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[personal profile] redstapler

Lyrics and Music: Steve and Rob Ritchie

Raise your flask, aim your rifles high
I've had a dream, I've seen we three should have no fear at all
You'll die in Kenora, Billy; you, Jim, in Winnipeg
And I will end my days in Montreal

These people come to see me in my bedroom
With faces dim and names I can't recall
Some woman with a golden ring she comes to comb my hair
Then she dresses me and walks me down the hall
Well I can still put one foot before the other,
If someone points the way for me to go
Today the sun is shining and a crowd has gathered 'round
They put circles of red flowers on the stone


Old Jim Rankin stood behind me in the tunnel
Spat on his bayonet and he wiped it with his hand
And he rocked from heel to heel, blew out his cheeks and whistled
While we waited for the signal to advance
Jimmy Rankin he was twenty and we thought him an old man
He said he'd fathered children by the score
By girls back in Winnipeg and girls in Calais
And he bragged, by God, there'd be a hundred more


And Billy Whitefish from Kenora: jet black hair and eyes like coal
We all called him 'Chief' behind his back
He never smiled or laughed or joked or spoke that much at all
Just sat and smoked while we waited to attack
Well they poured shells over our heads into the hillside
In thirty yards our kit and boots were full of mud
But as we made the ridge, Jimmy went down on both knees
And he coughed into his sleeve and there was blood


The last sound I ever heard was an explosion
And bodies flew like apples thrown by boys play
When I could see again, I was alone Jimmy wasn't there
And a crater marked the hillside where he'd lain
And Billy Whitefish from Kenora wound up in a German trench
Where he captured their machine gun all alone
And held them off until his ammunition was all spent
And they swarmed around and they hacked him to the bone


Now every day I still remember what I told them
My two friends who that day from this earth were torn
And the craters and the trenches where they died now bear the names
Of the cities and the towns where they were born


Cross-posting goodness! Comment where you wish!

on 2011-11-11 05:43 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
Thanks for sharing that. I didn't know they'd gone to Vimy to record it.

I <3 Tanglefoot and that's one of their most affecting historical songs.

on 2011-11-11 07:02 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]

I posted the same video last year, and you were the sole commenter!

And of all the things I could imagine posting for this day, even though it's for the Canadian Armed Forces, I feel it's reverent enough for all countries' veterans.

on 2011-11-12 12:15 am (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile]
And I clearly forgot it, so you were right to post it again.

Sometimes I feel as thought Canadians feel the 'Great' war more than World War II, because we were invested in it so early.

Thanks again :)


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A Punk Rock Joan Holloway Trying To Be Ianto Jones

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