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Two by Two

[words Rudyard Kipling, music Peter Bellamy]

Peter Bellamy sang Two by Two in 1990 on his privately issued cassette Soldiers Three.

According to the Kipling Society's The Musical Settings of Kipling’s Verse, this is Kipling's poem with the first line “'Less you want your toes trod off”, which is the introductory poem to My Lord the Elephant from Many Inventions (Appleton and Company, 1893), later collected in Songs from Books (1912).

Lyrics

'Less you want your toes trod off you'd better get back at once.
    For the bullocks are walkin' two by two.
    The byles are walkin' two by two.
    The bullocks are walkin' two by two.
And the elephants bring the guns!
        Ho! Yuss!
Great — big — long — black forty-pounder guns
    Jiggery-jolty to and fro.
    Each as big as a launch in tow —
Blind — dumb — broad-breeched beggars o' batterin' -guns!