I was taking compass bearings for the Ordnance Survey
By an Army Training Camp on Salisbury Plain;
I had packed up my theodolite, was calling it a day,
When I heard a voice that sang a sad refrain:
'Oh my darling Armadillo
Let me tell you of my love,
Listen to my Armadillo roundelay.
Be my fellow on my pillow
Underneath this weeping willow,
Be my darling Armadillo all the day.'
I was somewhat disconcerted by this curious affair
For a single Armadillo, you will own,
On Salisbury Plain, in summer, is comparatively rare
And a pair of them is practically unknown.
Drawn by that mellow solo
There I followed on my bike
To discover what these Armadillo
Lovers would be like:
'Oh my darling Armadillo,
How delightful it would be
If for us these silver wedding bells would chime;
Let the orange blossom billow,
You need only say 'I will' - oh,
Be my darling Armadillo all the time.'
Then I saw them, in a hollow, by a yellow muddy bank -
One Armadillo singing ... to an armour-plated Tank!
Should I tell him? Gaunt and rusting, with the willow tree above,
This - abandoned on manoeuvres - is the object of your love!
I left him to his singing,
Cycled home without a pause.
Never tell a man the truth
About the one that he adores!
On the breeze that follows sunset
I could hear that sad refrain
Singing willow, willow, willow down the way,
And I seem to hear it still. Oh,
Vive l'amour, vive L'Armadillo!
'Be my darling Armadillo all the day.'
Michael Flanders and Donald Swann