Rumours of War – Fridays with Billy

This song is – must be – about what came to be known as the World Wars, but which at the time were just wars, which people found themselves having to face, one death, one battle, one horrific new fact at a time.

But it’s about all of the wars, really, and all of us, and the music makes my throat ache even before the words begin.

There are soldiers marching on the common today
They were there again this evening
They paced up and down like sea birds on the ground
Before the storm clouds gathering

I must buy whatever tinned food is left on the shelves
They are testing the air raid sirens
They’ve filled up the blood banks and emptied the beds
At the hospital and the asylum

I saw a man build a shelter in his garden today
As we stood there idly chatting
He said “no
no I don’t think was will come”
Yet still he carried on digging

Everything in my life that I love
Could be swept away without warning
Yet the birds still sing and the church bells ring
And the sun came up this morning

Life goes on as it did before
As the country drifts slowly to war

What is Fridays with Billy?

2 Comments

  1. dmf

     /  January 6, 2012

    And They Obey

    Smash down the cities.
    Knock the walls to pieces.
    Break the factories and cathedrals, warehouses
    and homes
    Into loose piles of stone and lumber and black
    burnt wood:
    You are the soldiers and we command you.
    Build up the cities.
    Set up the walls again.
    Put together once more the factories and cathedrals,
    warehouses and homes
    Into buildings for life and labor:
    You are workmen and citizens all: We
    command you.

    Carl Sandburg

    • Killing in the name of!
      Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
      Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
      Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
      Some of those that work forces, are the same that burn crosses
      Huh!

      Killing in the name of!
      Killing in the name of

      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      And now you do what they told ya
      But now you do what they told ya
      Well now you do what they told ya

      Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
      You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
      Those who died are justified, for wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites
      You justify those that died by wearing the badge, they’re the chosen whites