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 u
sed to stand,
Wide-eyed young village-girls giggling and staring, at tanks and transporters th
at darken the sky,
There's convoys of lorries with fresh faces peering out, so many young men come
learning to die.
cho: 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 abo
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 goi
But too soon from school to be licentious soldiery, so many young men come learn
ing to die.
And mother would have a "blue fit" if she knew about Lieutenant Johnson and walk
s in the wood,
She's laid down the law and she's always gone on about men being beasts, so a gi
rl must be good.
But even she'd laugh at our clumsy propriety, her far too fearful and me far too
She might even pity his lonely bewilderment, one of the young men come learning
And peace came to Arlingham many long years ago, time passing by healed the scar
s on the land,
Tanks on the village green just a fond memory, now corn grows again where the hu
ts used to stand,
Yet as I walk in the fields on a summer's night, by the trees' edge when the win
d starts to sigh,
I still hear their voices all rising in harmony; lost, wasted, young men come le
arning to die.
Copyright Keith Marsden
recorded by David Jones, Cockersdale
TUNE FILE: NORMORCH
CLICK TO PLAY
Popup Midi Player