Sunday, August 7, 2011

We buried ours, and the Turks buried theirs

On the day after the sixty-sixth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, in memory of all those who lost their lives in the wars of the past hundred years, and of those who continue to give their lives in the hell of war.

Even if you know this song, and even if you've heard Liam Clancy sing it, you will not forget this performance.

9 comments:

Tertium Quid said...

I remember this date each year. Thanks for the post. It is something to contemplate that August 6 is the Feast of the Tranfiguration. Nuclear weapons are a perversion of man's creative and transformative powers. TQ the Dove.

Otepoti said...

This song makes me cry, P.

Pentimento said...

Yes, TQ, we have transformed our nature into the base and hideous in so many ways.

Otepoti, me too, and this performance is devastating. It is one of the Perfect Songs, I think, that says so much with such restraint: "And the band played Waltzing Matilda/As they carried us down the gangway/And nobody cheered, they just stood and stared/And they all turned their faces away."

Pentimento said...

And this is a song for New Zealanders too, isn't it.

Anne-Marie said...

I haven't heard this song since a coffeehouse in college 25 years ago, but it's been in my memory ever since. Thank you. It really is a heartbreaking performance.

Otepoti said...

One of my great-uncles was among the Gallipoli survivors of the Otago Regiment (only one in ten survived, and he was sent off to fight in Belgium, and died there.

Bloody madness of the deepest dye.

Pentimento said...

Yes, absolutely.

I just realized that the narrator is talking about ANZAC Day and not Decoration Day. Forgive my ignorance.

Otepoti said...

I was trying to find the version I like best, one sung by an Australian woman. It always gets a thrashing around Anzac Day (April 25.) I couldn't find the version, but I did find this, by an English folk singer. Poignant.

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3400451340893228389

They say that the reason Churchill never visited Australia/New Zealand was that he was ashamed of his hand in planning the Gallipoli campaign.

Pentimento said...

My father always said that he sent colonials into the most dreadful, hopeless conflagrations.

There is a very good live version by Joan Baez here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_E9Nu8JinM0

It's not my favorite, though. There's always a beautiful sheen to her work, but I sometimes feel there's no there there.