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Poetry of Direct Personal Experience
Our Collection of Aviation and Military Poetry

Bang The Drum Slowly
Emmylou Harris

Emmylou Harris is a brilliant singer songwriter. She wrote this song after the death of her father, a former US Marine Corps fighter pilot flying the Corsair in the Pacific Theatre.

I meant to ask you how to fix that car

I always meant to ask you about the war

And what you saw across a bridge too far

Did it leave a scar

Or how you navigated wings of fire and steel

Up where heaven had no more secrets to conceal

And still you found the ground beneath your wheels

How did it feel

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly

To dust be returning from dust we begin

Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy

Above and below me world without end

I meant to ask you how when everything seemed lost

And your fate was in a game of dice they tossed

There was still that line that you would never cross

At any cost

I meant to ask you how you lived what you believed

With nothing but your heart up your sleeve

And if you ever really were deceived

By the likes of me

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly

To dust be returning from dust we begin

Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy

Above and below me world without end

Gone now is the day and gone the sun

There is peace tonight all over Arlington

But the songs of my life will still be sung

By the light of the moon you hung

I meant to ask you how to plow that field

I meant to bring you water from the well

And be the one beside you when you fell

Could you tell

Bang the drum slowly play the pipe lowly

To dust be returning from dust we begin

Bang the drum slowly I'll speak of things holy

Above and below me world without end


emmylou

Corsair

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 • Last Modified: 12 July 2019, 22:10