the White Men"
Notes by John McGivering
...originally written some time ago to be read at a dinner in Canada and then published in the Toronto G;obe. It has never been read in public and has never before been published.It was published in the New York Tribune on 17th May 1900 under the title "The White Man's Song", and in the London Daily Mail on 1st June 1900. It was also reprinted in Santiago de Chile as part of the unauthorised collection With Number Three, Surgical and Medical, 1900.
Their status was demi-official, since Lord Roberts used The Friend as a propaganda sheet in which to make announcements to the people of the conquered Republic. The first page was taken up with official notices; the inner pages contained campaigning news, local gossip and a few cables from overseas, and a great deal of light reading for the troops. Rudyard contributed a number of satirical pieces - “Kopje-Book Maxims”; “Fables for the Staff” and so on, and two poems which he thought worth a place in his collected works: “A Song of the White Men” – a still stronger version of “The White Man’s Burden” and the generous tribute written on the death of General Joubert, the enemy’s Commander-in-Chief.For the background to the Second South African War see our notes on "A Burgher of the Frree State" and "The Science of Rebellion". See also our notes on "A Song in the Desert", a tribute to Perceval Landon, one of his colleagues on The Friend.