June 23, 2024

Muskets & Bullets & Marching Feet

The Story of the 7 RAR Quick March

From Barry.J Caligari

In 1965 7 RAR was raised half by 3 RAR regulars ex-Confrontation and half by the first drafts of national servicemen (NSM). Early in the raising, the CO, Lt Col E. H. Smith, asked all and sundry to find an appropriate Battalion march.

The wives club, (CO’s wife Bette Smith and the 2IC’s wife Pamela Drabsch) submitted the Trooper’s Song for consideration. On the other hand the troops submitted: 3 RAR component Our Director with appropriate lyrics and the NSM component chose These Boots were made for walking by Nancy Sinatra.

The CO selected the Trooper’s Song. It was a traditional British marching tune that was accompanied with other ditties as well. The CO submitted it to the Directorate of Infantry for official recognition. The Directorate obviously thought the Trooper’s Song was too good for 7 RAR and retained it as the Infantry Regimental March, and asked 7 RAR to look elsewhere for a replacement. Hence The Austral-bloody-aise by C.J. Dennis was adopted as the 7 RAR Quick March with an altered tune from that was originally suggested by Dennis..

Here is the Trooper’s Song: the verses may not be in the original order. The politically correct have attacked the march as being racist, discriminatory and sexist. I think it is an outstanding march tune and does Infantry proud – but it must be sung with commitment, dedication and gusto.


Muskets and Bullets and marching feet
The smell of gunpowder and sweat
The roll of the drum and the bugle call
And memories of dangers we’ve met.

We’ve fought in the mountains and in the hills
We’ve fought ‘neath the blistering sun
We’ve fought when the earth has been covered in ice
And the bullets they freeze in the gun.

Our flag has flown freely in foreign lands
All colours black, brown, red & white
We make no distinction for colour
For we only ask that they fight.

We eat when we can and drink when we can
We eat whatever may come
We’ve even been known to drink water
But only diluted with rum.

We’ve travelled across many foreign lands
The men folk we have matched with our guns
The women have cause to remember us
For most of them gave us our sons.

(A Marching Song:
Original Air – Onward Christian Soldiers)

Fellers of Australier,
Blokes an’ coves an’ coots,
Shift yer bloody carcases,
Move yer — boots.
Gird yer — loins up,
Get yer — gun,
Set the — enermy
An’ watch the blighters run.

Get a — move on,
Have some — sense.
Learn the — art of
Self de- — -fence.

Have some — brains be-
Neath yer — lids.
An’ swing a — sabre
Fer the missus an’ the kids.
Chuck supportin’ — posts,
An’ strikin’ — lights,
Support a —- fam’ly an’
Strike fer yer — rights.

Get a — move on, etc.

Joy is — fleetin’,
Life is — short.
Wot’s the use uv wastin’ it
All on — sport?
Hitch yer — tip-dray
To a — star.
Let yer — watchword be
“Australi- — -ar!”

Get a — move on, etc.

‘Ow’s the — nation
Goin’ to ixpand
‘Lest us — blokes an’ coves
Lend a — ‘and?
‘Eave yer — apathy
Down a — chasm;
‘Ump yer — burden with
Enthusi- — -asm.

Get a — move on, etc.

W’en old mother Britain
Calls yer native land
Take a — rifle
In yer — ‘and
Keep yer — upper lip
Stiff as stiff kin be,
An’ speed a — bullet for
Post- — -ity.

Get a — move on, etc.

W’en the — bugle
Sounds “Ad- — -vance”
Don’t be like a flock er sheep
In a — trance
Biff the — Kaiser
Where it don’t agree
Spifler- — -cate him
To Eternity.

Get a — move on, etc.

Fellers of Australier,
Cobbers, chaps an’ mates,
Hear the — German
Kickin’ at the gates!
Blow the — bugle,
Beat the — drum,
Upper-cut an’ out the cow
To kingdom- — -come!

Get a — move on,
Have some — sense.
Learn the — art of
Self de- — -fence.

“Where a dash (—) replaces a missing word, the adjective “blessed” may be interpolated. In cases demanding great emphasis, the use of the word “blooming” is permissible. However, any other word may be used that suggests itself as suitable.

The Bulletin, 12 November 1908, red page


1 thought on “Muskets & Bullets & Marching Feet

  1. At a campsite in Darwin, the entertainer sang “The boots were made for walking”…………and one of your lads leapt to his feet and marched it out! Good on him – and you guys.

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