The Soldier

I fought for Harold up north and marched once more to Battle.
On the beaches of France, I ducked the bombers and the tracers of machine gun rattle.
I marched with Percy at Shrewsbury and laid my life down for the white rose.
I lifted my bow at Azincourt for the red, and again at Bosworth for my king against his foes.
In my coat of red and green, khaki and sand,
I’ve fought the enemies of my leaders with my merry band.
And sometimes my brothers fell beneath my sword, as England tore itself apart,
When we killed our king and lost both our way and our heart.
I was for both parliament in t’early days and crown upon the latter,
And at the Boyne I lifted my musket for Orange and afore it, the papists did scatter,
And at Waterloo, in my coat of green I raised my rifle as we watched Boney run.
I’ve lived my life by the sound of the battle, the carnage, cannon and the drum.
Where in the bleak south Atlantic, or the North African plains,
I considered only fleeting the losses we bore and our gains.
I’ve raised my rifle to orders from above and thought not about the cause I fight.
Whether ’tis a just one we do, or wrong or right.
And then I wonder sometimes if I’d not been ready to die,
Shed my blood on Flanders fields – the dirt of some foreign land,
Could those wars be fought at all, if the men who started them had to die hand to hand?
I slew my brothers in coats of blue and grey,
And I think of those who sent me; they I serve,
I wonder sometimes, now, what they are worth,
Those soulless men who threw my life away,
For y’know, I wouldn’t give ’em, the bastards, the time of day.