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Sunday Song Lyric -- Memorial Day Edition:

It seems to me that there are many song lyrics that should be appropriate for Memorial Day. Knee-deep in exam grading, however, I am devoid of inspiration for a song lyric today, particualrly one that would seem appropriate. So, I am leaving it up to you. What song lyrics would be appropriate for Memorial Day and why?

itshissong:
This suggestion really has nothing to do with the actual meaning of the holiday. Rather, I am always more inspired by the general activities, feel, and weather of the day. With that in mind, I suggest "Ginseng Sullivan" by Norman Blake:

About three miles from the batelle yard
The river curves on down
Not far south of the town depot
Sullivan's shack was found
Up on the higher ground.

You could see him every day
Just walking down the line
With his old brown sack across his back
Long hair down behind
Speaking his worried mind.

chorus:

It's a long way from the delta
To the North Georgia hills
A tote sack full of ginseng
Won't pay my travelling bills
I'm too old to ride the rails
Or bum the road alone
So I guess I'll never make it back to home
My muddy water Mississippi delta home.

The winters here, they get too cold
The damp it makes me ill
Can't dig no roots in the mountain side
With the ground froze hard and still
Gotta stay at the foot of the hill.

But next summer, things turn right
The companies will pay high
I'll make enough money to pay my bills
Bid these mountains goodbye
Then he said with a sigh

chorus:

It's a long way from the delta
To the North Georgia hills
A tote sack full of ginseng
Won't pay my travelling bills
I'm too old to ride the rails
Or bum the road alone
So I guess I'll never make it back to home
My muddy water Mississippi delta home.
5.27.2007 1:28pm
Drive By Comments:
Bring the good ol' Bugle boys! We'll sing another song,
Sing it with a spirit that will start the world along,
Sing it like we used to sing it fifty thousand strong,
While we were marching through Georgia

Hurrah! Hurrah! We bring the Jubilee.
Hurrah! Hurrah! The flag that makes you free,
So we sang the chorus from Atlanta to the sea,
While we were marching through Georgia.

How the darkeys shouted when they heard the joyful sound,
How the turkeys gobbled which our commissary found,
How the sweet potatoes even started from the ground,
While we were marching through Georgia.

Yes and there were Union men who wept with joyful tears,
When they saw the honored flag they had not seen for years;
Hardly could they be restrained from breaking forth in cheers,
While we were marching through Georgia.

"Sherman's dashing Yankee boys will never make the coast!"
So the saucy rebels said and 'twas a handsome boast
Had they not forgot, alas! to reckon with the Host
While we were marching through Georgia.

So we made a thoroughfare for freedom and her train,
Sixty miles of latitude, three hundred to the main;
Treason fled before us, for resistance was in vain
While we were marching through Georgia.
5.27.2007 2:03pm
Armen (mail) (www):
"Some Mother's Son" by The Kinks

...

Some mother's son lies in a field
But in his mother's eyes he looks the same
As on the day he went away

They put his picture on the wall
They put flowers in the picture frame
Some mothers memory remains
5.27.2007 2:42pm
DaSarge (mail):
That one is easy: The Battle Hymn of the Republic. Read Mark Steyn's evocation at:

As sermon, it would compare with John Donne.

One quote, as a taste:


[W]hatever the tune's origin, when Julia Ward Howe heard the song for the first time that fall day, "John Brown's Body" was already famous. She loved the martial vigor of the music, but knew the words were "inadequate for a lasting hymn". So her minister, Dr Clark, suggested she write some new ones. And early the following morning at her Washington hotel she rose before dawn and on a piece of Sanitary Commission paper wrote the words we sing today, casting the war as a conflict in which one side has the advantage of God's "terrible swift sword":

I have seen Him in the watchfires of a hundred circling camps
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps…


She finished the words and went back to bed. It was published in The Atlantic Monthly in February 1862. They didn't credit Mrs Howe and they paid her only four dollars.
5.27.2007 2:50pm
DaSarge (mail):
Sorry, I could not get the link command to work. Paste this url to find the Steyn essay:
http://www.steynonline.com/content/view/277/28/

God Save this Great Land and All Who abide in Her.
5.27.2007 2:53pm
Christopher M (mail):
Bob Dylan, Masters of War:
Like Judas of old
You lie and deceive
A world war can be won
You want me to believe
But I see through your eyes
And I see through your brain
Like I see through the water
That runs down my drain

You fasten the triggers
For the others to fire
Then you set back and watch
When the death count gets higher
You hide in your mansion
As young people's blood
Flows out of their bodies
And is buried in the mud
5.27.2007 3:01pm
dwlawson (www):
From memory, so sue me if I get it wrong.


