This is the rhythm of the bugle call used in the British Army to signal the beginning of the meal. As with all bugle calls, it had its own conventional words which all soldiers knew. They were :
Oh pick-em-up, pick-em-up, hot potatoes, hot potatoes, pick-em-up, pick-em-up, hot potatoes oh!
If you wish to hear this call, please click here. The mp3 track is 102 Kb long and takes perhaps 20 seconds to download on a normal telephone line; the actual music is about 7 seconds long!
This call is actually the Second Meal Call. The First Meal Call is the famous Oh, come to the cookhouse door, boys, come to the cookhouse door, which is the signal for the orderlies to go and collect the troops rations from the cookhouse. So the one the soldiers wished more fervently to hear was the Second!
If you wish to hear Oh, come to the cookhouse door, boys, click here. The mp3 track is 127 Kb long and might take 25 seconds to download. The track is actually about 9 seconds long.