The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #80804   Message #3576080
Posted By: Jim Dixon
15-Nov-13 - 08:18 PM
Thread Name: Songs about the Great War (WWI)
Subject: Lyr Add: FROM SEVERN BY THE SOMME (Martin Graebe)
This song was mentioned by a GUEST back on 02 May 2005 - 03:03 PM, and I think it is also the song eldergirl was referring to.

Lyrics copied from Martin Graebe's web site. Musical notation is also there for the melody line, in Sibelius Scorch format. (Which is very useful because you can play it, transpose it, change the tempo, save it, and print it; but you probably need to install a plug-in to do these things.)

Written by Martin Graebe, ©1996.

1. The swan floats over flooded fields; the heron hunts the hawthorn brake.
The wayward streams have drowned the land, the green grass turned to silver lake.
Through winter's dark and stormy days, I tend my sheep upon the hill
And think of you so far away, and wish that I was with you still.

2. Like Severn's floods, the storms of war have drowned my hopes for you and I.
With deadly grace the hunters kill, and lords and lowly learn to die.
To serve my king and those I love, I would have gone to play my part,
But the doctors saved me for the hills, to nurse my over-tender heart.

3. You smiled so sadly when you said though I'd remain, I'd stay alone.
The carriage window framed your face above your spotless uniform;
For women too must go to war, although they face a different fight,
To use their skills with broken men, and help them face their fears at night.

4. I'd read your letters on the hill; they told of madness, mud and pain,
How tired you were, how angry with the wasted lives for little gain;
Of quieter times when guns were cool, and blackbirds sang, though trees were gone,
And how you wished to smell again a rose from Severn, by the Somme.

5. I've walked through twisted woods and fields that fifty years of healing soothed.
The painful harvest garnered there defies a man to stand unmoved.
I've seen the grave in which you lie; my tears have washed the snowy stone,
And there I left a single flower: a rose from Severn, by the Somme.

[Also recorded by Martyn Wyndham-Read & No Man's Band on "Beyond the Red Horizon" (2000), and by Johnny Coppin on "The Winding Stair" (2005).]