Kiplings poem IF

Discussion in 'Poetry Corner' started by ebocrew, Jul 9, 2008.

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  1. Not sure how many go back this far, but in the 60s/70s there was an SAS version of Kiplings poem 'IF' knocking about.
    Anyone have it?
  2. IF.....

    IF you can pass selection when all about you
    Are failing theirs and blaming it on you,
    If you can run up the Fan when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;
    If you can walt and not be tired by walting,
    Or being beasted about, don't deal in beastings,
    Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
    And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
    If you can drink - and not make drink your master;
    If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
    If you can meet with Blair and Bush
    And treat those two twats just the same;
    If you can listen to Bear Grylls about survival
    Use your knife to make a trap for food,
    Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:
    If you can make one heap of all your explosives
    And risk it on one length of safety fuse,
    And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your cock up;
    If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,
    And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'
    If you can talk with cocks and keep your cool,
    ' Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
    if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
    If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
    Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
    And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

    We are the pilgrims oh master and always we go a little further.
    • Funny Funny x 1
    • Informative Informative x 1
  3. Hmmmm! That was about it; allowing for changes in 'tom speak' since the 60s. I seem to remember a line 'if neither we nor Pen-y-fan deter you'

    Tks anyway. bought back lots of memories of trogging the Cumberland fells.
  4. I remember seeing it in Training Wing in 1976, it was nothing like the version quoting Bush and Blair.

    The version I remember started off by saying "if you can trust your compass and follow it what may". And it ended by saying "if you can do that, then you will be SAS my son"

    I wish I could remember more but it was a long ago
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  5. How odd that a poem in 1976 didn't reference a 23-year old Tony Blair.
    • Funny Funny x 2
  6. Have a cake - it's exceedingly good - Mr Kipling
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  7. The framed version hanging in the entrance to Training Wing at DoY had the original verse.
    The Artists were, of course, of poetical bent:

    Mars, he was the God of war,
    and didn't stop at trifles.
    Minerva was a bloody whore.
    So hence The Artists' Rifles.

    • Like Like x 2
  8. Helm

    Helm LE Book Reviewer

    Sure it wasn't this ?
    • Funny Funny x 2
  9. Either side of the stage in the theatre cum chapel at Ganges. The original was meant to inspire us I suppose and it does contain some gems that should be learned by the current crop of VSOs/Pollies and teachers.

    If you can eat your cake
    While everyone is watching
    And frothing at the mouth
    You'll be a Kipling my Son
    And ONE sausage, you twunk! :cool:
  10. [Ed: There are many versions of this, making fun of office, school and other hierarchies.]

    The General:
    Faster than a speeding bullet,
    More powerful than a locomotive,
    Leaps over tall buildings with a single bound,
    Walks on water, and
    Talks with God

    The Colonel:
    Just as fast as a speeding bullet,
    More powerful than a switch engine,
    Leaps over small buildings with a single bound,
    Walks on water when it's calm, and
    Talks with God on special occasions

    The Lt Col:
    Faster than a speeding BB,
    Loses a tug-of-war with a switch engine,
    Leaps over small buildings with a running start,
    Swims well, and
    Listens at a distance to the voice of God.

    The Major:
    Can load a gun properly,
    Plays with train sets,
    Leaps over Quonset huts with a running start,
    Can do the Dog Paddle, and
    Sometimes pays attention to what the Lt. Col. says,

    The Captain:
    Is not issued ammunition for fear of self-inflicted injury,
    Recognizes a locomotive two out of three times,
    Runs into buildings,
    Can wade through water less than four feet deep, and
    Pays no attention to what the Major says.

    The Lieutenant:
    Wets himself with a water pistol,
    Says "Look at the Choo Choo,"
    Trips over steps when entering buildings, and
    Doesn't even notice when the Captain says something.

    The NCO:
    Catches bullets in his teeth and spits them out,
    Kicks trains off the tracks,
    Picks up buildings and walks underneath, and
    Freezes water with a single glance,
    He is GOD!

    Since I first read this many, many years ago, or some similar version of it, I haven't seen it since. Until moments ago my google-fu found it again. However, it must have had some deep down profound affect on me. Because many times since then when I find myself having to explain something basic to an idiot and getting nowhere. I end up saying in frustration; "Look at the choo choo..."