Internationally-acclaimed Songwriter,
Performer and Recording Artist
from County Durham, England

Gary Miller Songs

"As a song poet there are few in the world today to match him"
Green Man Review, USA

Shot at Dawn

Lyrics

See the white crosses at the top of the hill
Where foreign winds do blow
The chill air is haunting and all is still
Where the ghosts do gently moan
Young Tommy Atkins is with them
He never reached his eighteenth year
It broke his poor mother's heart in two
She never saw her young son again

Mary Johnson would never wed
Through the passing of long years
Yet the saddest grief must surely fade
After long and bitter tears
But young Tommy Atkins stole her heart
To take wherever he did go
And he lies in a field forgotten now
Far away from where the flowers of England do grow

With the eyes and ears of history
Can we judge both king and pawn
And can we point the finger of guilt
At the graves of those who were shot at dawn

Tommy Atkins was a daring soul
As brave as any man
But a scapegoat cannot defend itself
When it's made to carry the can
The disease was never diagnosed
He was marched out in the early dawn
And did they hide the disgrace of cowards
When they had him shot at dawn

Does the conscience of kings
Hide a brotherhood of thieves
That plucked the rose from the thorn
Can we wipe the blood from those fingers
That had flowers of England shot at dawn

Now the swelling pride of history
Casts a shadow over graves
Where flowers once bloomed and took the wind
But now the winds have changed
A fabled path of glory
Long trodden carries on
Remembering those who gave their lives
While condemning those shot at dawn

"So praise the heroes yea none but the brave
Three cheers for our favourite sons
A blood red poppy for a red English rose
And a curse on those cowards who were shot at dawn"

Is the simple question of life and death
One we can all understand
And will the question be ringing in your ears
"For what died the flowers of England?"



© 1994 Whippet Records

Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

 

Releases (on Whippet Records unless otherwise stated)