The Info List - Barrack-room Ballads

The Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
are a series of songs and poems by Rudyard Kipling, dealing with the late-Victorian British Army
British Army
and mostly written in a vernacular dialect. The series contains some of Kipling's most well-known work, including the poems "Gunga Din", "Tommy", "Mandalay", and "Danny Deever", helping consolidate his early fame as a poet. The first poems were published in the Scots Observer in the first half of 1890, and collected in Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
and Other Verses in 1892. Kipling later returned to the theme in a group of poems collected in The Seven Seas under the same title. A third group of vernacular Army poems from the Boer War, titled "Service Songs" and published in The Five Nations
The Five Nations
(1903), can be considered part of the Ballads, as can a number of other uncollected pieces.


1 Poems

1.1 List

2 Reception 3 See also 4 References 5 Bibliography 6 External links

Poems[edit] While two volumes of Kipling's poems are clearly labelled as "Barrack-Room Ballads", identifying which poems should be grouped in this way can be complex. The main collection of the Ballads was published in the 1890s, in two volumes: Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
and Other Verses (1892, the first major publishing success for Methuen) and The Seven Seas (1896), sometimes published as The Seven Seas and Further Barrack-Room Ballads. In both books, they were collected into a specific section set aside from the other poems, and can be easily identified. ( Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
and Other Verses has an introductory poem ("To T.A.") in Kipling's own voice, which is strictly not part of the set but is often collected with them.) A third group of poems, published in 1903 in The Five Nations, continued the theme of military vernacular ballads; while they were titled "Service Songs", they fit well with the themes of the earlier ballads and are clearly connected. Charles Carrington produced the first comprehensive volume of the Ballads in 1973, mainly drawn from these three collections but including five additional pieces not previously collected under the title. Three of these date from the same period: an untitled vernacular poem ("My girl she gave me the go onst") taken from a short story, The Courting of Dinah Shadd, in Life's Handicap (1891); Bobs (1892 or 1898),[citation needed] a poem praising Lord Roberts; and The Absent-Minded Beggar (1899), a poem written to raise funds for the families of soldiers called up for the Boer War. The remaining two date from the First World War; Carrington considered Epitaphs of the War, written in a first-person style, and Gethsemane, also in a soldier's voice, to meet his definition. Both were published in The Years Between (1919). Kipling wrote profusely on military themes during the war, but often from a more detached perspective than the first-person vernacular he had previously adopted. Finally, there are some confusingly captioned pieces. Many of Kipling's short stories were introduced with a short fragment of poetry, sometimes from an existing poem and sometimes an incidental new piece. These were often identified "A Barrack-Room Ballad", though not all the poems they were taken from would otherwise be collected or classed this way. This includes pieces such as the introductory poem to My Lord the Elephant (from Many Inventions, 1899), later collected in Songs from Books but not identified as a Ballad. It is not clear if these were deliberately omitted by Carrington or if he explicitly chose not to include them. List[edit]

From Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
and Other Verses

"Dedication: To T.A." "Danny Deever" "Tommy" "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" "Soldier, Soldier" "Screw-Guns" "Cells" "Gunga Din" "Oonts" "Loot" "Snarleyow" "The Widow at Windsor" "Belts" "The Young British Soldier" "Mandalay" "Troopin'" "The Widow's Party" "Ford o' Kabul River" "Gentlemen-Rankers" "Route Marchin'" "Shillin' a Day"

From The Seven Seas

"Back to the Army Again" "Birds of Prey" March "Soldier an' Sailor Too" "Sappers" "That Day" "The Men That Fought at Minden" "Cholera Camp" "The Ladies" "Bill 'Awkins" "The Mother Lodge" "Follow Me 'Ome" "The Sergeant's Weddin'" "The Jacket" "The 'Eathen" "The Shut-Eye Sentry" "Mary, Pity Women!" "For to Admire"


Bobs "My girl she gave me the go onst..."

Reception[edit] T.S. Eliot, in his essay on Kipling for his 1941 anthology of Kipling's verse,[1] writes that many writers have written verse without writing poetry, but that Kipling was unusual in that he did write poetry without setting out to do so.[2] In Eliot's view, this makes Kipling a 'ballad-writer', and that was already, he thought, more difficult in 1941 than in Kipling's time, as people no longer had the music hall to inspire them.[3] Eliot thought Kipling's ballads unusual, also, in that Kipling had been careful to make it possible to absorb each ballad's message on a single hearing. But, wrote Eliot, Kipling had more to offer than that: he had "a consummate gift of word, phrase, and rhythm", never repeated himself, and used short, simple stanzas and rhyming schemes. What is more

The variety of form which Kipling manages to devise for his ballads is remarkable: each is distinct, and perfectly fitted to the content and the mood which the poem has to convey. Nor is the versification too regular... — T.S. Eliot[4]

See also[edit]

List of the works of Rudyard Kipling 1892 in poetry 1896 in poetry The Whiffenpoof Song
The Whiffenpoof Song
(adapted from Gentlemen-Rankers)


^ Eliot, 1963. pp. 5–36. ^ Eliot, 1963. pp. 8–9. ^ Eliot, 1963. pp. 9–10. ^ Eliot, 1963. p. 11.


