The Soldier Song

In a station in the city, a British soldier stood

Talking to the people there, if the people would

Some just stared in hatred and others turned in pain

And the lonely British soldier, wished he was back home again

'Come join the British army' said the posters in his town

'See the world and have your fun, come serve before the Crown'

The jobs were hard to come by and he could not face the dole

So he took his country's' shilling and enlisted on the roll

But there was no fear of fighting, the Empire long was lost

Just ten years in the army, getting paid for being bossed

Then leave a man who's experienced, a man who's made the grade

A medal and a pension, some men have reserved a trade

Then came the call to Ireland as the call has come before

Another bloody chapter in an endless Civil War

The priests they stood on both sides, the priests they stood behind

Another fight in Jesus' name, the blind against the blind

The soldier stood between them, between the whistling stones

And then the broken bottles, that led to broken bones

The petrol bombs that burned his hand, the nails that pierced his skin

And wished that he had stayed at home surrounded by his kin

The station filled with people, the soldier soon was bored

But better in the station than where the people warred

The room filled up with mothers, with daughters and with sons

Who stared with itchy fingers at the soldier and his guns

A yell of fear, the screech of brakes, a shattering of glass

The window of the station broke to let the package pass

The scream came from the mothers as they ran toward the door

Dragging children crying from the bomb upon the floor

The soldier stood and could not move, his gun he could not use

He knew the bomb had seconds left, not minutes on the fuse

He could not pick it up and throw it on the street

There were far too many people there, too many running feet

'Take cover' yelled the soldier, 'take cover for your lives'

And the Irishmen threw down their young and stood before there wives

They turned toward the soldier, their eyes alive with fear

'For God's sake, save our children or they'll end their short lives here'

The soldier moved towards the bomb, his stomach like a stone

'Why was this his battle, God, why was he alone?'

He lay down on the package and he murmured one farewell

To those at home in England, to those he loved so well

He saw the sights of summer, felt the wind upon his brow

The young girls in the city park, how precious were they now

The soaring of the swallow, the beauty of the swan

The music of the turning earth, so soon it would be gone

The muffled soft explosion and the room began to quake

The soldier blown across the floor, his blood a crimson lake

They never heard him cry or shout, they never heard him moan

And they turned their children's' faces from the blood and from the bone

The crowds outside soon gathered, and the ambulances came

To carry off the body of a pawn lost to the game

And the crowd they clapped and jeered, and they sang their rebel songs

One soldier less to interfere where he did not belong

And will the children growing up, learn at their mothers knee

The story of the soldier who bought their liberty

Who used his youthful body as the means towards an end

Who gave his life to those, who called him 'murderer' not 'friend'