I’d just started blogging last year when I first posted a piece about The Étaples Military Cemetery in the Pas-de-Calais department of Northern France. The Cemetery stands on the former site of a vast military hospital complex used by the Allies during the First World War. Being away from the frontline trenches the military hospital was relatively safe from enemy land attacks. The hospital could cope with up to 20,000 casualties at any one time.
Given that we are so close to Remembrance Day I thought a reprise was in order. I was 20 when I visited the Cemetery. There were rows and rows of graves that simply gave a name and an age, ‘Aged 19’. It was food for thought and reflection. The gravestones seem to speak. They told me how lucky I was.
The song itself remains a demo version, nothing more. Just a simple experiment of possible styles of composition and construction. That’s all. It’s what the song’s about that’s important. Nothing else. I won’t post the whole lyric, although there is a link to the song itself that still sits on my old SoundCloud.
On that day I saw a thousand graves
They all said ‘Aged 19’
Wall to wall white marble stone
Stood on grass so green
They went on for miles
As far as I could see
Relics of remembrance
A cosmic storm’s debris
Were they just a band of brothers or just a band of lonely ghosts?
What was good is now on the edge of being the most obscene
It’s a lonely road to travel when you are so young
Where did it all go so wrong? Could it have been foreseen?
Guess that it hardly matters now
When the stones say ‘Aged 19’
Battles fought and lives all lost
Or something in between?
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