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WAR

From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli,
We have f------d the whores and drunk the booze
Just to prove virility.
We have used pro kits and rubbers
To keep our peckers clean;
Still we have the highest VD rate.
We're United States Marines.
--Anonymous

AN IRISH AIRMAN FORESEES HIS DEATH
William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)
I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My country is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

AROUND HER NECK SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON
Yellow ribbon was for the cavalry; song revived for World War I
Around her neck she wore a yellow ribbon
She wore it in December and in the month of May,
And if you asked her why the decoration,
She said 'twas for her lover who was far, far away.
      Far, far away
      She wore it for a soldier who was far, far away

Above a grave she scattered yellow flowers,
She brought them in December and in the month of May,
And if you asked her why she came to bring them,
She said 'twas for a soldier who was six feet away.

BASE DETAILS
Siegried Sassoon (1886-1967)
If I were fierce, and bald, and short of breath,
          I’d live with scarlet Majors at the Base,
And speed glum heroes up the line to death.
          You’d see me with my puffy petulant face,
Guzzling and gulping in the best hotel,
          Reading the Roll of Honour. ‘Poor young chap,’
I’d say—‘I used to know his father well;
          Yes, we’ve lost heavily in this last scrape.’
And when the war is done and youth stone dead,
I’d toddle safely home and die--in bed.

CIVIL DEFENSE
Kenneth Burke (1897- )
No first-class war can now be fought
Till all that can be sold is bought.
So do get going helter-skelter
And sell each citizen a shelter
Wherein, while being bomed and strafed, he
Can reek and retch and rot in perfect safety.

EARTH
John Hall Wheelock (1886-1978)
“A planet doesn’t explode of itself,” said drily
The Martian astronomer, gazing off into the air--
“That they were able to do it is proof that highly
Intelligent beings must have been living there.”

GI
Larry Rubin (1930--)
war is done mother
& I have come back
& not quite intact
what does it matter
make my bed soon make
it softly linen
with don & as fine
as a snow unpacked
leave a small candle
to baffle the dark
with the italics
of stars on my sill
the red mouth dries hard
& the loins lie black
& this is a pic
ture I have hoarded
in the odd winter
boyhood in the ice
of my burning eyes
make my bed mother

GRASS
Carl Sandburg (1878 - 1967)
Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—-
          I am the grass; I cover all.
And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
          What place is this?
          Where are we now?
I am the grass.
Let me work.

HERE DEAD WE LIE
A. E. Housman (1859–1936)
Here dead we lie
Because we did not choose
To live and shame the land
From which we sprung.

Life, to be sure,
Is nothing much to lose,
But young men think it is,
And we were young.

I WANT TO GO TO ANDORRA!
Val Shannon & Pete Seeger
In the mountains of the Pyrenees there is an independent state
Its populations five thousand souls and I think they're simply great.
One hundred and seventy square miles big, it's mighty plain to see:
Spends less'n five dollars on armaments, and this I've got to see!

It's governed by a council, all gentle souls and wise,
Spent only five dollars on armaments, and the rest on cakes and pies.
They didn't invest in tommyguns or a plane to sweep the sky.
But they bought some blanks for cap pistols to shoot on their 4th of July!

They live by the arts of farm and field, and by making shoes and hats;
They haven't got room in their tiny land for a horde of diplomats.
They haven't got room in their tiny land for armies to march about;
And if anyone comes with a war budget, they throw the rascals out.

There are no superhighways there, for where would the highways go?
They just slide down the Pyrenees whenever it starts to snow,
And when the springtime comes around, they love to sing and play,
And if anyone comes with a war budget, they holler, "Go away!"

IN FLANDERS FIELD
John McCrae (1872-1918)
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
      That mark our place; and in the sky
      The larks, still bravely singing, fly.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
      Loved and were loved, and now we lie
          In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
      The torch; be yours to hold it high.
      If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
      In Flanders fields.

JUST BEHIND THE BATTLE, MOTHER
Just behind the battle, Mother,
      I am slinking home to you;
For the cannon's rattle, Mother,
      Makes me feel uncommon blue.
I am not so fond of dying
      As my comrades seem to be,
So from the missles round me flying
      I am mizzling back to thee.
Chorus:
Mother, don't you hear the hissing
      Of the bulletses so plain?
I may be counted with the missing
      But never, never with the slain.

KITCHEN POLICE
Anonymous
K-K-K-KP,
Dirty old KP,
That's the only Army job that I abhor!
When the m-m-m-moon shines
Over the guardhouse,
I'll be mopping up the K-K-Kitchen floor!

MANILA
Eugene Fitch Ware (1841 - 1911)
Oh, dewy was the morning, the first of May,
And Dewey was the admiral, down in Manila Bay;
And dewy were the Regent's eyes, them royal orbs of blue,
And do we feel discouraged? We do not think we do!

PLAYING WAR
Malvina Reynolds (1900-1978), in 1964
There's a nameless war in Vietnam,
There's wars in many lands,
And my little boy in our back yard,
Has a toy gun in his hands,
And the big toymakers in Buffalo
Are getting my boy set to go,
But I say No and the kids say No,
We're playing war no more.

