Songs for Soldiers

It’s Memorial Day, and a post my friend Greta made about honoring the soldiers, but not necessarily the leaders who put them in harm’s way, reminded me I had written two country songs about soldiers back during the height of the Iraq War. Try to imagine Waylon Jennings singing them and maybe they’ll read a little better.

Er, and just to be clear. I am not, and have never been a soldier. Writers have the annoying habit of putting themselves in other peoples’ heads, whether they’re qualified to be there or not.

Dead Soldiers

Dead soldiers

That’s what we call the empty bottles we make when we drink

Dead soldiers

Who died on the frontlines of the battle we fight not to think

Dead soldiers

The brothers we lost in a war I don’t understand yet

Dead soldiers

The brothers whose names and whose faces we drink to forget

***

Dead soldiers

Who died for the red white and blue

Dead soldiers

Who died for me and for you

Dead soldiers

Still dead though the war wasn’t true

Dead soldiers

Yes we’re making dead soldiers

To forget the dead soldiers we knew

***

Dead soldiers

If I could forget a name for each bottle I drank

Dead soldiers

But each night they come back and line up rank after rank

Dead soldiers

Jimmy and Tommy and Frank and old Hard Luck Jose

Dead soldiers

Though I know that its hopeless I still try to drink them away

***

Dead soldiers

Who died for the red white and blue

Dead soldiers

Who died for me and for you

Dead soldiers

Still dead though the war wasn’t true

Dead soldiers

Yes we’re making dead soldiers

To forget the dead soldiers we knew

*

Honorable Men

I am a soldier

From a long line of soldiers

Who have answered our country’s call

From Ardennes to Burma

From Saigon to Anbar

We are proud to be giving our all

We pick up our packs

And we shoulder our rifles

March to hell and then right back again

No matter how weary

We do what is asked us

For we are honorable men

***

We honor a promise

And we try not to lie

We fight hard for good not for gain

And all that we ask

Of the men who lead us

Is just that they do the same

***

A soldier is a weapon

We shoot where you point us

So take care where you ask us to aim

For we’ll follow your orders

And we’ll pull the trigger

If you’re mistaken, will you take the blame?

We don’t ask for reasons

Or long explanations

Just give us a where and a when

All a soldier requires

When he walks toward the fires

Is to be led by honorable men

***

We honor a promise

And we try not to lie

We fight hard for good not for gain

And all that we ask

Of the men who lead us

Is just that they do the same

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Date: Monday, 31. May 2010 12:15
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1 Comment

  1. 1

    I would like to hear these songs, some time.

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