Tell me true, tell me why
Was Jesus Crucified?
Was it for this that Daddy died?

If it wasn't for the nips,
Being so good a building ships,
The yards would still be open on the Clyde.

And it can't be much fun for them
Beneath the Rising Sun
With all their kids committing suicide.

What have we done?
Maggie, what have we done?
What have we done?
To England, what have we done?


off Pink Floyd's "The Final Cut" album.
5.27.2007 3:15pm
dwlawson (www):
Perhaps more applicable today:


Hey! You!
Get your filthy hands off my desert!


Pink Floyd, The Final Cut, Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert
5.27.2007 3:16pm
Atlantic06 (mail):
Since many of the people supporting the Iraq war seem to feel that their contributions at home are "serving their country," I think the following old song by Phil Ochs (Draft Dodger Rag) is appropriate:

I'm just a typical American boy from a typical American town
I believe in God and Senator Todd and keeping old Castro down
And when it came my time to serve I knew better dead than red
But when I got to my old draft board, buddy, this is what I said:

Sarge, I'm only eighteen, I got a ruptured spleen
And I always carry a purse
I got eyes like a bat, my feet are flat, and my asthma's
getting worse
O think of my career, my sweetheart dear, and my poor old
invalid aunt
Besides, I ain't no fool, I'm a goin' to school, and I'm
working in a defense plant

I've got a dislocated disc and a racked up back
I'm allergic to flowers and bugs
And when bombshells hit, I get epileptic fits
And I'm addicted to a thousand drugs
I got the weakness woes, I can't touch my toes
I can hardly touch my knees
And if the enemy came close to me
I'd probably start to sneeze

I hate Chou En Lai, and I hope he dies,
but one thing you gotta see
That someone's gotta go over there
but that someone isn't me
So I wish you well, Sarge, give 'em Hell
Yeah kill me a thousand or more
And if you ever get a war without blood and gore
Well I'll be the first to go
5.27.2007 3:30pm
John Armstrong (mail) (www):
New Order - Temptation

We spend so much time on these occasions remembering the things for which men fought and so little time remembering the actual men themselves.
5.27.2007 4:47pm
Timothy Sandefur (mail) (www):
Of course serious suggestions like the Battle Hymn of the Republic are great, but personally, I'm fond of that great classic, "The Battle of New Orleans" by high school principal Johnny Horton, which (amazingly, considering the present day) actually won the Grammy in 1960 for Best New Song. Surely the only Grammy-winning song about the War of 1812... The lyrics:

Well, in eighteen and fourteen we took a little trip
along with Colonel Jackson down the mighty Mississip.
We took a little bacon and we took a little beans,
And we caught the bloody British near the town of New Orleans.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin'
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

Well, I see'd Mars Jackson walkin down the street
talkin' to a pirate by the name of Jean Lafayette [pronounced La-feet]
He gave Jean a drink that he brung from Tennessee
and the pirate said he'd help us drive the British in the sea.

The French said Andrew, you'd better run,
for Packingham's a comin' with a bullet in his gun.
Old Hickory said he didn't give a dang,
he's gonna whip the britches off of Colonel Packingham.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin'
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

Well, we looked down the river and we see'd the British come,
and there must have been a hundred of 'em beatin' on the drum.
They stepped so high and they made their bugles ring
while we stood by our cotton bales and didn't say a thing.

Old Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise
if we didn't fire a musket til we looked 'em in the eyes.
We held our fire til we see'd their faces well,
then we opened up with squirrel guns and really gave a yell.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
There wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin'
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

Well, we fired our cannon til the barrel melted down,
so we grabbed an alligator and we fought another round.
We filled his head with cannon balls and powdered his behind,
and when they tetched the powder off, the gator lost his mind.

