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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Monday, May 29, 2006

Memorial Music Monday

The War Game

There was no note but if there was, it might have said:
"Forgive me for the things I’ve done, things there’s no forgiveness for. The things I’ve heard the things I’ve seen the things I've said have been so mean, but the men I've killed won’t haunt my dreams no more. In the jungles there’s no why, no right or wrong just live or die, and a lot men, a lot of friends died right next to me. You can’t blame charlie for this crime if you don’t blame me for mine, after all, he was under orders just like me.

"Father cousin brother son in charlie’s eyes they’re all the same, in columns lost and won, when you’re playing the war game.

"I didn’t come home to be spit on, or to be told that I was wrong, or to confront an angry mob. I just wanted to be with my wife, to try to start a new life, but it turns out I didn’t come home to a job. I raised my daughters the best I could, did what all good fathers should, but I still don’t think I spent enough time. They couldn’t understand my pain, they didn’t share my shame, once a week as I stood in that line.

"Father cousin brother son in Uncle Sam’s eyes they’re all the same, in columns lost and won, when you’re playing the war game.

"So I went back to the church, to try to heal decades of hurt, but I didn’t think god would want me after all this time. But my brothers made me secure, made me feel almost pure, and I felt god was back on my side. So this one last thing I do, I don’t do it to hurt you, it’s an exercise of my faith. So please, pray for me, pray the lord my soul to keep, because I’m off, I’m off to a better place.

"Father cousin brother son in god’s eyes they’re all the same, in columns lost and won, when you’re playing the war game.

"When you’re playing the war game, it’s not a game, it’s just a shame, a shame grown men would act that way. When other men are just marks on a map or page or charts, they don’t even know our names. And just a telegram or note is all they send, always by rote, to let our families know we’ve died. We’re not numbers, will you see, not survivors and casualties, we’re human beings with a life --

"Father cousin brother son in war’s eyes they’re all the same, in columns lost and gone, when you’re playing the war game."

There was no note but if there was, it might have said:
"Forgive me."


This is one of the oldest songs of mine that can go in the regular rotation if I need it. I wrote it back in 1995 after a relative, a Vietnam vet, became a casualty of the war, 25 years later.

You can download or listen to the song here.

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