The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #48412   Message #726705
Posted By: Jeri
09-Jun-02 - 04:45 PM
Thread Name: Lyr ADD: Normandy Orchards (Keith Marsden)
Subject: Lyr Add: NORMANDY ORCHARDS (Keith Marsden)
Keith Marsden

They're building a camp on the cornfields at Allingham,
Bulldozers churning and changing the land.
Long barbed-wire fences and acres of tarmac,
Nissen huts ranged where the crops used to stand.
Wide-eyed young village girls, giggling and staring at,
Tanks and transporters that darken the sky.
There's convoys of lorries with fresh faces peering out,
So many young men come learning to die.

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 about sin.
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 going by.
But too soon from school to be licentious soldiery,
So many young men come learning to die.


And mother would have a blue fit if she knew about,
Lieutenant Johnson and walks in the wood.
She's laid down the law and she's always gone on about,
Men being beasts so a girl must be good.
But even she'd laugh at our clumsy propriety,
Me far too fearful and him far too shy.
She might even pity his lonely bewilderment,
One of the young men come learning to die.


And peace came to Allingham many long years ago,
Time, passing by, healed the scars on the land.
Tanks on the village green just a fond memory now,
Corn grows again where the huts used to stand.
Yet when I walk in the woods on a summer's night,
At the trees' edge when the wind starts to sigh.
I still hear their voices all rising in harmony,
Lost, wasted young men, come learning to die.


From Picking Sooty Blackberries, The Songs of Keith Marsden.