We'll march back home but we'll never be content
till we make Old Hickory the people's President.
And every time we think about the bacon and the beans,
we'll think about the fun we had way down in New Orleans.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin,
But there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin'
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

Well, they ran through the briars and they ran through the brambles
And they ran through the bushes where a rabbit couldn't go.
They ran so fast the hounds couldn't catch 'em
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.

We fired our guns and the British kept a'comin.
But there wasn't nigh as many as there was a while ago.
We fired once more and they began to runnin'
down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico.
5.27.2007 4:52pm
Adam B. (www):
"Mrs McGrath," a traditional folk song recorded by Bruce Springsteen on the Seeger Sessions album last year:

"Mrs McGrath," the sergeant said,
"Would you like a soldier out of your son Ted?
With a scarlet coat and a big cocked hat
Mrs McGrath will you like that?"

With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa

Now Mrs McGrath lived on the shore
And after seven years or more
She spied a ship come into the bay
With her son from far away

"O captain dear, where have ye been?
You been sailing the Mediterranean
Have you news of my son Ted
Is he living or is he dead?"

With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa

Then came Ted without any legs
And in their place two wooden pegs
She kissed him a dozen times or two
And said, "my God, Ted, is it you?

Now were ye drunk or were ye blind
When ye left your two fine legs behind?
Or was it walking upon the sea
That wore your two fine legs away?"

With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa

"Now I wasn't drunk and I wasn't blind
When I left my two fine legs behind
A cannonball on the fifth of May
Tore my two fine legs away"

"My, Teddy boy," the widow cried
"Your two fine legs were yer mother's pride
Stumps of a tree won't do at all
Why didn't ye run from the cannonball?"

With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa

"All foreign wars I do proclaim
Live on blood and a mother's pain
I'd rather have my son as he used to be
Than the King of America and his whole Navy"

With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
With your too-ri-aa fol-ded-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
Too-ri-aa fol-did-dle-di-aa too-ri-oo-ri-oo-ri-aa
5.27.2007 4:55pm
DaSarge (mail):
Ah, ... Dylan and Seeger, and all those that are so skilled at using the liberty that others procure. As Tom Paine predicted, the summer soldier and sunshine patriot shrinks from the service of his (or her) country. Instead, they use their narcissitic, sanctimonious morality to make sure that, since freedom ain't free, someone else (Daddy?) makes the payment. On the one day of the year that we honor those who did make that payment, they try to hijack it. Well, as Trotsky said: "You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you."

Guys, this is Memorial Day. It is not about you -- it is about them. Put aside the psychobabble and the pseudo-profound excusifying. Just stand quiet and say a prayer of thanks that someone else did (and is doing) the dirty work.

OK, I bite. The lyrics need to be written by someone still alive. How 'bout this:

I knew a man called him Sam 'the Cane'
Few folks even knew his name
But a hero yes was he
He left a boy, came back a man
Still many just don't understand
About the reasons we are free
I can't forget the look in his eyes
Or the tears he cried
As he said these words to me:

All gave some, some gave all
Some stood through for the red, white and blue
. . and some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall ...
Some gave all

Now Sam 'the Cane' is no longer here
But his words are oh so clear
As they echo throughout our land
For all his friends who gave us all
Who stood the ground and took the fall
To help their fellow man
Love your country, live with pride
And don't forget those who died
America can't you see?

All gave some, some gave all
Some stood through for the red, white and blue
. . and some had to fall
And if you ever think of me
Think of all your liberties and recall ...
Some gave all


[Billy Ray Cyrus, in case you didn't guess.]
5.27.2007 5:39pm
Bob Leibowitz (mail) (www):
Danny Boy:

Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers are dying
'Tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.

