Blue Coat

Then there was the sound of constant drumming,
And the mad men clutched their temples running,
And I curse the memory of the damned damp day,
Cause I saw them carry my baby brother away.
 
I did not shoot at the boys in blue
Because I saw them carrying my brother through
The line of men intertwined to fight our stormy front. 
 
I was just seventeen at the time
I had not a penny, nor a dime
And on that day vengeance was not mine
Said the Lord my God.
 
When at my feet the demon fell
One of the  blue coat boys sent from hell
And why I cried I could not tell,
But he had my brother's eyes.
 
Old Thompson beside me pulled out his gun,
He went for the trigger
Blue Coat did not run
Blue Coat, Blue Coat was somebody's son
Blue Coat had a Maw.                                                                                                                                                          
 
He looked at me like a bird in a trap,
His wings bound, his legs snapped,
And I found myself listening for the tap
Of that damned old Winchester gun. 
 
Blue Coat, Blue Coat began to sob.
Blue Coat, Blue Coat's childhood was robbed
From him, just like my brother's was.
 
And with one swift snap of my shaking hand,
Old Thompson I did reprimand
And his gun fell to the bloody earth
And Johnny came marching home. 
 
Johnny came marching home,
sweet Maw.
Johnny came marching home, hoorah.
Hoorah, then Johnny came marching home.
They gave him a rowdy welcome then, hoorah, hoorah...
 
The old church bell rang again,
to welcome home the boy they lost back way back when
But my brother lay in an icy grave, purged with
Blue Coat's sin.
 
The war was over, and there I stood
In the shadow of the Northern steeple
I promised myself there was nothing good,
about these city people. 
 
But then Blue Coat's Maw came running out,
as did Blue Coat with a shout
For I was a prisoner 
In this foreign land,
and I felt surely that I was damned. 
 
Blue Coat knelt down beside of me
He beckoned that I might be free
And with a whisper he let me be
And I was saved from the hanging tree.

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