Eliot, TS (1941). A Choice of Kipling's Verse, made by T. S. Eliot with an essay on Rudyard Kipling. Faber and Faber. 

--- (1963) paperback edition, Faber and Faber

External links[edit]

has original text related to this article: Barrack-Room Ballads

Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
- Free e-book #2819 at Project Gutenberg

v t e

Rudyard Kipling


The Light that Failed
The Light that Failed
(1891) Captains Courageous
Captains Courageous
(1896) Kim (1901)


Plain Tales from the Hills (1888) Soldiers Three
Soldiers Three
(1888) The Story of the Gadsbys
The Story of the Gadsbys
(1888) In Black and White (1888) The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales
The Phantom 'Rickshaw and other Eerie Tales
(1888) Under the Deodars
Under the Deodars
(1888) Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories
Wee Willie Winkie and Other Child Stories
(1888) From Sea to Sea and Other Sketches, Letters of Travel (1889) Barrack-Room Ballads
Barrack-Room Ballads
(1892, poetry) Many Inventions (1893) The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book

"Mowgli's Brothers" "Kaa's Hunting" "Tiger! Tiger!" "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi"

The Second Jungle Book
The Second Jungle Book

"Letting in the Jungle" "Red Dog"

All the Mowgli Stories (c. 1895) The Seven Seas (1896, poetry) The Day's Work (1898) Stalky & Co. (1899) Just So Stories
Just So Stories
(1902) The Five Nations
The Five Nations
(1903, poetry) Puck of Pook's Hill
Puck of Pook's Hill
(1906) Rewards and Fairies
Rewards and Fairies
(1910) The Fringes of the Fleet
The Fringes of the Fleet
(1915, non-fiction) Debits and Credits (1926) Limits and Renewals (1932) Rudyard Kipling's Verse: Definitive Edition (1940) A Choice of Kipling's Verse
A Choice of Kipling's Verse
(by T. S. Eliot, 1941)


"The Absent-Minded Beggar" "The Ballad of the "Clampherdown"" "The Ballad of East and West" "The Beginnings" "The Bell Buoy" "The Betrothed" "Big Steamers" "Boots" "Cold Iron" "Dane-geld" "Danny Deever" "A Death-Bed" "The Female of the Species" "Fuzzy-Wuzzy" "Gentleman ranker" "The Gods of the Copybook Headings" "Gunga Din" "Hymn Before Action" "If—" "In the Neolithic Age" "The King's Pilgrimage" "The Last of the Light Brigade" "The Lowestoft Boat" "Mandalay" "The Mary Gloster" "McAndrew's Hymn" "My Boy Jack" "Recessional" "A Song in Storm" "The Sons of Martha" "Submarines" "The Sweepers" "Tommy" "Ubique" "The White Man's Burden" "The Widow at Windsor"

Short stories

".007" "The Arrest of Lieutenant Golightly" "Baa Baa, Black Sheep" "Bread upon the Waters" "The Broken Link Handicap" "The Butterfly that Stamped" "Consequences" "The Conversion of Aurelian McGoggin" "Cupid's Arrows" "The Devil and the Deep Sea" "The Drums of the Fore and Aft" "Fairy-Kist" "False Dawn" "A Germ-Destroyer" "His Chance in Life" "His Wedded Wife" "In the House of Suddhoo" "Kidnapped" "Learoyd, Mulvaney and Ortheris" "Lispeth" "The Man Who Would Be King" "A Matter of Fact" "Miss Youghal's Sais" "The Mother Hive" "Ortheris" "The Other Man" "The Rescue of Pluffles" "The Ship that Found Herself" "The Sing-Song of Old Man Kangaroo" "The Taking of Lungtungpen" "Three and – an Extra" "The Three Musketeers" "Thrown Away" "Toomai of the Elephants" "Watches of the Night" "Wireless" "Yoked with an Unbeliever"


Bibliography Bateman's
(house) Indian Railway Library Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer

Iron Ring

Law of the jungle Aerial Board of Control My Boy Jack (1997 play) Rudyard Kipling: A Remembrance Tale (2006 documentary) My Boy Jack (2007 film)


Elsie Bambridge (daughter) John Kipling
John Kipling
(son) John Lockwood Kipling
John Lockwood Kipling
(father) MacDonald sisters
MacDonald sisters
(mother's family) Stanley Baldwin
Stanley Baldwin
(cousin) Georgiana Burne-Jones
Georgiana Burne-Jones
(aunt) Edward Burne-Jones
Edward Burne-Jones
(uncle) Philip Burne-Jones
Philip Burne-Jones
(cousin) Edward Poynter
Edward Poynter
(uncle) Alfred Bal