And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

I'll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
5.27.2007 5:39pm
JR Richardson (mail):
Arlington-- Trace Adkins


I never thought that this is where i'd settle down,
I thought i'd die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men, for a job well done,
there's a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
the man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
they folded up a flag and told my mom and dad, we're proud of your son

Chorus:
And I'm proud to be on this peaceful peice of property,
I'm on sacred ground and i'm in the best of company,
I'm thankful for those things i've done,
I can rest in peice, I'm one of the chosen ones, I made it to Arlington

I remember daddy brought me here when i was eight,
we searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
and when we finally found that cross,
he said, "son this is what it cost to keep us free" Now here i am,
a thousand stones away from him,
he reconized me on the first day i came in,
and it gave me a chill when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

(Repeat Chorus)

and everytime i hear twenty-one guns,
i know they brought another hero home to is

we're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done,
we can rest in peace, 'cause we are the chosen ones,
we made it to arlington, yea dust to dust,
don't cry for us,w e made it to arlington
5.27.2007 6:00pm
Allen G.:
I second DaSarge, who beat me to recommending the Battle Hymn. I'm a big advocate of replacing the unsingable Star-Spangled Banner with the Battle Hymn for years. Forget the bland America the Beautiful, we need something as rousing and as lusty as La Marsailles; and it's got a heck of a better moral angle than the war of 1812.
5.27.2007 6:17pm
Casual Peruser:
Still in Saigon, Charlie Daniels Band:

Got on a plane in 'Frisco
And got off in Vietnam
I walked into a different world
The past forever gone

I could have gone to Canada
Or I could have stayed in school
But I was brought up differently
I couldn't break the rules

Thirteen months and fifteen days
The last ones were the worst
One minute I'd kneel down and pray
And the next I'd stand and curse

No place to run to
Where I did not feel that war
When I got home I stayed alone
And checked behind each door

Cuz I'm still in Saigon
Still in Saigon
I am still in Saigon
In my mind

The ground at home was covered in snow
And I was covered in sweat
My younger brother calls me a killer
And my daddy calls me a vet

Everybody says I'm someone else
And I'm sick and there's no cure
Damned if I know who I am
There was only one place I was sure

When i was still in Saigon
Still in saigon
I am still in saigon
In my mind

Every summer when it rains
I smell the jungle, I hear the planes
I can't tell no one, I feel ashamed
Afraid some day I'll go insane

That's been ten long years ago
And time has gone on by
Now and then I catch myself
Eyes searching through the sky

All the sounds of long ago
Will be forever in my head
Mingled with the wounded cries
And the silence of the dead

'Cuz I'm still in Saigon
Still in Saigon
I am still in Saigon
In my mind

I am still in Saigon
I am still in Saigon
Yes, I'm still in Saigon
In my mind
5.27.2007 8:41pm
Brett Bellmore:
I'm fond of the national anthem. Especially the parts they never get around to singing...


O say, can you see, by the dawn's early light,
What so proudly we hail'd at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro' the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watch'd, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro' the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore dimly seen thro' the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected, now shines on the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner: O, long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more?
Their blood has wash'd out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

O thus be it ever when free-men shall stand
Between their lov'd home and the war's desolation;
Blest with vict'ry and peace, may the heav'n-rescued land
Praise the Pow'r that hath made and preserv'd us a nation!
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust!"
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

5.27.2007 8:58pm
Eric S Atkinson (mail):
Luck Man Emerson Lake and Palmer

He had white horses
And ladies by the score
All dressed in satin
And waiting by the door

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

White lace and feathers
They made up his bed
A gold covered mattress
On which he was laid

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

He went to fight wars
For his country and his king
Of his honor and his glory
The people would sing

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was

A bullet had found him
His blood ran as he cried
No money could save him
So he laid down and he died

Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
Ooooh, what a lucky man he was
5.27.2007 9:05pm
DiversityHire:
New Order's Love Vigilantes
=========================
Oh Ive just come
From the land of the sun
From a war that must be won
In the name of truth
With our soldiers so brave
Your freedom we will save
With our rifles and grenades
And some help from god
I want to see my family
My wife and child waiting for me
Ive got to go home
Ive been so alone, you see

You just cant believe
The joy I did recieve
When I finally got my leave
And I was going home
Oh I flew through the sky
My convictions could not lie
For my country I would die
And I will see it soon
I want to see my family
My wife and child waiting for me
Ive got to go home
Ive been so alone, you see

When I walked through the door
My wife she lay upon the floor
And with tears her eyes were sore
I did not know why
Then I looked into her hand
And I saw the telegram
That said that I was a brave, brave man
But that I was dead

I want to see my family
My wife and child waiting for me
Ive got to go home
Ive been so alone, you see
5.27.2007 9:14pm
JB:
"Willie McBride," or "Green Fields of France," sung by many a Celtic folk band, is one of the great "support the troops, oppose the war" songs of the 20th century.

