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BETWEEN THE DOLE QUEUES AND IRAQ ©

(The Ballad of Gordon Gentle)

Alan Paterson
Kilbarchan, Scotland
2004

Raised on a Glasgow council scheme
Where jobs are hard to find
Some kids turned to drugs and drink
You joined the 'Thin Red Line'
Your little sister begged you
Don’t leave your friends behind
But the recruiters they had lured you,
With dreams beyond the Rhine

Was it worth the drum and fife?
Nae future weans or wife
How gentle was your life
Between the dole queues and Iraq?

On a cold Novembers' morning
You became a Fusilier
your father’s proudest moment
He must have shed a tear
He wanted them to teach you
You thought you’d find a trade
But by the age of nineteen,
You’d found an early grave

Was it worth the drum and fife?
Nae future weans or wife
How gentle was your life
Between the dole queues and Iraq?

From the dole queues where they signed you
To Basra’s bloody streets
An economic conscript
To the government's deceit
Your little sister wrote to Blair
She didn’t understand
Whose fight it was that took your life,
Upon the desert sands

Was it worth the drum and fife?
Nae future weans or wife
How gentle was your life
Between the dole queues and Iraq?



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