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Old Soldiers Never Cry

David Kilpatrick
Language: English


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[1975-1996]
Lyrics & Music by David Kilpatrick

A song for the veterans of all wars and any wars - not a lament, nor a protest, but a comment on the passing of time and the nature of men at war. Strong chorus and rhythm.

"Started with the first verse and chorus sometime in the mid-1970s, this is a song which was gradually built, then completed in 1996 when suddenly it hit me that the old Great War soldiers returning to the war cemeteries in France would soon be gone - indeed, they would have to be 100 years old. And that's what the song ultimately comments on: the distance of time, and the few remaining. But it's about more than that. It was also completed because my father, who was a bomber pilot in the 1945 war, had died; and I realised then that I had never finished any of the songs I started writing years before, and he's never heard a single one of them. So, in a way it was for him.

This song was written over a period of many years - parts of it go back over 25 years - but completed to allow it to be performed at a number of sessions close to Armistice Day. The impetus for completing the song was the realisation that it simply won't apply for very much longer. The last 1st World War veterans will all have died so there will none returning, not fewer returning.

Today I realise these notes have already become out of date... I don't think any 1st World War veterans remain".
Well you all - tell the same great old story,
By the fire on a dark winter's night -
How you fought for the hope and the glory,
For a cause which you knew to be right.

And you all tell the same great old story,
Though you rage against the dying of the light;
How they gave for their King and their country
All those lives that were lost in the fight.

'Cause old soldiers never cry
They never even try
To ask themselves the question, was there a reason why?
Old sailors never weep;
They just lie down to sleep
In the bosom of the ocean, -the cradle of the deep.
Old airmen never die;
They just take off and fly.
They set their sights on the heart of the light
In the bright eternal sky -
Old soldiers never cry..

As the leaves fall you pause to remember
Friends who fell all those Autumns ago;
Till peace came in the chill of November
To the fields where the red flowers grow..

In those far fields the flames still are burning;
On the stones stand the names to be read,
Though each year there are fewer returning
To remember the deeds of the dead.

'Cause old soldiers never cry
They never even try
To ask themselves the question, was there a reason why?
Old sailors never weep;
They just lie down to sleep
In the bosom of the ocean, -the cradle of the deep.
And old airmen never die;
They just take off and fly.
They set their sights on the heart of the light
In the bright eternal sky..
Old soldiers never cry..

Fainter now are the drum-rolls still swelling
Far away 'cross the gulf of the years,
Yet the tale never tires in the telling
In your children's children's.. children's ears.

Few and farther your comrades remaining;
New and harsher the wars of today.
Though the world of your memory is waning,
Some small corner for ever will stay..

'Cause old soldiers never cry
They never even try
To ask themselves the question – was there a reason why?
Old sailors never weep;
They just lie down to sleep
In the bosom of the ocean, -the cradle of the deep.
Old airmen never die;
They just take off and fly.
They set their sights on the heart of the light
In the bright eternal sky..
Old soldiers never cry..

Contributed by giorgio - 2010/11/14 - 17:15



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