Well, how do you do, Private William McBride,
Do you mind if I sit down here by your graveside?
And rest for awhile in the warm summer sun,
I've been walking all day, and I'm nearly done.
And I see by your gravestone you were only 19
When you joined the glorious fallen in 1916,
Well, I hope you died quick and I hope you died clean
Or, Willie McBride, was it slow and obscene?

Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

And did you leave a wife or a sweetheart behind
In some loyal heart is your memory enshrined?
And, though you died back in 1916,
To that loyal heart are you forever 19?
Or are you a stranger without even a name,
Forever enshrined behind some glass pane,
In an old photograph, torn and tattered and stained,
And fading to yellow in a brown leather frame?

Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

The sun's shining down on these green fields of France;
The warm wind blows gently, and the red poppies dance.
The trenches have vanished long under the plow;
No gas and no barbed wire, no guns firing now.
But here in this graveyard that's still No Man's Land
The countless white crosses in mute witness stand
To man's blind indifference to his fellow man.
And a whole generation who were butchered and damned.

Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?

And I can't help but wonder, no Willie McBride,
Do all those who lie here know why they died?
Did you really believe them when they told you "The Cause?"
Did you really believe that this war would end wars?
Well the suffering, the sorrow, the glory, the shame
The killing, the dying, it was all done in vain,
For Willie McBride, it all happened again,
And again, and again, and again, and again.

Did they Beat the drum slowly, did the play the pipes lowly?
Did the rifles fir o'er you as they lowered you down?
Did the bugles sound The Last Post in chorus?
Did the pipes play the Flowers of the Forest?
5.27.2007 9:47pm
Porkchop:
DaSarge has it right.
5.27.2007 11:42pm
therut:
I vote for Arlington by Trace Adkins. That guy can sing and make the young and old girls hearts beat heavy. I also like the 1814 song as my Momma taught it to me at a very, very young age. Used to sing it to me when she laid me down for a nap. Yea, those were great times.
5.28.2007 1:35am
TokyoTom (mail):
The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil
(M. Jagger/K. Richards)

Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
I've been around for a long, long years
Stole many a man's soul and faith

And I was 'round when Jesus Christ
Had his moment of doubt and pain
Made damn sure that Pilate
Washed his hands and sealed his fate

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game

I stuck around St. Petersburg
When I saw it was a time for a change
Killed the czar and his ministers
Anastasia screamed in vain

I rode a tank
Held a general's rank
When the blitzkrieg raged
And the bodies stank

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
Ah, what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
(woo woo, woo woo)

I watched with glee
While your kings and queens
Fought for ten decades
For the gods they made
(woo woo, woo woo)

I shouted out,
"Who killed the Kennedys?"
When after all
It was you and me
(who who, who who)

Let me please introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste
And I laid traps for troubadours
Who get killed before they reached Bombay
(woo woo, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
(who who)
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
(who who, who who)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
But what's confusing you
Is just the nature of my game
(woo woo, who who)

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
'Cause I'm in need of some restraint
(who who, who who)

So if you meet me
Have some courtesy
Have some sympathy, and some taste
(woo woo)
Use all your well-learned politesse
Or I'll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
(woo woo, woo woo)

Pleased to meet you
Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
(who who)
But what's puzzling you
Is the nature of my game, um mean it, get down
(woo woo, woo woo)

Woo, who
Oh yeah, get on down
Oh yeah
Oh yeah!
(woo woo)

Tell me baby, what's my name
Tell me honey, can ya guess my name
Tell me baby, what's my name
I tell you one time, you're to blame

Oh, who
woo, woo
Woo, who
Woo, woo
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah

What's my name
Tell me, baby, what's my name
Tell me, sweetie, what's my name

Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Woo, who, who
Oh, yeah
Woo woo
Woo woo

Lyrics from www.lyrics007.com

Number 2 of the National Review's 50 greatest conservative rock songs.
5.28.2007 6:40am
Zevatron (mail):
Perhaps it would be more appropriate for ANZAC Day, but the sentiments are the same: "And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda" by The Poques


