Remembrance Sunday

A German trench occupied by British Soldiers near the Albert-Bapaume road at Ovillers-la-Boisselle, July 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. The men are from A Company, 11th Battalion, The Cheshire Regiment.
John Warwick Brooke, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Goodbye Dolly Gray

Words: Will D Cobb, Music: Paul Barnes

I have come to say goodbye, Dolly Gray,
It’s no use to ask me why, Dolly Gray,
There’s a murmur in the air, you can hear it everywhere,
It’s the time to do and dare, Dolly Gray – so

Goodbye Dolly I must leave you, though it breaks my heart to go,
Something tells me I am needed at the front to fight the foe,
See – the soldier boys are marching and I can no longer stay,
Hark – I hear the bugle calling, goodbye Dolly Gray.

Can’t you hear the sound of feet, Dolly Gray,
Marching through the village street, Dolly Gray,
That’s the tramp of soldiers’ feet in their uniforms so neat,
So – goodbye until we meet, Dolly Gray. Goodbye Dolly Gray.

Reflections on a photograph – dated 1917

The face it stares across the years
the face that lights our greatest fears
so long ago a picture made,
so long ago a youth betrayed.

He stands there proud, near manhood he,
so young, so strong, what will he be
in years to come, a King, a Knave?
‘twas not to be, his life he gave.

If we should look on those years past
His vigour, strength, was not to last
in time of war Death does not care
what promise shewn, what hope they wear.

Stranger look upon that face,
Stranger think, from thy safe place
they trusting went off to a war,
in hope that war would be no more.

They did not know, they could not see
that they were pawns, no strategy
is worth the price our young men pay,
it was true then, it’s true today.

Our leaders think they have a right
to muddle through, but they don’t fight –
the flower of youth who want to live
in peace, in love, their lives they give.

They left behind their many dreams,
so many hopes, but now it seems
that all they met was death and pain:
a field, a trench, that endless rain.

I wish that I could happier be
they gave their lives for you and me;
but at the end – I must confess;
I wished they’d loved their Country less.

© Gillygangle


Gillygangle 2023