Monday, May 25, 2009

And the Band Played the Star Spangled Banner

This song is based on "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda," the lyrics changed to reflect not the "War to End All Wars," but the Second World War that followed the First, and the USA rather than Australia...

And the Band Played the Star Spangled Banner (Lyrics)

From Prarie Home Companion Saturday, May 29, 2004

Now when I was a young man and loose and free
And I followed a young man's drummer
I hitch-hiked from New York to Yosemite
And led me a beautiful summer

Then in December, nineteen forty-one
I heard the call, there was work to be done.
I joined the Army and they gave me a gun
And they shipped me away to the war...

And the band played the Star Spangled Banner
As the ship pulled away from the shore
And amidst all the cheers, the music, and the tears
We sailed off to fight in the war.

And how well I remember how at Anzio
We strolled to the beach through the water
And the counterattack was a powerful blow
And we fell like lambs at the slaughter.
Who misread the enemy? Too late to tell.
We were pounded by bullets and bombs and by shell
And in two days they blew us to hell
Nearly blew us right back to New Jersey.

And the band played the Star Spangled Banner
As the flag was raised on the hill
We bowed our heads as we buried our dead
Then we went back to maim and to kill.

We marched north through Italy, tried to survive
In that mad world of death, blood and fire
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
As the death toll got higher and higher
In a field north of Rome I raised up my head
And when I awoke in my hospital bed
And saw what had happened, I wished I was dead
And I lay there a month without talking.

They collected the wounded, the crippled, the maimed
And shipped us back home to New Jersey.
The legless, the armless, the blind, the insane
The proud, wounded heroes of Italy.
And when I was carried back to Fort Lee
I looked at the place where my legs used to be
And thanked Christ there was no one there waiting for me
To grieve and to mourn and to pity

And the band played the Star Spangled Banner
As we came to the U.S.A.
But nobody cheered, they just stood there and stared
Then they turned their faces away

So now on Memorial Day on my porch
I watch the parade pass before me
I see my old comrades, how proudly they march
Reliving old dreams and past glories
And the old men march slowly, their bones stiff and sore
Tired old men from a long ago war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask myself the same question

But the band plays the Star Spangled Banner
And the old men answer the call
But year after year, those old men disappear
Soon no one will march there at all...

Dedicated to all who fell, and to my Great-Uncle Fred who survived this event and all that followed, and to the end of the outdated notion of War...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Call 800-517-5696 today

Call 800-517-5696 today to protest more war funding!

Dear Friend,

Do you want the United States government to spend tens of billions of dollars more to fund the war in Iraq and expand the war in Afghanistan?
Next week, your representative will be asked to vote on a war supplemental bill that would do just that.
Call toll-free on May 12800-517-5696
Say no to more spending on two wars. Urge your representative to use our tax dollars to
bring the troops home
take care of them upon their return
rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan
take care of health, education, and energy here at home
Please join a national call-in day organized by our friends at FCNL to oppose more war funding.
The U.S. government already spends $1.9 million every minute on the military — and that doesn't include funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
With your help we can make a difference. Please call today.

Laurie Creasy,

American Friends Service Committee

Forward this message to your friends.

American Friends Service Committee

1501 Cherry Street

Philadelphia, PA 19102