When I was a young man I carried my pack
And I lived the free life of a rover
From the Murrays green basin to the dusty outback
I waltzed my Matilda all over
Then in nineteen fifteen my country said Son
It's time to stop rambling 'cause there's work to be done
So they gave me a tin hat and they gave me a gun
And they sent me away to the war
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we sailed away from the quay
And amidst all the tears and the shouts and the cheers
We sailed off to Gallipoli

How well I remember that terrible day
How the blood stained the sand and the water
And how in that hell that they called Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter
Johnny Turk he was ready, he primed himself well
He chased us with bullets, he rained us with shells
And in five minutes flat he'd blown us all to hell
Nearly blew us right back to Australia
But the band played Waltzing Matilda
As we stopped to bury our slain
We buried ours and the Turks buried theirs
Then we started all over again

Now those that were left, well we tried to survive
In a mad world of blood, death and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
But around me the corpses piled higher
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over tit
And when I woke up in my hospital bed
And saw what it had done, I wished I was dead
Never knew there were worse things than dying
For no more I'll go waltzing Matilda
All around the green bush far and near
For to hump tent and pegs, a man needs two legs
No more waltzing Matilda for me

So they collected the cripples, the wounded, the maimed
And they shipped us back home to Australia
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla
And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity
And the band played Waltzing Matilda
As they carried us down the gangway
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared
Then turned all their faces away

And now every April I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me
And I watch my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams of past glory
And the old men march slowly, all bent, stiff and sore
The forgotten heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask, "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question
And the band plays Waltzing Matilda
And the old men answer to the call
But year after year their numbers get fewer
Some day no one will march there at all

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda
Who'll come a waltzing Matilda with me
And their ghosts may be heard as you pass the Billabong
Who'll come-a-waltzing Matilda with me?
5.28.2007 9:33am
Rallyer (mail):


Oh, we'll rally round the flag, boys, we'll rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom,
We will rally from the hillside, we'll gather from the plain,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


(Chorus)
The Union forever! Hurrah, boys, hurrah!
Down with the traitors, up with the stars;
While we rally round the flag, boys, rally once again,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


We are springing to the call of our brothers gone before,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll fill our vacant ranks with a million free men more,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


Chorus

We will welcome to our numbers the loyal, true and brave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And although they may be poor, not a man shall be a slave,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!


Chorus

So we're springing to the call from the East and from the West,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!
And we'll hurl the rebel crew from the land we love best,
Shouting the battle cry of freedom!

A lot better than the phoney "I support the troops, but not what they're doing."


Chorus
5.28.2007 10:13am
Anon Reader:
I'm shocked no-one suggested Dire Straigts, Brothers in Arms;

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn
To be brothers in arm

Through these fields of destruction
Baptism of fire
I've watched all your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell
And the moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We're fools to make war
On our brothers in arms
5.28.2007 11:21am
jimbino (mail):
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
5.28.2007 12:44pm
Adler Colleague:
I like the simple Civil War tune:

When Johnny comes marching home again,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give him a hearty welcome then
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout
The ladies they will all turn out
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

The old church bell will peal with joy
Hurrah! Hurrah!
To welcome home our darling boy,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The village lads and lassies say
With roses they will strew the way,
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

Get ready for the Jubilee,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give the hero three times three,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The laurel wreath is ready now
To place upon his loyal brow
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home.

Let love and friendship on that day,
Hurrah, hurrah!
Their choicest pleasures then display,
Hurrah, hurrah!
And let each one perform some part,
To fill with joy the warrior's heart,
And we'll all feel gay when Johnny comes marching home



Suggestion:

How about blog participants providing their Memorial Day stories?

My Mom and Dad were in their thirties when WWII began. Dad was an officer in the Army reserve. When his unit was called up, he resigned his commission and joined the U.S. Marine Corps, to be sure he would be sent to the Pacific Theater. He went through Pairs Island at age 36 and saw action at Saipan, Tinian, Iwo Jima and Okinawa. Mom worked at the Naval Weapons Laboratory, developing mines. This with two young sons at home. I came along after the war as surprise package when they were in their forties. I was raised with an abiding respect for the United States and its founding principles.

