All The Little Angels

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An old army song taught to the Watchmen and revolutionaries by Dai Dickins during the Glorious Revolution. It's just a slightly bawdy marching song, not at all sad in tune or lyrics, but it often brings tough and grizzled old soldiers to tears as they are reminded of those who aren't singing it with them. Nowadays, a few bars hummed or whistled, like a sprig of lilac in your hat, can point out that you were there, you tried.


The words go like this:

All the little angels rise up, rise up.
All the little angels rise up high!
How do they rise up, rise up, rise up?
How do they rise up, rise up high?
They rise heads up, heads up, heads up, they rise heads up, heads up high!

This is repeated with hands, arms, knees, and finally arse up.

Annotation

The following "chorus" appears in Google Answers to support the proposition that the song follows the tune of Ach, Du Lieber Augustine:

All the little angels ascend up to Heaven
All the little angels ascend up on high
Which end up?
Ascend up
Which end up?
Ascend up
All the little angels ascend up on high.

This is from a drinking song recorded in Mess Songs and Rhymes of the RAAF. Unfortunately, Ach du lieber is in 3/4 time and while the added chorus scans, the original doesn't (and 3/4 time will cause some funny marching.) The pun also depends on the use of "ass", rather than "arse" as in the book and normal British usage.

"Do not Google on 'all the little angels'. Trust me." (Terry Pratchett in a.f.p, 9 Nov. 2002)
"A lie can run around the world before the truth has got its boots on." (de Worde)