The Absent-Minded Beggar

The Absent-Minded Beggar

"The Absent-Minded Beggar" is an 1899 poem by Rudyard Kipling, set to music by Sir Arthur Sullivan and often accompanied by an illustration by Richard Caton Woodville. The song was written as part of an appeal by the Daily Mail to raise money for soldiers fighting in the South African War (sometimes known as the Boer War) and their families. The fund was the first such charitable effort for a war.

The chorus of the song exhorted its audience to "pass the hat for your credit's sake, and pay— pay— pay!" The patriotic poem and song caused a sensation and were constantly performed throughout the war and beyond. Kipling was offered a knighthood shortly after publication of the poem but declined the honour. Vast numbers of copies of the poem and sheet music were published, and large quantities of related merchandise were sold to aid the charity. The "Absent-Minded Beggar Fund" was an unprecedented success and raised a total of more than £250,000.

Read more about The Absent-Minded BeggarHistory, Reception, Lyrics

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The Absent-Minded Beggar - Lyrics
... kindly drop a shilling in my little tambourine For a gentleman in khaki ordered South? He's an absent-minded beggar and his weaknesses are great But we and Paul must take him as ... he walked with casual, they'll be sorry now he's gone, For an absent-minded beggar they will find him, But it ain't the time for sermons with the winter coming on We ... He's an absent-minded beggar, but he heard his country's call, And his reg'ment didn't need to send to find him He chucked his job and joined it - so the task before us all Is to help the ...

Famous quotes containing the word beggar:

    The poverty of our century is unlike that of any other. It is not, as poverty was before, the result of natural scarcity, but of a set of priorities imposed upon the rest of the world by the rich. Consequently, the modern poor are not pitied ... but written off as trash. The twentieth-century consumer economy has produced the first culture for which a beggar is a reminder of nothing.
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