Ali Baba Moorshead
Jerry had us on the run, the news was far from hot, He had his feet in Egypt and the Sphinx was on the spot, So Auchinleck despondent sent signals out in sheaves To Ali Baba Moorshead and his twenty thousand thieves.
So Leslie called his officers and whispered in their ears, And his message went to Auchy "Have a spot and drown your fears. We'll make that blinking Rommel think he's got the desert heaves, With Ali Baba Moorshead and his twenty thousand thieves."
So we travelled down from Syria by tank and truck and car, Leaving Tel Aviv and Haifa and pleasant towns afar. Both Cairo and Alex were left to grieve For losing Ali Baba Moorshead and his twenty thousand thieves.
So we came back to the desert, well-known from days of yore, And stopped the foe at Alamein close by the Meddy shore. The Eyeties were pathetic, the Huns fell back like leaves From Ali Baba Moorshead and his twenty thousand thieves.
Now Rommel's got a headache, his tanks can't take a trick, His Afrik' Corps are not so hot and his air force makes us sick; His dreams of looting Egypt are ditched and he is peeved With Ali Baba Moorshead andhis twenty thousand thieves,
We have Kittyhawks and Hurricanes and bombers by the score, Dropping loads on Jerry's bases and rushing back for more. And it's sure that Rommel's stonkered, whatever plans he weaves 'Gainst Ali Baba Moorshead and his twenty thousand thieves.
This was one of several poems submitted by unknown contributors, which were circulated hand-to-hand in Cairo and the Desert. Often several versions co-existed.
The poem commemorates the exploits of the Australian general Leslie James Morshead (note: the spelling of the name in the poem is incorrect) and the Australian 9th Division. Morshead and his soldiers, having proven themselves in the defense of the Libyan port of Tobruk in 1941, were recalled from Syria to fight in the battle for El-Alamein, the subject of this poem.