Why Old Men Cry

Dick Gaughan
Lingua: Inglese

I walked from Ypres to Passchendale
In the first gray days of spring
Through flatland fields where life goes on
And carefree children sing
Round rows of ancient tombstones
Where a generation lies
And at last I understood
Why old men cry

My mother's father walked these fields
Some eighty years ago
He was half the age that I am now
No way that he could know
That his unborn grandchild someday
Would cross his path this way
And stand here
Where his fallen comrades lay

He'd been dead a quarter century
By the time that I was born
The mustard gas which swept the trenches
Ripped apart his lungs
Another name and number
Among millions there who died
And at last I understood
Why old men cry

I walked from Leith to Newtongrange
At the turning of the year
Through desolate communities
And faces gaunt with fear
Past bleak, abandoned pitheads
Where rich seams of coal still lie
And at last I understood
Why old men cry

My father helped to win the coal
That lay neath Lothian's soil
A life of bitter hardship
The reward for years of toil
But he tried to teach his children
There was more to life than this
Working all your life
To make some fat cat rich

I walked from Garve to Ullapool
As the dawn light kissed the earth
And breathed the awesome beauty
Of this land that gave me birth
I looked into the future
Saw a people proud and free
As I looked along Loch Broom
Out to the sea

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