Song Lyric Sunday: Peace – ‘The Aftermath’

“War is over and battles are gone
After the war no one has won”

Well, this was a lot harder than I initially thought it would be. Helen’s theme for this week is ‘Peace’.

Lots of songs about, or including the word ‘Peace’, of course – and peace could mean the absence of war or, more broadly, ‘tranquility’ or even ‘silence’.

At the back of my mind was a song I only ever heard once, in about 1975. It was played on the radio immediately after the two minutes silence on Remembrance Sunday and I was convinced it was called ‘In The Aftermath’ and was by The Strawbs, a British folk-rock group who flourished at the time. Can I find it though? Perhaps it’s a false memory.

But during my searching I came across this song with (almost) that title by, improbably enough, Iron Maiden, which is a first for me.

Silently to silence fall
In the fields of futile war
Toys of death are spitting lead
Where boys that were our soldiers bled
War horse and war machine

Curse the name of liberty
Marching on as if they should
Mix in the dirt our brothers’ blood

In the mud and rain
What are we fighting for
Is it worth the pain
Is it worth dying for
Who will take the blame
Why did they make a war
Questions that come again
Should we be fighting at all

Once a ploughman hitches his team
Here he sowed ? his little dream
Now bodies arms and legs are strewn
Where mustard gas and barbwire bloom
Each moment’s like a year
I’ve nothing left inside for tears
Comrades dead or dying lie
I’m left alone asking why

In the mud and rain
What are we fighting for
Is it worth the pain
Is it worth dying for
Who will take the blame
Why did they make a war
Questions that come again
Should we be fighting at all

After the war
Left feeling no one has won
After the war
What does a soldier become

War is over and battles are gone
After the war no one has won
I’m just a soldier

Written by Bayley, Harris, Gers

Song Lyric Sunday

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