Today it's a plastic tank or plane,
Tomorrow it's for real;
Today it shoots a wooden shot,
Tomorrow the bullet's steel.
And the buyers in the department store
Are getting my boy ready for war,
But I say No and the kids says No,
We're playing war no more.

Well, a little red wagon on the hill
Can pull his pal along,
But we want no little revolver gun
To shoot his buddy down.
The factories run in old New York
to get him ready for the dirty work,
But I say No and the kids say No,
We're playing war no more.

There's many a boy like my own boy
Who's lying in the mud,
And his good young life was cut away
While it was in the bud.
So the stores that offer death for play
Will have to get rich some other way
'Cause I say No and the kids say No.
We're playing war no more.

Well, the Army brass and the CIA
Are hardly grown-up boys,
And they're playing now with atom bombs
As though they were plastic toys.
But the life of the world is on the throw,
And while there is time, we're shouting "No!"
We say No and the kids say No,
We're playing war no more.

PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMUNITION
Frank Loesser (1910-1969)
Down went the gunner, a bullet was his fate
Down went the gunner, and then the gunner’s mate.
Up jumped the sky pilot, gave the boys a look,
And manned the gun himself as he laid aside the Book, shouting:
“Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!
Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!
Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition!
And we’ll all stay free!
Praise the Lord, and swing into position!
Can’t afford to sit around a-wishin’,
Praise the Lord, we’re all between perdition
And the deep blue sea!”
Yes, the sky pilot said it—-
You’ve got to give him credit
For a son-of-a-gun of a gunner was he,
Shouting “Praise the Lord, we’re on a mighty mission.
All aboard! We’re not a-goin’ fishin’.
Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition
And we’ll all stay free!”

REVEILLE
Anonymous
I can't get them up, I can't get them up,
I can't get them up in the morning.
I can't get them up,
I can't get them up,
I can't get them up at all.
The corporal's worse than the privates,
The sergeants worse than the corporals,
Lieutenants are worse than sergeants,
And the captain's worst of all!

THE BAND PLAYED WALTZING MATILDA
Eric Bogle (1944--)
Now when I was a young man I carried me pack
And I lived the free life of the rover.
From the Murray's green basin to the dusty outback,
Well, I waltzed my Matilda all over.
Then in 1915, my country said, "Son,
It's time you stop ramblin', there's work to be done."
So they gave me a tin hat, and they gave me a gun,
And they marched me away to the war.

And the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As the ship pulled away from the quay,
And amidst all the cheers, the flag waving, and tears,
We sailed off for Gallipoli.

And how well I remember that terrible day,
How our blood stained the sand and the water;
And of how in that hell that they call Suvla Bay
We were butchered like lambs at the slaughter.
Johnny Turk, he was waitin', he primed himself well;
He showered us with bullets, and he rained us with shell --
And in five minutes flat, he'd blown us all to hell,
Nearly blew us right back to Australia.

But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
When we stopped to bury our slain,
Well, we buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs,
Then we started all over again.

And those that were left, well, we tried to survive
In that mad world of blood, death and fire.
And for ten weary weeks I kept myself alive
Though around me the corpses piled higher.
Then a big Turkish shell knocked me arse over head,
And when I woke up in me hospital bed
And saw what it had done, well, I wished I was dead --
Never knew there was worse things than dying.

For I'll go no more "Waltzing Matilda,"
All around the green bush far and free --
To hump tents and pegs, a man needs both legs,
No more "Waltzing Matilda" for me.

So they gathered the crippled, the wounded, the maimed,
And they shipped us back home to Australia.
The armless, the legless, the blind, the insane,
Those proud wounded heroes of Suvla.
And as our ship sailed into Circular Quay,
I looked at the place where me legs used to be,
And thanked Christ there was nobody waiting for me,
To grieve, to mourn and to pity.

But the band played "Waltzing Matilda,"
As they carried us down the gangway,
But nobody cheered, they just stood and stared,
Then they turned all their faces away.

And so now every April, I sit on my porch
And I watch the parade pass before me.
And I see my old comrades, how proudly they march,
Reviving old dreams of past glory,
And the old men march slowly, all bones stiff and sore,
They're tired old heroes from a forgotten war
And the young people ask "What are they marching for?"
And I ask meself the same question.

But the band plays "Waltzing Matilda,"
And the old men still answer the call,
But as year follows year, more old men disappear
Someday, no one will march there at all.

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda.
Who'll come a-waltzing Matilda with me?
And their ghosts may be heard as they march by the billabong,
Who'll come a-Waltzing Matilda with me?

THE CAVALRY SONG
Anonymous

Oh, I belong to the--hic!--Third Cavalry--
Hic! And a little bit more!
In my backyard I've got a brewery and a wine press,
And if they go wrong, I'm in a hell of a fess,
For I belong to the--hic--Third Cavalry--
Hic! And a little bit more!

THE MAN HE KILLED
Thomas Hardy (1840-1928)
      "Had he and I but met
      By some old ancient inn,
We should have sat us down to wet
      Right many a nipperkin!

