The Old Man Testo

Testo The Old Man

The Old ManAt the turning of the century I was a boy of fiveMy father went to fight the Boers and never came back aliveMy mother was left to bring us up no charity she'd seekSo she washed and scrubbed and scraped along for seven and six a weekWhen I was twelve I left the school and went to find a jobWith growing kids me Ma was glad of the extra couple of bobI'm sure that longer schooling would have stood me in good steadBut you can't afford refinements when you're struggling for your breadAnd when the Great War came along I didn't hesitateI took the Royal shilling and went off to do me bitWe fought in mud and tears and blood three years or there aboutThen I copped some gas in Flanders and was invalided outAnd when the war was over and we'd finished with the gunsWe got back into civvies cause we thought the fighting's doneWe'd won the right to live in peace but we didn't have such luckFor soon we found we had to fight for the right to go to workIn '26 the general strike saw me out on the streetFor I'd a wife and kids by then and their needs I had to meetFor the Brave New World was coming and the brotherhood of manBut when the strike was over we were back where we beganI struggled through the thirties at work now and againI saw the black shirts marching and the things they did in SpainI brought me kids up decent and I taught them wrong from rightBut Hitler was the lad that came and he taught them how to fightMe daguhter was a land girl she got married to a yankThey gave me son a medal for stopping one of Rommel's tanksHe was wounded just before the end and he convalesced in RomeThen he married an Italian nurse and never bothered to come homeMe daughter writes me once a month a cheerful little noteAbout their colour telly and the other things they've gotThey've got a son a likely lad he's nearly twenty-oneBut they tell me now they've called him up to fight in VietnamWe're living on a pension now it doesn't reach too farNot much to show for a life that seems like one long bloody warWhen you think of all the wasted lives it makes you want to cryI'm not sure how to change things but by Christ we'll have to try