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Matthew Temple: Music

So Many Young Men

(Matthew Temple)
Matthew Temple
This was very hard for me to write. I started it back in 1969 when the Viet Nam war was tearing America apart. I wrote a few more lines when we sent our soldiers to Kuwait. I finished it a year after we began fighting in Iraq. Only the dead come home from war. Some of them we bury some of them we comfort. No matter what the reason behind the war our soldiers deserve our respect.
Well beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly
Lay me to rest at the break of the dawn
Then take yourselves home to the land of our fathers
Tell the young mother her true love is gone

Now listen my brothers don’t weep at my passing
It’s a price we all knew we could pay in the end
And our measure of honor our measure of freedom
If it’s ours to enjoy then it’s ours to defend

I would not have left her for the arms of another
For glory adventure or the promise of gold
But my country had called me to fight for her freedom
Like so many young men who’ll never grow old

So on that spring morning I left my positions
The woman I loved and a baby unborn
And sailed with my brothers to the land of oppression
To fight for the freedom of a people forlorned

And as we did battle through the smoke and the shadow
We watched as our comrades fell one by one
I knew that by morning my sprit would leave me
Before the dawn broke my life would be done

So beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly
Lay me to rest at the break of the dawn
Then take yourselves home to the land of our fathers
Tell the young mother her true love is gone

I would not have left her for the arms of another
For glory adventure or the promise of gold
But my country had called me to fight for her freedom
Like so many young men who’ll never grow old