

And wid none o’ your nasty pride,

All my right in a Southern bagnet prod

Wid Sambo I’ll divide!

The men who object to Sambo

Should take his place and fight;

And it’s betther to have a nayger’s hue

Than a liver that’s wake an’ white.

Though Sambo’s black as the ace of spades,

His finger a thrigger can pull,

And his eye runs sthraight on the barrel-sights

From undher its thatch of wool.

So hear me all, boys darlin’,

Don’t think I’m tippin’ you chaff,

The right to be kilt we’ll divide wid him,

And give him the largest half!