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Dinki Di / Horseferry Road

[ Roud 10189 ; Ballad Index EM403 ; trad.]

‘Dinki Di’ is Australian slang for something that is true, honest, or genuine.

Danny Spooner sang Dinki Di on his 2004 album of “Australian songs of toil and reward”, 'Ard Tack, omitting the chorus that gave the song its name. He noted:

The First World War saw Australian troops fighting for the first time under their own name. The AIF (the Australian Imperial Force) acquitted itself marvellously on the fields of battle, drawing strength from their laconic sense of humour, and from the values and ethics of the bush traditions of toughness, mateship and adaptability. However, they showed little respect for the hidebound British ideas of discipline. This little gem comes from John Lahey’s Great Australian Folk Songs (Hill of Content, 1965).

Note: Slim Dusty's Dinki Di Aussie is quite another song with just a similar title.

Lyrics

Dinki Di on Australian Songs Danny Spooner sings Dinki Di

He came over to London and straight away strode,
To Army Headquarters in Horseferry Road,
To see all the bludgers who dodge all the strafe,
By getting soft jobs on the headquarters staff.
    Dinki di, dinki di,
    By getting soft jobs on the headquarters staff.

He went up to London and straight away strode,
Into Army Headquarters in Horseferry Road
To see all the bludgers who dodge all the strafe
By getting soft jobs on the headquarters staff.

A lousy lance-corporal said, “Pardon me, please,
You've mud on your tunic and blood on your sleeve,
You look so disgraceful the people will laugh,”
Said the lousy lance-corporal on the headquarters staff.
    Dinki di, dinki di,
    Said the lousy lance-corporal on the headquarters staff.

Well, a lousy lance-corporal said, “Pardon me please,
You’ve mud on your tunic, and blood on your sleeve,
You look so disgraceful that the people will laugh”,
Said the lousy Lance Corporal on the headquarters staff.

The digger then shot him a murderous glance;
He said, “We're just back from the balls-up in France,
Where bullets are flying and comforts are few,
And brave men are dying for bastards like you.
    Dinki di, dinki di,
    And brave men are dying for bastards like you.

Well, the digger just shot him a murderous glance;
And he said, “I'm just back from the balls-up in France,
Where whiz bangs are flying and comforts are few
And brave men are dying for bastards like you.”

“We're shelled on the left and we're shelled on the right,
We're bombed all the day and we're bombed all the night,
And if something don't happen, and that pretty soon,
There'll be nobody left in the bloody platoon;
    Dinki di, dinki di,
    There'll be nobody left in the bloody platoon.”

“We’re shelled on the left and we’re shelled on the right,
We’re bombed all the day and we’re bombed all the night,
And if something ain't done, and that bloody soon,
There’ll be nobody left in the flamin' platoon.”

This story soon got to the ears of Lord Gort,
Who gave the whole matter a great deal of thought,
He awarded the digger a V.C. and two bars,
For giving that corporal a kick up the arse;
    Dinki di, dinki di,
    For giving that corporal a kick up the arse.

Well, the news quickly got to the ears of Lord Gort,
Who gave the whole matter a great deal of thought.
He awarded the digger a V.C. with two bars,
For giving that corporal a kick in the ****.

Now when this war's over and we're out of here,
We'll see him in Sydney town begging for beer.
He'll ask for a dina to buy a small glass,
But all he'll get is a kick in the arse.
    Dinki di, dinki di,
    But all he'll get is a kick in the arse.