coverlyrics

    WHERE ARE YOU NOW, MY SON?
    (Words and Music by Joan Baez)

    It's walking to the battleground that always makes me cry
    I've met so few folks in my time who weren't afraid to die
    But dawn bleeds with the people here and morning skies are red
    As young girls load up bicycles with flowers for the dead

    An aging woman picks along the craters and the rubble
    A piece of cloth, a bit of shoe, a whole lifetime of trouble
    A sobbing chant comes from her throat and splits the morning air
    The single son she had last night is buried under her

    They say that the war is done
    Where are you now, my son?

    An old man with unsteady gait and beard of ancient white
    Bent to the ground with arms outstretched faltering in his plight
    I took his hand to steady him, he stood and did not turn
    But smiled and wept and bowed and mumbled softly, "Danke shoen"

    The children on the roadsides of the villages and towns
    Would stand around us laughing as we stood like giant clowns
    The mourning bands told whom they'd lost by last night's phantom messenger
    And they spoke their only words in English, "Johnson, Nixon, Kissinger"

    Now that the war's being won
    Where are you now, my son?

    The siren gives a running break to those who live in town
    Take the children and the blankets to the concrete underground
    Sometimes we'd sing and joke and paint bright pictures on the wall
    And wonder if we would die well and if we'd loved at all

    The helmetless defiant ones sit on the curb and stare
    At tracers flashing through the sky and planes bursting in air
    But way out in the villages no warning comes before a blast
    That means a sleeping child will never make it to the door

    The days of our youth were fun
    Where are you now, my son?

    From the distant cabins in the sky where no man hears the sound
    Of death on earth from his own bombs, six pilots were shot down
    Next day six hulking bandaged men were dazzled by a room
    Of newsmen. Sally keep the faith, let's hope this war ends soon

    In a damaged prison camp where they no longer had command
    They shook their heads, what irony, we thought peace was at hand
    The preacher read a Christmas prayer and the men kneeled on the ground
    Then sheepishly asked me to sing "They Drove Old Dixie Down"

    Yours was the righteous gun
    Where are you now, my son?

    We gathered in the lobby celebrating Chrismas Eve
    The French, the Poles, the Indians, Cubans and Vietnamese
    The tiny tree our host had fixed sweetened familiar psalms
    But the most sacred of Christmas prayers was shattered by the bombs

    So back into the shelter where two lovely women rose
    And with a brilliance and a fierceness and a gentleness which froze
    The rest of us to silence as their voices soared with joy
    Outshining every bomb that fell that night upon Hanoi

    With bravery we have sun
    But where are you now, my son?

    Oh people of the shelters what a gift you've given me
    To smile at me and quietly let me share your agony
    And I can only bow in utter humbleness and ask
    Forgiveness and forgiveness for the things we've brought to pass

    The black pyjama'd culture that we tried to kill with pellet holes
    And rows of tiny coffins we've paid for with our souls
    Have built a spirit seldom seen in women and in men
    And the white flower of Bac Mai will surely blossom once again

    I've heard that the war is done
    Then where are you now, my son?

    © 1973 Chandos Music (ASCAP)


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