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The Durham Light Infantry

from by Gary Miller

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about

Commissioned by the DLI Research and Study Centre and Durham County Council for the 12-month DLI Collection travelling exhibition ‘When the Bugle Calls’, launched at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, County Durham, England, on 5th December 2017.

Taken from the forthcoming album ‘From Coalfield to Battlefield’.

lyrics

When I was but a young lad I hewed coal below this land
With a pick across me shoulder or a shovel in me hand
But then the Great War came and a spirit of adventure grew
While the posters in the street said "Your Country Needs You!”
Your country needs you! I knew then what I must do

I lined up to volunteer for a soldier's bloody wage
I strode up to the desk and boldly lied about me age
They gave me a serge uniform of ‘Kitchener Blue’
Flags waved, brass bands played and huge crowds cheered too
But no-one really knew just what we’d gotten ourselves into

So we're off my boys through the hell and the noise
To die for our country
And they’ll raise a cross to remember the loss
Of the Durham Light Infantry

In the muddy fields of Flanders we fought like men from Hell
As the ground itself was ripped apart where all me best mates fell
The lad right next to me took a bullet to the head
And in all that hell and madness I wished that I was dead
As the sky wept tears of lead, while the ‘Faithful Durhams’ bled

We buried all our dead, at least those that could be found
As well as bits of bodies that were scattered all around
And it made me sick with anger at the things the War had done
But when one campaign was over they gave us another one
So I still kept marching on though all my mates were dead and gone

So we're off my boys through the hell and the noise
To die for our country
And they’ll raise a cross to remember the loss
Of the Durham Light Infantry

Let there be no songs of victory upon Armistice Day
For the pathos of the poets can never wash the stains away
And with the Pawns of War the Masters never will be done
So the ‘Dirty Little Imps’ will still be called upon
Once this ‘War To End All Wars’ is won, to fight on and on and on

So we're off my boys through the hell and the noise
To die for our country
And they’ll raise a cross to remember the loss
Of the Durham Light Infantry


(Gary Miller)

© 2017 Whippet Records
Copyright Control MCPS/PRS

credits

from DLI EP, released August 5, 2019
Gary Miller - Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
Ferryhill Town Band - Brass

Band recorded at Mainsforth and District Institute, Ferryhill, 28.11.17.
Vocals recorded at Awake Music, 30.11.17.

Written and Composed by Gary Miller - www.garymillersongs.com
Arranged, Produced and Engineered by Iain Petrie - www.awakemusic.co.uk
Scored by Sam Lord & Iain Petrie
Band Conducted by Gareth Sykes - www.ferryhilltownband.org.uk

Thanks to: - Peter Atkinson; Andrew Potts of The Ferryhill Town Band; Gillian Kirkbride, Charlie Barron, Debbie Connell; Willie Holdsworth at Mainsforth and District Institute, Ferryhill, County Durham, England.

Previously released on 'The Durham Light Infantry' CD Single (WPTCD26)

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about

Gary Miller Durham, UK

Gary Miller first rose to prominence with internationally renowned folk-rock band The Whisky Priests (1985-2002), founded with his twin brother Glenn - “the Joe Strummer and Mick Jones of Folk Music". In 2010, following long-term illness, he released ‘Reflections on War’, his debut solo album and first CD of all new material in 10 years and returned to international touring. ... more

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