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Shot At Dawn (The Ballad of Harry Farr)

Huw Pudner
Lingua: Inglese


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Harry Farr, soldato di Sua Maestà Giorgio V di Windsor, cominciò a combattere nelle trincee sul fronte francese fin dal 1914. Nella primavera del 1915 la sua posizione fu pesantemente e ripetutamente bombardata dalle batterie nemiche. Si salvò, ma ne uscì traumatizzato, tanto da essere ricoverato per una sindrome convulsiva dovuta, probabilmente, alle lesioni subite all'udito a causa delle esplosioni. Dimesso, fu rispedito a combattere nella trincee della Somme. Dopo alcuni mesi Harry Farr chiese di marcar visita ma gli fu negato. Allora si rifiutò di combattere. La corte marziale lo condannò a morte, soprattutto grazie alla testimonianza di un ufficiale che dichiarò di aver intimato ad Harry Farr: "If you don't go up to the fucking front, I'm going to fucking blow your brains out!", a cui Harry Farr semplicemente rispose: "I just can't go on". Il soldato Harry Farr fu fucilato il 16 ottobre 1916.

Harry Farr fu riabilitato 90 anni dopo, nel 2006, dopo una lunga campagna portata avanti dalla sua famiglia.


Testo trovato su Mudcat come attribuito a tal Huw Pudner, ma la paternità mi pare controversa perchè qui invece si parla di tal Simon Coulson e del gruppo The Boatmen...
At five in the morning
As daylight was dawning
Harry Farr was taken out
From his cold cell
He'd been filled up with morphine
Oh the sights that he'd seen
But Harry was sick
Of the sound of the shells

At first light we are told
He refused a blindfold
He stared at his comrades
And he stood brave and tall
The order was given
His life cruelly taken
And Harry was shot
An example to all.

Damn all the generals
In their headquarters
It would have been better
If they'd never been born
A sick man they accused
A brave man they abused
He was tied to a post
And shot dead at dawn

The fat swarms of flies
The curses the cries
The dead and the dying
Out in No Mans Land
The artillery fire
The rolls of barbed wire
The bearers with stretchers
Barely able to stand.

Up there in the trenches
In the mud and the madness
The shock of the shelling
Made him sick of the fight
Last night he was sentenced
By a drumhead court martial
To be tied to a post
And shot at first light.

Damn all the generals
In their headquarters
It would have been better
If they'd never been born
A sick man they accused
A brave man they abused
He was tied to a post
And shot dead at dawn

Oh, his wife sits at home
She sits all alone
They took her war pension
To rub salt in her grief
On Remembrance Day Morn
Harry's still shot at dawn
And the veterans march past
Their commander in chief.

So many years on
The soldiers have gone
Young Harry's been pardoned
With the stroke of a pen
But what of the leaders
Who send men to the slaughter?
They are still free
To start wars once again.

Damn all the generals
In their headquarters
It would have been better
If they'd never been born
A sick man they accused
A brave man they abused
He was tied to a post
And shot dead at dawn

Damn all the generals
In their headquarters
It would have been better
If they'd never been born
A sick man they accused
A brave man they abused
He was tied to a post
And shot dead at dawn

inviata da Alessandro - 29/9/2009 - 23:30



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