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THE FIRES OF CALAIS
(James Keelaghan)

The fishing boats roll out across the dark green Channel water
As they gather speed for Flanders they cut their nets away
It's not herring they'll be pulling from the waters on this morning
But they'll reap a bitter harvest from the fires of Calais

Twenty leagues from France I saw the amber soaked horizon
In our lee the cliffs of Dover fall beneath the Channel waves
Where waters used to sing a song to soothe the hearts of fishers
Now we hear the rolling thunder from the fires of Calais

As we pull in tight to shore, this armada bent on rescue
I could curse the men behind the desks who sell our lives this way
I never signed aboard to save them from this bloody lack of planning
That strands these fine young men beneath the fires of Calais

On the beach allied confusion, will they stand or are they running
If it's run, where will they go to between the sea and the melee
On the flanks the troops advancing and with heavy guns they're firing
And not a mother's son could save them from the fires of Calais

In scattered groups upon the shore some look towards a safer harbour
Some fix their eyes upon the flames that turn night to day
Some yet standing bold and ready to stoutly guard the rear from Jerry
They'll need no flares to see him 'neath the fires of Calais

I've fished these Channel waters since I was man enough to face them
For the herring and the flounder I have often hauled away
But a catch like this i've never had in forty years of sailing
Saving Tommies as they flounder 'neath the fires of Calais

The fishing boats roll out across the dark green Channel water
As they gather speed for Flanders they cut their nets away
It's not herring they'll be pulling from the waters on this morning
But they'll reap a bitter harvest from the fires of Calais

Copyright James Keelaghan
@WWII @sailor @war
filename[ FIRCALAI
FB
apr97

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