Monday, February 19, 2007

For the Lads of Walter Reed

Words fail me. I am ashamed and saddened.

This is an old Irish song. The lyics are harsh. The emotions are true. So true, in fact that over here in America we had to soften the blows it delivers and change it to "When Johnny Comes Marching Home."

I like the old truth far better than the new lie.

Here's the tune.

Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye

While goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While goin' the road to sweet Athy, hurroo, hurroo
While goin' the road to sweet Athy
A stick in me hand and a drop in me eye
A doleful damsel I heard cry
Johnny I hardly knew ye

With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns and drums and guns, hurroo, hurroo
With your drums and guns the enemy comes
They maimed and nearly slew ye
And now me darling dear, Ye look so queer
Johnny I hardly knew ye

Where are your eyes that were so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that were so mild, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your eyes that were so mild
When my heart you so beguiled
Why did ye run from me and the child
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye

Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run, hurroo, hurroo
Where are your legs that used to run
When you went for to carry a gun
Indeed your dancing days are done
Oh Johnny, I hardly knew ye

I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home, hurroo, hurroo
I'm happy for to see ye home
All from the island of Sulloon
So low in flesh, so high in bone
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye

Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg, hurroo, hurroo
Ye haven't an arm, ye haven't a leg
Ye're an armless, boneless, chickenless egg
Ye'll have to put with a bowl out to beg
Oh Johnny I hardly knew ye

They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
They're rolling out the guns again
But they never will take our sons again
No they never will take our sons again
Johnny I'm swearing to ye




3B's

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9 Comments:

Blogger Paul said...

It's raw, all right, and too true. There's also "And the band played Waltzing Matilda", the song Bob Kerrey sang to his supporters at the end of his campaign.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, just sent you an email of an article you need to read (if you have not yet).

- oddjob

6:25 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

The reporting by Ms Priest and Ms Hull continues today. Jesus Christ, how could this happen? Someone should go to prison as a result of this disaster. This is a national shame and disgrace.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Indeed it is a disgrace - McCain should be ashamed for giving BushCo a pass for the past 4 years. It quickly became apparent that because of better protection and better battlefield medicine, the coffins of past conflicts were bing replaced by horribly wounded soldiers in this one, but did Congress insist that Bush, Rummy and the other warmonger criminals improve the system to handle them? Hell no. And what is that committee McCain sits on? Armed Services? Fuck him and them.

7:51 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

some of it is the same old story. i used to visit a friend at the V.A. hospital in san diego after they amuputated his leg. and sometimes conditions were pretty grim. except this is long term, sustained neglet to the point of to even the casual viewer would be perceived as policy. they have even tried the trick of ad hominum attacks on the reporters. at least they have a bit of shame left somewhere.

not to defend McCain, but i'm sure that they have made efforts to hide this from us. murtha and duncan hunter are both known for going to the medical side of the hospital to visit troops and niether of them knew anything about this. it is typical, however, of the brutal incompetence of this administration that this not only went on for a very long time but since, admitting that that there was a problem would entail admitting there was a mistake, of course, they can't do that.

8:18 AM  
Blogger PeterofLoneTree said...

Minstrel Boy,
The entire text of "Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo is not available online but there is an excerpt available at Third World Traveler.

5:54 PM  
Anonymous horsedooty said...

I have not read the whole WaPo story but wasn't the severest neglect in Building 18 across the street? That is the apt complex used by the out patients for housing. Sickening.

yo soy Horsedooty!

7:59 PM  
Blogger Rez Dog said...

Just heard this song included in a medley of Civil War songs by Pat McCaskey on Whole Wheat Radio. Haunting, harsh and so very, very true.

7:35 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

yes, indeed it is. but it has been somewhat heartening to see that the new secdef appears to be treating this whole thing as a failure of leadership and a failure of the congress to exercise even token oversight.

7:45 AM  

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