On Memorial Day, I think of my great-grandfather, a Captain in the Army of the Potomac, wounded at Gettysburg, my Uncle Joe who flew B-24's, my cousin Jay, highly decorated Marine in Korea, and especially my Mom and Dad. Where do we get such people?
5.28.2007 1:18pm
Steve Lubet (mail):
If anyone reads down this far, please note that "The Battle of New Orleans" was written by high school principal Jimmy Driftwood, not Johnny Horton. Johnny Horton, a popular and established recording artist, made it into a hit single, so it is not completely surprising that it won a Grammy
5.28.2007 6:37pm
whit:
8th of November by Big and Rich


He said goodbye to his momma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue
He was 19 in green with a new M-16
Just doin' what he had to do.

He was dropped in the jungle
Where the choppers would rumble
With the smell of napalm in the air
Then the sargeant said, "Look up ahead"

And like a dark, evil cloud
1,200 came down
on him and 29 more
They fought for their lives
But most of them died
In the 173rd Airborne

Chorus
On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin'
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin' down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin' that day
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November

Now he's 58
And his ponytails grey
But the battle still plays in his head
He limps when he walks,
But he's strong when he talks
About the shrapnel they left in leg

He puts on a grey suit
Over his airborne tattoo
He ties it on one time a year
And remembers the fallen,
As he orders a tall one
And swallows it down with his tears

Chorus
On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin'
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin' down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin' that day
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November

Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965

Chorus
On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin'
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin' down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin' that day

Chorus
On the 8th of November,
The angels were cryin'
As they carried his brothers away
With the fire rainin' down
And the Hell all around
There were few men left standin' that day
Saw the eagle fly,
Through a clear, blue sky
1965, the 8th of November

The 8th of November
The 8th of November

He said goodbye to his momma
As he left South Dakota
To fight for the Red, White, and Blue
He was 19 in green with a new M-16
Just doin' what he had to do.
5.28.2007 6:42pm
Alaska:
How about 'Memorial Day' by James McMurtry:

Mama keeps tryin' to get the game on the radio
Daddy's gotta know the score
There's a big yellow thing on a flat bed trailer
Wonder what that thing's for
We got towels rolled up in the back seat window
Keeping us out of the sun
Just a hundred more miles and we'll be at grandma's
Sure is gonna be fun
Maybe she'll take us fishin'
Maybe she'll bake us a pieRemember like she did that one time
Back before grandpa died

It's Memorial Day in America
Everybody's on the road
Let's remember our fallen heroes
Y'all be sure and drive slow

Ninety eight degrees in the shade of the tool shed
Can't go back in the house
They're all in the kitchen yellin' 'bout something
Don't know what it's about
Joey 'n Mary said not to worry
Said it's just the same old fight
Happens whenever they all get together
Everything's really alright

It's Memorial Day in America
This is how it's supposed to be
Let's remember our fallen heroes
In the land of the free

Daddy's in the big chair sippin' on a cold beer
Grandma's cuttin' a switch
She overheard Mary cussin' her brother
Called him a son of a bitch
She got a good green limb off a sweet gum sapling
Man that's bound to sting

But Mary don't cry just stands there and takes it
Doesn't seem to feel a thing
No Mary don't cry, you know she's a big girl
Wonder what made her so mad
She takes those licks looking in through the den door
Staring right straight at her dad

There's a big yellow thing on a flat bed trailer
Daddy nearly hit that bird
They're both in the front seat
Starin' right straight ahead
Neither one saying a word
The sun's going down in the rear view mirror
Gonna be driving all night
Wonder if the neighbor's fed the canary
Wonder if the cat's alright
5.28.2007 8:46pm
Fub:
The Vacant Chair by George Frederick Root, aka G. Friedrich Wurzel, 1820-1895, who also wrote The Battle Cry of Freedom noted by Rallyer above at 5.28.2007 9:13am.

Root wrote The Vacant Chair shortly after the outbreak of the Civil War.

Both sets of lyrics can be found at Benjamin Robert Tubb's excellent collection of American public domain music.
THE VACANT CHAIR
Words by H.S. Washburn
Music by George F. Root (1861)

We shall meet but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.
When one year ago we gathered,
Joy was in his mild blue eye.
Now the golden cord is severed,
And our hopes in ruin lie.

