The unfortunate tale of apparently ended civil war.
Erin the beauty, flower in bloom, tenderly, I sing for you...
This young boy has his heart set on life’s simple pleasures;
Not a lot, just love and family, friends too, such a mammy’s boy!
But the angst and the heartache and the rivalry
Of the people around him make sure it isn’t so.
For 800 years, the English hand ruled Irish land;
Split down the middle, we still are divided
On opinion and on moral, mostly on religion
But we are all Christians if you boil it down.
And Christians do not perform the acts of tyranny and genocide
Like both sides have done for objectives neither can win.
Even men of the holy cloth shedding the blood of the young and old;
Call yourselves men of God?
Sucker ideals are not heaven sent
Serving their own men’s heads up on a silver plate;
Stained with blood and guilt and shame and unpaid penance,
Sending boys, yes, boys, out to fight and kill their childhood friends.
Coming in, saying hello to their mammies,
Hearing the petrol bombs, sigh, here we go again,
Grab the rifle, get a phone call;
‘They’re your men out there, go and join them!’
These men have no choice, they have to go
They have more chance of surviving the warfare than
The wrath of a ‘betrayed’ boss.
Mammy is crying but she has to let you go
Go, out among the bullets and the bombs and the blood and the bones,
Throwing a tear from their faces, men don’t cry!
He is no man, he is just a child.
Does it matter? If he is old enough to hold a rifle he is in.
He closes his eyes and fires blindly,
Neither knowing nor caring who he hits, as long as
It is over soon; who cares who he might kill?
He left a cup of tea, hot on the table.
It is all he wants right now, anything to distract him from the harrowing screams
Surrounding him, he sees people of all shapes and sizes
Lying on the ground, their bland eyes staring in frozen shock.
‘Why me?’ ‘I am an innocent!’ ‘I have done nothing wrong.’
Then it hits him.
What is he doing?
He is a murderer. Killing people just like him, boys, girls, either side of the divide.
He sinks down into the ground, his head in his hands.
He lets these tears flow, ashamed of his name, ashamed of everything he is.
For that, what he is, is a murderer.
Men and boys he used to know, now lie still
Beside him, almost moth-eaten with bullet-holes.
He has let his guard down, he is now unaware
Of the bullet dancing to him at several miles an hour.
Shaking his head, ‘...they’re just tragic collateral damage.’
He sighs, turns around, and prepares to shoot; now he has spotted it.
He tries to duck; it is all in slow motion to him.
It is too fast, he is too slow.
He catches it right in his sorrowed heart;
Slumps to the ground, joining his dead comrades in blissful darkness
He lies on the learned tarmac, his precious lifeblood
Trickling like a million cardinals
Flying, escaping his ribcage for a life of freedom
But, sure, that’s all he wanted, too.