When I was a cannoneer—
before my ears got blown out,
we used to sing: Praise the Lord,
and pass the ammunition…
as we passed 155 mm shells
into our heavy artillery cannons.
But when the Chinese joined
the North Koreans in an unexpected
and unstoppable nighttime attack,
our Battalion Commander
was the first to be killed.
Bitter hand-to-hand fighting ensued
as we ran for our lives in a retreat.
My younger brother served in the Navy
for 4 years between the major wars.
He sang the same song when ordered
as an Ensign to assume battle stations
on his ship that never got shipped out.
He jokingly called it: The SS Constipation.
Maybe that’s why nobody sings war songs anymore.