Sunday, January 01, 2006


January 1 Poetry Blogging: No War in 2006 Edition

For Christmas Augustienne gave me a three-disc Johnny Cash collection, comprised of At Folsom Prison, At San Quentin, and the previously-unknown-to-me America. The latter is an interesting piece of Americana from a man who clearly has love and mixed feelings towards his homeland, kind of like me.

There's a song on it called "The Big Battle" which I had never heard before, being a Cash dilettante at best, and which has quickly become my favorite song of his behind "Man in Black." Given my love for popular music as poetry, it wasn't long before I knew I wanted to blog it. Here it is in an extended version:
The Big Battle - Johnny Cash

"I think, sir, the battle is over,"
and the young soldier laid down his gun
"I'm tired of running for cover
I'm certain the battle is done

"For see over there where we fought them
it's quiet for they've all gone away
all left is the dead and the dying
the ground's covered with them today."

"So you think the battle is over
and you even lay down your gun
You carelessly rise from your cover
for you think the battle is done

"Now, boy, hit the dirt - listen to me
for I'm still the one in command
Get flat on the ground here beside me
and lay your ear hard to the sand

"Can you hear the deafening rumble?
Can you feel the trembling ground?
It's not just the horses and wagons
that make such a deafening sound

"For every shot fired had an echo
and every man killed wanted life
There lies your friend Jim McKinney
can you take the news to his wife?

"No, son, the battle's not over -
the battle has only begun
The rest of the battle will cover
the part that has blackened the sun

"The fight yet to come's not with cannon
nor will the fight be hand to hand
No one will regroup the forces
no charge will a general command

"The battle will rage in the bosom
of mother and sweetheart and wife
Brother and sister and daughter
will grieve for the rest of their lives

"Now go ahead rise from your cover
be thankful that God let you live
Go fight the rest of the battle
for those who gave all they could give."

"I see, sir, the battle's not over
the battle has only begun
The rest of the battle will cover
this part that has blackened the sun

"For though there's no sound of the cannon
and though there's no smoke in the sky
I'm dropping the gun and the saber
and ready for battle am I."