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STILL IN THE WAR, BOYS! - new CD and download from THE CROWS OF ALBION

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My music project THE CROWS OF ALBION have released their new CD and DOWNLOAD on 1st October 2014.

21 tracks across 80 minutes featuring 14 poems I first posted to Write Out Loud (see link to tags below) set to musical backings. The remaining songs are covers versions (Motorhead & Bob Dylan) and traditional wartime favourites 'Pack Up Your Troubles...' and 'It's A Long Way To Tipperary'.

Ther...

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cddownloadSITWBstill in the war boysthe crows of albionww1

Armistice (Gods Of War)

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Armistice (Gods Of War)

The ink upon this document
dries twice as fast as blood
that seeps into this continent
and mixes with the mud.
The war to end all wars they say,
though many have their doubts
that a piece of paper, signed today,
will quell the zealots shouts.

So they dance beneath the spires
of Britannia’s grieving towns
and let the mourning of sad shires
taint her flimsy ta...

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armisticegods of warpeaceSITWBwar to end all warsWW1WW2

Death Of A Poet (Anthem For Doomed Youth) MUSIC VERSION

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Death Of A Poet (Anthem For Doomed Youth)

The grey November sky has lost its light,
 just one more boy has fallen to his death,
 another lad who won’t survive the fight
 or pass beyond this final exhaled breath.
 Though many soldiers leave this war unheard,
 their stories lost forever, never told,
 this one will paint us pictures with his words
 that will not lose their power or grow old...

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Dead Men's Boots

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Dead Men’s Boots

tough as old leather
their souls worn down
eyes vacant of lace
collected by the door
the day they swapped
their pit-boots
for the Kings shilling
and donned their shiny
new military issue

there they stayed
gathering dust
and old potatoes
in their safe grasp
neatly lined
waiting for the return
of father and two sons
to the safety
of their hearth

day after da...

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Remember Scarborough!

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Remember Scarborough!

The day our town was visited by war,
we hardly had the time to ring the bells.
The bairns were playing on our golden shore
and savouring the fish and seaweed smells,
building castles of sand, collecting shells -
though these were not of molluscs but of steel -
and all at once a thousand blazing hells
fell from the sky with each chiming peel.
Remember Scarborough – ...

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naval attacks. east coastposter campaignscarboroughSITWBSpenserian stanza formww1

Canary Girl (Chilwell, July 1st 1918)

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Canary Girl (Chilwell, July 1st 1918)

When she went there her eyes were clear,
just seventeen, her skin was fair.
She was my love, my Jeanie dear,
she wore blue ribbons in her hair
of blond, and I could only stare
and wonder at her beauty wild.
The sweet songbird - my only child.

She had a voice that raised good cheer,
when Jeanie sang we were aware
in chapels (and after a beer),
th...

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Ballade Royal Formbomb factoryCanary GirlsChilwellDisasterSITWBWW1

White Feather

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White Feather

I didn’t see her pass me in the street,
the woman with the husband at the front,
but felt the tell-tale tickle of a feather -
pressed discreetly soft against my palm.
The accusation whispered in a hate-filled voice,
“Coward”, dripped with venom from her lips
and I assumed she talked to me, although I couldn’t see
if the feather in my hand was truly white.
For I had returne...

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conscientious objectorcowardicehatemissunderstandingpacifistSITWBwar poetrywhite featherWW1

Craiglockhart (Not Yet Diagnosed Nervous)

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Craiglockhart (Not Yet Diagnosed Nervous)

When I kicked over the wheelchair
I couldn’t do the simplest task,
except the epileptic flailing
of my military antimasque.
Turning on the hissing gas-lamp
had me reaching for the mask.
You opened up my mind
and you didn’t even ask.

Sh-sh-sh shut the fuck up,
I think I’m going insane,
I’ve got all these bombs
going off in my brain.
I’m lik...

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Craiglockhart Miliotary Hospitalmental illnessPTSDrichpixShell ShockSITWBtreatmentWW1

War Boys

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War Boys

“YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU”

We’re going to war boys,
we’re going to war,
Lord Kitchener asked us
so we formed a corps.
Joe and Jack from the factory,
Ted and Jim from the farm,
the recruiting sergeant assures us
that there’s little chance of harm.
We’re part of the great pals army
and we’ve fallen for his charm
as we march away to war.

We’re in the war boys,
we’re in the ...

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Passchendaele (Autumn 1917)

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Passchendaele (Autumn 1917)

Blind, wide open, eyes.
Dripping poppy petal tears.
Crimson rivers flow.

Fields transformed to mud.
Deep cut trenches scar the earth.
Wounds that will not heal.

Gas clouds drift from hell.
Death exhaled in fetid breath.
Lost boys fall like flies.

Ghosts haunt no mans land
searching for their bitter souls
in butchered bodies.

Finding empty shells,
...

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Slamming Flies

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Slamming Flies (Gallipoli – 5th June 1915)

Arriving at the Dardanelles
guns flashing, the sound of rifle fire.
they heaved our ship right up to the shore.

We sat there waiting for the dawn
And saw a big marquee
that made us think of village fetes.

We all rushed to it
like boys going to a circus
but found it all laced up.

Unlaced and opened, It was full of corpses.
Dead Englishme...

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Home By Christmas

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Home By Christmas

I fear I let my feelings rule my head,
that you would have no trouble getting leave.
You would be home by Christmas as they said.

All through the Autumn, sleeping cold in bed,
I dreamt of all our marriage would achieve.
I fear I let my feelings rule my head.

Not since the day that both of us were wed
had we missed carols, sung that holy eve.
You would be home by Ch...

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deathhome by christmashopelossSITWBvillanellewar poem

Grandchildren Of The Somme

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Grandchildren Of The Somme

the dead lay on the injured earth
all wearing grey death masks of mud
a tally of what life is worth
just bone and sinew flesh and blood

attrition wrought its deadly cost
the river Somme held back its flood
humanity forever lost
just bone and sinew flesh and blood

sixteen miles wide and just six deep
survivors wondered if they could
block out the dreams t...

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kyrielle formmemorialSITWBthe sommewarwar poetryWW1

The Bicycle Scout (21st August 1914)

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The Bicycle Scout (21st August 1914)

bicycle wheel spins in blood drenched Belgian hops
as the echo of a gunshot fades away
behind the gorse hedgerow Private John Parr drops
amid the yellow hypnotic summer sway
he is the first scythe-cut of Britain’s young crops
many come to deathly harvest from this day
and when the madness eventually stops
for him, and those that follow, the world will...

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Angel of Mons

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Angel of Mons

 

Perhaps it was the heartbeat of the guns

Thump-thumping in a cacophonic rage,

or the secret, sly, scurry of the rats

that banished sleep those first nights at the front.

For when I marched, the sky became a wall,

the moonlight through the dust made me believe

I saw some great cathedral in the gloom,

with windows of stained glass cast from the stars.

 

...

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