CHORUS: We shall meet, but we shall miss him.
There will be one vacant chair.
We shall linger to caress him
While we breathe our ev'ning prayer.

At our fireside, sad and lonely,
Often will the bosom swell
At remembrance of the story
How our noble Willie fell.
How he strove to bear the banner
Thro' the thickest of the fight
And uphold our country's honor
In the strength of manhood's might.

CHORUS

True, they tell us wreaths of glory
Evermore will deck his brow,
But this soothes the anguish only,
Sweeping o'er our heartstrings now.
Sleep today, O early fallen,
In thy green and narrow bed.
Dirges from the pine and cypress
Mingle with the tears we shed.

CHORUS
5.28.2007 11:23pm
Waldensian (mail):
This song was the background music to a soldier's video about Iraq, on YouTube. Maybe it's well known; I don't know much about music and had never heard of the song or band. Maybe it's an appropriate song for Memorial Day.

Flogging Molly - If I Ever Leave This World Alive

If I ever leave this world alive
I'll thank for all the things you did in my life
If I ever leave this world alive
I'll come back down and sit beside your
feet tonight
Wherever I am you'll always be
More than just a memory
If I ever leave this world alive

If I ever leave this world alive
I'll take on all the sadness
That I left behind
If I ever leave this world alive
The madness that you feel will soon subside
So in a word don't shed a tear
I'll be here when it all gets weird
If I ever leave this world alive

So when in doubt just call my name
Just before you go insane
If I ever leave this world
Hey I may never leave this world
But if I ever leave this world alive

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would,
Now everything should be all right

She says I'm okay; I'm alright,
Though you have gone from my life
You said that it would,
Now everything should be all right
Yeah should be alright
5.28.2007 11:29pm
amliebsch:
I listened, as I usually do on Memorial Day, to one of my favorite, songs, the Ballad of the Green Beret:

Fighting soldiers from the sky
Fearless men who jump and die
Men who mean just what they say
The brave men of the Green Beret

Silver wings upon their chest
These are men, America's best
One hundred men will test today
But only three win the Green Beret

Trained to live off nature's land
Trained in combat, hand-to-hand
Men who fight by night and day
Courage peak from the Green Berets

Silver wings upon their chest
These are men, America's best
One hundred men will test today
But only three win the Green Beret

Back at home a young wife waits
Her Green Beret has met his fate
He has died for those oppressed
Leaving her his last request

Put silver wings on my son's chest
Make him one of America's best
He'll be a man they'll test one day
Have him win the Green Beret.

Thinking about something more nontraditional, Iron Maiden has lots of good, hard-driving songs with appropriate lyrics and themes, e.g. Where Eagles Dare, recounting an actual historical event:

Its snowing outside the rumbling sound
Of engines roar in the night
The mission is near the confident men
Are waiting to drop from the sky

The blizzard goes on but still they must fly
No one should go where eagles dare
Bavarian alps that lay all around
They seem to stare from below
The enemy lines a long time passed
Are lying deep in the snow

Into the night they fall through the sky
No one should fly where eagles dare

Theyre closing in the fortress is near
Its standing high in the sky
The cable cars the only way in
Its really impossible to climb

They make their way but maybe too late
Theyve got to try to save the day

The panicking cries the roaring of guns
Are echoing all round the valley
The mission complete the make to escape
Away from the eagles nest

They dared to go where no one would try
They chose to fly where eagles dare

See also, The Trooper (recounting the Charge of the Light Brigade), Aces High, and Die With Your Boots On by the same band.
5.29.2007 1:15pm
JosephSlater (mail):
Shout out to Alaska for suggesting a song by James McMurtry, a guy who I think is the best U.S. singer-songwriter-guitarist around today.

Surprised nobody has mentioned Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A.": if you can find his live acoustic versions, they are chilling.

This isn't the right place to get into an argument over the stuff Dasarge said, but I'll just say at miniimum he makes a false dichotomy by folks who like anti-war songs haven't actually fought themselves.
5.29.2007 1:27pm
JosephSlater (mail):
"a false dichotomy by ASSUMING THAT folks who like anti-war songs haven't actually fought themselves."
5.29.2007 2:36pm