Grandma's Battlecry - Irene Paul, barbara Tilson

    It's blowing in the wind again
    It's drifting in the rain
    Before the dead have moldered yet
    Or wounded healed their pain
    I am so old, my grandsons,
    That I remember when
    I marched to hail the Armistice
    I was barely ten

    That was the war to end all wars
    To save democracy
    Praise God, they said,
    We've won the peace
    For all eternity
    I marched for Spain when Some years passed
    And marched and marched and then
    Another war to end all wars
    And So I marched again

    I marched in Minneapolis
    Chicago and Duluth
    In San Francisco and New York
    I marched to shout the truth
    I marched in Hiroshima
    And knealt before a stash
    Of tens of millions bones of people
    Atomized to ash
    And with the distant rumble
    Of new regiments of men
    I read the warning on the tomb
    "This must not be again"

    I marched to staunch Korea's blood
    I marched for Vietnam
    I marched to stop the napalm and
    I marched to stop the bomb
    I marched and marched and marched, Oh Lord
    I'm sure I've done my due
    I marched since I was barely ten
    And now I'm seventy-two

    I should be lying in the sun
    Or dreaming in the grass
    But how, when generals everywhere
    Are polishing their brass
    Entranced with dreams of four-star roles
    So help me, lord, they're glad
    It's said that whom the gods destroy
    They first must render mad

    Their burning eyes see no-man's land
    And armies poised for action
    And you, my warm and loving ones,
    You're merely an abstraction

    It's geopolitics again
    And oh, with what finesse
    The players push their pawns about
    These masterminds of chess
    How cunningly they plot each move
    How skillfully they spar
    And checkmate one another
    Like the masters that they are

    How stimulating, how intense
    A world to lose or gain
    Except for one dismaying fact
    The players are insane
    Controlled, dispassionate they play
    This game that madness spawns
    And I can't even look away
    My children are the pawns

    [Repeat Chorus]

    Some people keep on fighting
    When they've lost an arm or leg
    Some still keep up the struggle
    When they're fragile as an egg
    I've heard men rasping, "I object!"
    With voices turned to gravel
    I've seen a woman raise a fist
    Who couldn't lift a gavel

    And even with a broken heart
    One still can make a stand
    So lead, my children, lead the way
    Reach back and take my hand
    We'll march again, confound them all
    Don't quibble at my age
    I'll shield you with my brittle bones
    I'll nourish you with rage

    [Repeat Chorus]

    © 1980, Words by Irene Paul, Music by Barbara Tilson


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