“The D-Day Dodgers”


"We're the D-Day Dodgers, out in Italy, Always on the vino, Always on the spree." The soldiers describe their allegedly safe and luxurious life: "Salerno, a holiday with pay," etc. They point out the nonsense of Lady Astor's remarks


Lady Astor, an American-born member of the British parliament, was reported to have criticised the Allied armies in Italy as "D-Day Dodgers." In fact they were some of the hardest-suffering troops of the war; they fought well-entrenched Germans and never received enough equipment or reinforcements. The troops in Normandy were, comparatively, lucky; casualties were lighter and conditions were better.

This song is how the troops answered Lady Astor.

The Folksinger's Wordbook credits this to Hamish Henderson, which is possible, as he wrote other "anonymous" songs of World War II. But I know of no actual proof, and many authors treat the song as anonymous. - RBW

Historical references

  • July 10, 1943 - British and American troops attack Sicily (Messina falls on August 17, but the Germans have evacuated)
  • Sept 9, 1943 - Allies invade the Italian mainland
  • June 4, 1944 - Allies enter Rome
  • June 6, 1944 - D-Day. Invasion of Normandy begins

Cross references

  • cf. "Lili Marlene" (tune)


  • Pete Seeger, "The D-Day Dodgers" (on PeteSeeger39)


  1. Scott-BoA, pp. 358-359, "D-Day Dodgers" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Silber-FSWB, p. 282, "The D-Day Dodgers" (1 text)
  3. DT, DDAY*
  4. Roud #10499
  5. BI, SBoA358


Author: Hamish Henderson?
Keywords: war battle death