      "But ranged as infantry,
      And staring face to face,
I shot at him as he at me,
      And killed him in his place.

      "I shot him dead because--
      Because he was my foe,
Just so: my foe of course he was;
      That's clear enough; although

      "He thought he'd 'list, perhaps,
Off-hand-like-just as I-
Was out of work-had sold his traps-
      No other reason why.

      "Yes; quaint and curious war is!
      You shoot a fellow down
You'd treat, if met where any bar is,
      Or help to half-a-crown."

THERE WILL COME SOFT RAINS(War Time)
Sara Teasdale {1884-1933}
There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum-trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn,
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

TO LUCASTA, GOING TO THE WARS
Richard Lovelace (1618-1657)
Tell me not, sweet, I am unkind
That from nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind,
To war and arms I fly.
True, a mew mistress now I chase,
The first foe in the field;
And with a stronger faith embrace
A sword, a horse, a shield.
Yet this inconstancy is such
As you too shall adore;
I could not love thee, dear, so much,
Loved I not honor more.

WHEN THE WAR WILL END
Reginald Arkell (1872-1959)
Actual evidence I have none,
But my aunt's charwoman's sister's son
Heard a policeman, on his beat,
Say to a housemaid in Downing Street
That he had a brother who had a friend,
Who knew when the war was going to end.

WITH GOD ON OUR SIDE
Bob Dylan (1963)
Oh my name it is nothin'
My age it means less
The country I come from
Is called the Midwest
I's taught and brought up there
The laws to abide
And that land that I live in
Has God on its side.

Oh the history books tell it
They tell it so well
The cavalries charged
The Indians fell
The cavalries charged
The Indians died
Oh the country was young
With God on its side.

Oh the Spanish-American
War had its day
And the Civil War too
Was soon laid away
And the names of the heroes
I's made to memorize
With guns in their hands
And God on their side.

Oh the First World War, boys
It closed out its fate
The reason for fighting
I never got straight
But I learned to accept it
Accept it with pride
For you don't count the dead
When God's on your side.

When the Second World War
Came to an end
We forgave the Germans
And we were friends
Though they murdered six million
In the ovens they fried
The Germans now too
Have God on their side.

I've learned to hate Russians
All through my whole life
If another war starts
It's them we must fight
To hate them and fear them
To run and to hide
And accept it all bravely
With God on my side.

But now we got weapons
Of the chemical dust
If fire them we're forced to
Then fire them we must
One push of the button
And a shot the world wide
And you never ask questions
When God's on your side.

In a many dark hour
I've been thinkin' about this
That Jesus Christ
Was betrayed by a kiss
But I can't think for you
You'll have to decide
Whether Judas Iscariot
Had God on his side.

So now as I'm leavin'
I'm weary as Hell
The confusion I'm feelin'
Ain't no tongue can tell
The words fill my head
And fall to the floor
If God's on our side
He'll stop the next war.

YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE
P. Porter (1929--)
The Polar DEW has just warned that
A nuclear rocket strike of
At least one thousand megatons
Has been launched by the enemy
Directly at our major cities.
This announcement will take
Two and a wuarter minutes to make.
You therefore have a further
Eight and a quarter minutes
To comply with the shelter
Requirements published in the Civil
Defense Code-section Atomic Attack.
A specially shortened Mass
Will be broadcast at the end
Of this announcement--
Protestant and Jewish services
Will begin simultaneously--
Select your wavelength immediately
According to instructions
In the Defense Code. Do not
Take well-loved pets (including birds)
into the shelter-they will consume
Fresh air. Leave the old and bed-
ridden, you can do nothing for them.
Remember to press the sealing
Switch when everyone is in
The shelter. Set the raditiation
Ariel, turn on the geiger barometer.
Turn off your television now.
Turn off your radio immediately
The Services end. At the same time
Secure explosion plugs in the ears
Of each member of your family. Take
down your plasma flasks. Give your children
The pills marked one and two
In the C.D. green containers, then put
Them to bed. Do not break
The inside airlock seals until
The radiation All Clear shows
(Watch for the cuckoo in your
Perspiration panel) or your District
Touring Doctor rings your bell.
If before this, your air becomes
Exhausted or if any of your family
Is critically injured, administer
The capsules marked "Valley Forge"
(Red pocket in No. 1 Survival Kit)
For painless death. (Catholics
Will have been instructed by their priests
What to do in that eventuality.)
This announcement is ending. Our President
Has already given orders for
Massive retaliation--it will be
Decisive. Some of us may die.
Remember, statistically
It is not likely to be you.
All flags are flying fully dressed
On Government buildings--the sun is shining.
Death is the least we have to fear.
We are all in the hands of God.
Whatever happens will be His Will.
Now go quickly to your shelters.

YOU'RE IN THE ARMY NOW
Anonymous
You're in the Army now,
You're not behind a plow;
      You'll never get rich,
      You son-of-a-bitch,
You're in the Army now.

You're in the Army now--
You're in the Army now--
      You'll never get rich
      On the salary which
You get in the Army now!

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