How well do I remember, In my mind it is so clear
When they sent me down to Claiborne to be a Pipeline Engineer
The days were tough, the nights were short and I might add to that
I got that pipeline ailment called "Oh! My Achin' Back!"

We left Camp Patrick Henry on a frosty Winter day
Froze to death on an icy dock and then got underway
Starved to death on Limey chow, sometimes we got a snack
Spent our breaks below the decks on our Achin' Back.

We pulled M.P. at Capetown, we pulled it on the boat
Guarded Red Cross Nurses, 'twas enough to get your goat
They snubbed the poor enlisted men, showed Officers their Tact
And damned if I have seen one since, Oh! My Achin' Back!

On Bombay's docks we landed, we jumped aboard a train
Rode for weeks it seems to me 'cross India's boundless plain.
We rode a boat to Dhubri We could have rode the track
And all this time we had no beds, Oh! My Achin' Back!

From Dum Dum to the Burma line, we worked for one and all
We jumped and skipped along the line, We're really on the ball.
The monsoons came, the mud was deep, the mosquitoes did attack
But our six inch line went right on through Oh! My Achin' Back!

While all the rest were resting up, our boys they got a call
So down the Ledo Road they went and got there in the fall
We thought the rains had ended, of dust we had no lack
Then down it came just twice as hard On our Achin' Back!

We waded swamps in Burma, we hacked our damn trail
Lost our blood to leeches, enough to fill a pail
We got some praise from Generals, our boys they had the knack
But damned it that's enough to heal our poor old Achin' Back!

We're laying the line to Bhamo, we think we're getting home
I want to bust that idea, by writing this damn poem.
When we were there the rumors said, "We'll don a full field pack
And march across those Chinese hills," Oh My Achin' Back!

The Burmese make bum saki, they sell it by the root
The G.I.'s got a snoot full and then went on a toot
We licked the cork out on the job, we tried it coming back
The C.O. said, "That's all my boys." Oh! My Achin' Back!

We settled down at Lyon's Beach to spend our Christmas Day
The saki flowed, the boys got high and parties under way
While we were celebrating, the Nippos did attack
Headquarters, far down the line, Oh! My Achin' Back!

The guns were manned, they all fell out and jumped in fox holes there
And things went fine along the line till Mama got a scare
He sent some Louies to the guns, to shoot the God damned Japs
They sat and waited till all clear, Oh! My Achin' Back!

We headed for the Burma Road, we camped upon a hill
The bugs, the knats, the ticks, so bad a man just can't sit still
Our site had been an old Jap camp, The Chinks had pushed them back
The Chinks moved out and we moved in, Oh! My Achin' Back!

Now when this war is over, and all us boys go home
We quit our G.I. ways no longer will we roam.
But there's one thing that will stick with us and you can bet on that
We'll have that Pipeline ailment called, Oh! My Achin' Back!