Of Lives Lived and Died

from by Hawker Roam

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lyrics

We landed on Betio, Tarawa atoll
In the fighting Second, but the third wave in on our Higgins Boat
The Coxswain was a coward and wouldn’t take us in
till his forehead met the pistol of Bulldog Harrington

I soon found myself beside a pier bullets blazing by
bodies of my brothers floating in the tide
Wounded taking shelter between the pilings underneath
as I helped the corpsman and the doctors give the men relief

And all too familiar, but once not at all
overwhelmed by the odor of a realized befall
decay on the beachfront a gross mockery
of lives lived and died so you and I and other can be free

The mortar shell that landed between me and another man
upon the pier it took his life without the comfort of Gods hand
I heard a banty rooster cluck as though just another day
guess you have to lose a life or limb to earn a soldiers pay

My dungaree discarded, to do a Quartermasters job
white shirt shining in the moonlit night but saved by the grace of God
Snipers shooting at me from Amtraks broken on the sand
as I directed the unloading of fresh supplies and nervous man

And all too familiar, but once not at all
overwhelmed by the odor of a realized befall
decay on the beachfront a gross mockery
of lives lived and died so you and I and other can be free

I turned towards the sound of the bugle playing “To the Colors”
as I saw them raise Old Glory, I saluted to my fallen brothers
I couldn’t help but think of home and the loved ones left behind
and all the crosses on those grassy fields where courage never dies!

And all too familiar, but once not at all
overwhelmed by the odor of a realized befall
decay on the beachfront a gross mockery
of lives lived and died so you and I and other can be free

credits

from Beneath the Surface, releases January 1, 2018

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