The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #152012   Message #3556120
Posted By: George Papavgeris
04-Sep-13 - 02:38 PM
Thread Name: The Widow's Uniform (uploaded)
Subject: RE: The Widow's Uniform (uploaded)
The Widow's Uniform - Part 11 of 15:

Soldier, Soldier

Any who doubt that Kipling sometimes wrote songs in themselves, rather than poems capable of musical setting, should study this piece: a ballad in the musical as well as the literary sense. Poignantly antiphonal, it has none of the realism which so characterises the Barrack Room Ballads series as a whole, and has a chorus that makes sense only in a song.

The picture Kipling draws of the soldier who cannot bring himself to break the news to a comrade's wife that she is in fact a comrade's widow is one of his most moving – but only one image in a kaleidoscope of possibilities invoked by this intriguing song.