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Lyr Req: Let Them In (John Gorka)

marian 13 Oct 97 - 11:14 PM
Jim Dixon 08 Aug 11 - 05:08 PM
Nigel Parsons 09 Aug 11 - 07:31 AM
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Subject: who wrote this song?
From: marian
Date: 13 Oct 97 - 11:14 PM

I saw a folk compilationa CD today at a store and noticed that it had John Gorka singing "Let Them In." I listened to it and it was the same song I have on a tape--but I don't know who does the version I have on tape. It could be Michael Tomlinson or maybe David Wicox. But does anyone know who actually wrote the song? Any help would be appreciated! You can email me at Thanks! *Marian*

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Subject: Lyr Add: LETTER TO SAINT PETER (Elma Dean)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 08 Aug 11 - 05:08 PM

The lyrics to LET THEM IN have been posted in a thread called Memorial Day songs. John Gorka is usually credited as the writer, but apparently he wrote the tune and adapted the lyrics from a poem. That thread says the poem was anonymous.

However, I found it was printed in The American Mercury, Volume 55 (New York: American Mercury Magazine, 1942), page 592, where it is printed thus:

by Elma Dean

Let them in, Peter. They are very tired.
Give them the couches where the angels sleep.
Let them wake whole again to new dawns fired
With sun not war. And may their peace be deep.
Remember where the broken bodies lie . . .
And give them things they like. Let them make noise.
God knows how young they were to have to die!
Give swing bands, not gold harps, to these our boys.
Let them love, Peter,—they have had no time—
Girls sweet as meadow wind, with flowering hair . . .
They should have trees and bird song, hills to climb—
The taste of summer in a ripened pear.
Tell them how they are missed. Say not to fear;
It's going to be all right with us down here.

[It has also been reprinted in several books, for example, Finding a Fallen Hero: The Death of a Ball Turret Gunner by Bob Korkuc (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2008), page xiii.]

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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Let Them In (John Gorka)
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 09 Aug 11 - 07:31 AM

Very moving.
That deserves to be brought out of the cupboard at Armistice time, to stand beside "For The Fallen" & "In Flanders Field"

Thanks for posting.


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