The Deserter

John Richards
Language: English

List of versions

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Questa canzone di John Richards, presente nel suo unico album solista, “Behind The Lines” del 2001, è forse più nota nelle esecuzioni dei Fairport Convention e di Simon Nicol, anche lui nei Fairport e poi nell’Albion Band. E non si tratta dell’omonima canzone, The Deserter, che i Fairport inclusero nel loro album “Liege & Lief” del 1969…

behind the lines
Here I stand in a land that isn't my own
In the green of the country that I know as home
I was sent here by government armed by the King
And I'm told I must kill men in order to bring
Peace to a foreign land

There he lies on a land that isn't his own
In the grey of the country that he knows as home
He was sent here by government, might not agree
And if someone must kill him God why is it me?
To bring peace to a foreign land

Don't despise the deserter
Don't despise the deserter
Don't despise the deserter
Who ran from the war

So I bent down to drag him away from the wire
But the rifles to the left of me had started to fire
He was riddled with bullets smothered in blood
And I don't see how murdering somebody could
Bring peace to a foreign land

So I ran from the fighting threw down my gun
And I ran by the moon and slept by the sun
Now arrested by government charged by the King
To be shot 'cos I can't kill in order to bring
Peace to a foreign land

Contributed by Alessandro - 2010/5/3 - 09:01

A powerful Ballad of uncertain attribution (John Williams?) about pacifism, dated from the age of the British Empire.. Still very topical.
Famous the John Richards' version contained in the album "Behind the Lines".


giorgio - 2013/3/5 - 12:58

Cover Versions
The Deserter is covered on Simon Nicol's 1987 release "Before Your Time."

Bill Hemphill - 2021/3/26 - 19:18

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