Digital Tradition Mirror

Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley

Battle Hymn of Lt. Calley
(Julian  Wilson and James M. Smith)

Recitation 1 (background music:  verse of Battle Hymn of the Republic)

Once upon a time there was a little boy who wanted to grow up to
be a soldier and serve his country in whatever way he could. He would
parade around the house with a saucepan on his head for a helmet, a
wooden sword in one hand and the American flag in the other. As he
grew up, he put away the things of a child, but he never let go of
the flag.

Sung: (same tune)
My name is William Calley, I'm a soldier of this land
I've tried to do my duty and to gain the upper hand,
But they've made me out a villain, they have stamped me with a brand
As we go marching on.

I'm just another soldier from the shores of U.S.A,
Forgotten on a battlefield ten thousand miles away
While life goes on as usual from New York to Santa Fe
As we go marching on.

I've seen my buddies ambushed on the left and on the right,
And their youthful bodies riddled by the bullets of the night
Where all the rules are broken and the only law is might
As we go marching on.

While we're fighting in the jungles, they were marching in the street,
While we're dying in the rice fields they were helping our defeat
While we're facing V.C. bullets they were sounding a retreat
As we go marching on.

With our sweat we took the bunkers, with our tears we took the plain,
With our blood we took the mountain and they gave it back again
Still all of us are soldiers we're too busy to complain
As we go marching on.

Recitation 2 (background music: chorus of Battle Hymn of the Republic)

When I reach my final campground in that land beyond the sun, and
the Great Commander asks me, "Did you fight or did you run?" I'll
stand both straight and tall, stripped of medals, rank and gun, and
this is what I'll say:
"Sir, I followed all my orders and I did the best I could; it's
hard to judge the enemy and hard to tell the good, yet there's not
a man among us would not have understood. We took the jungle village
exactly like they said, we responded to their rifle fire with
everything we had. And when the smoke had cleared away a hundred
souls lay dead. Sir, the soldier that's alive is the only one can
fight, there's no other way to wage a war when the only one in sight
that you're sure is not a V.C. is your buddy on your right. When all
the wars are over and the battle's finally won, count me only as a
soldier who never left his gun with the right to serve my country
as the only prize I've won.


Glory, glory Hallelujah
Glory, glory Hallelujah
His truth goes marching on

Copyright  Shelby Singleton Music 1971

Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!

Contents: ? A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Main Page