Normandy Orchards

Keith Marsden
Language: English

Lyrics and Music by Keith Marsden
Testo e musica di Keith Marsden

Da/From The Mudcat Café
They're building a camp on the cornfields at Arlingham,
Bulldozers churning and changing the land,
Long barbed-wire fences and acres of tarmac
Nissen huts raised where the crops used to stand,
Wide-eyed young village-girls giggling and staring,
At tanks and transporters that darken the sky,
There's convoys of lorries with fresh faces peering out,
So many young men come learning to die.

They say you can still hear the village-hall band,
Grey, ghostly couples still glide round the floor,
But Normandy orchards were waiting to welcome
New partners for death in the mad dance of war.

Mother has started a "comforts committee"
But Reverend John's more concerned about sin,
Hughes at The White Swan is rubbing his hands a lot,
Watching the troops and the profits roll in,
Eager young squaddies with overdone courtesy
Tipping their caps to the girls going by,
But too soon from school to be licentious soldiery,
So many young men come learning to die.

And mother would have a "blue fit" if she knew about
Lieutenant Johnson and walks in the wood,
She's laid down the law and she's always gone on about
Men being beasts, so a girl must be good.
But even she'd laugh at our clumsy propriety,
Me far too fearful and he far too shy,
She might even pity his lonely bewilderment,
One of the young men come learning to die.

And peace came to Arlingham many long years ago,
Time passing by healed the scars on the land,
Tanks on the village green just a fond memory,
Now corn grows again where the huts used to stand,
Yet as I walk in the fields on a summer's night,
By the trees' edge when the wind starts to sigh,
I still hear their voices all rising in harmony;
Lost, wasted, young men come learning to die.

Contributed by Riccardo Venturi - 2005/11/30 - 13:43

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