The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #35518   Message #485120
Posted By: Susanne (skw)
16-Jun-01 - 05:34 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Add: Hello Hans (Harvey Andrews)
Subject: Lyr Add: HELLO HANS (Harvey Andrews)
Joe, you KNOW I'd do anything for you (provided you come up with the cash ...). So here you are. It's the version Iain MacKintosh sings, but I don't think he changed the words very much. The tune is more like a quiet chant (if that isn't a contradiction in terms).

(Harvey Andrews)

Hello Hans
I was passing and I stopped to say hello
You don't know me
There's no reason now that you should ever know
You died here
In some prison camps conditions weren't too bad
Was it a wound, Hans
Or maybe shell-shock sent you mad
You were twenty
That's what it says upon the stone
I'm trying to imagine
What it's like to die alone
At twenty
Before you had a chance to be half grown

Do you see the child, Hans
That little girl who laughs upon your grave
She's not yours, Hans
Not the one you went to war to save
See her father
He proudly picks her up and sets her down
On your tombstone
To take some photogaphs that he can hand around
He was a young boy
At the very moment that you died
Perhaps you had a child, Hans
Who would walk proudly by your side
Or a young wife
Who tried so hard, but still she cried

So goodbye, Hans
I'll maybe come again some other time
Because I know, Hans
That grave of yours could easily be mine
You see, there's war, Hans
And men are trained to fight each other still
So it goes on, Hans
It always has, it seems it always will
But I must go now
The kids are running round and making such a noise
As you remember
When they're together boys will just be boys
But not like you, Hans
They will never be a country's broken toys

I swear
They will never be a country's broken toys

[1989:] This is the earliest of the songs in this collection. Written for Hans Steggemann, who is buried in the German military cemetery on Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, England. (Notes Harvey Andrews, '25 Years on the Road')
I suspect the name is Stegemann, which is much more common in Germany. HA lives not far from Cannock Chase, and his fine album '25 Years on the Road' ought to be still available on CD.